Grandpa: “Here comes Luther riding that old swayback mule he let Zeke talk him into buying.”
Grandma: “Bless his heart.”

Just an innocuous conversation on a lazy, summer afternoon between a couple passing the time on their front porch rocking chairs? Maybe not as sympathetic as it sounds. Actually, grandma just called Luther “stupid” for making the deal with Zeke. Most old-time southerners would know what she meant and had Luther heard this little conversation, he would have known what grandma meant and the mule would probably have known it too. But Luther would probably have stopped and talked about the weather or such for a minute and then gone on his way without having his feelings hurt too much. Now, if a stranger had done something foolish, grandma would have said in plain words that he was stupid, but probably not when he could hear her. This is a way the south differs from the rest of the country. Had a non-southerner heard her say it, he would have thought she was feeling sorry for poor old Luther for making a bad purchase of the mule. If grandma had said “Well bless his heart”, adding the word “well” would have made a difference; she would be sympathetic. If you are not from the south but are planning to travel the back roads here, be aware that language can have a different meaning for the native people than what you think you heard; our South is a world unto its own.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on December 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I appreciate that my American friend is a southerner. I must admit I didn’t expect it in past but it’s really great. Thanks for the explanation.

    • I’m not so much a true southerner as I am a hillbilly but we talk about the same.
      Thanks, Jola. 🙂

  2. Have you seen snow flakes on WP? Beautiful. 🙂

    • Yep, I am looking at the snowflakes right now. The PC is best place for snow. 🙂
      Thanks, my friend. 🙂

  3. Puk, puk. Where are you.? I’m knocking at your door. 😉

  4. I am hopping about here and there trying to get caught up; bed rest ain’t much fun when there is too much of it. 🙂

  5. I love the phrase “Bless his heart”. Truly a southern saying. I can be quite different traveling the back roads and talking with people.

    • Another one used by my g.aunt was “Upon my honor” which she shortened much of the time to “Well upon” or “Upon”.
      Thanks, Mark.

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