View Full Version : Rules for Southern Girls

July 10th, 2015, 09:11 AM
Now, some of you may know that my mama was truly a southern girl from Richmond, Virginia. I was definitely exposed to these rules for southern women at a very early age. Having moved to Richmond during elementary school years, yes m'am and no sir were not easy for me to remember. I have vivid memories of my teachers reprimanding me for not addressing them in this manner. When we moved back up north I was laughed at in school for saying yes m'am and no sir. One learns to adapt.

I'm sure Mom had a difficult time when I went off to college and came home with long hair parted down the middle, no makeup, and not the least bit interested in wearing anything other than blue jeans and t-shirts. My sis, on the other hand, was and still is a firm believer in a number of the rules. Click on this link and you'll understand what I'm talking about.


July 10th, 2015, 09:34 AM
We moved from NY to NC 20 years ago and we have learned a lot of these over time! We have laughed over the differences in culture, and the expressions that often required an interpreter!! But " bless her heart" is probably our favorite!!

Navy Wife
July 10th, 2015, 09:40 AM
I haven't seen one of the Rules of Southern Women in a long time! I am from the deep south (GA) and I was taught this from the time I could toddle around. I was also a child of the 40;s and 50's, so the Rules were really important. Today's young people would probably roll their eyes and laugh!

July 10th, 2015, 09:40 AM
A number of years ago, I was in church with Mom and my sis. One of the gentleman parishoners leaned over and quietly said to me that the ladies "in our church" wear skirts and dresses. hahaha I rarely ever wear either but I'm always dressed up for church. It's a good thing I have a sense of humor or I might've given him a piece of my mind. I, however, ignored him and maintained my ladylike demeanor. I made sure NEVER to wear a skirt or a dress to their church just for his benefit. hahaha

Granny Fran
July 10th, 2015, 10:05 AM
This so reminds me of the time we first went to Florida from southern California. My folks are from NY City and this is how a conversation went with a neighbor:

Neighbor: Honey, you talk so fast I can hardly keep up with you.

Mom: Well, you talk so slow I could take a nap.

Some of my best memories are the years we spent in the south.

Navy Wife
July 10th, 2015, 11:38 AM
There are places where the South is like another world!

July 11th, 2015, 03:01 AM
we could use some of those rules here today.

July 11th, 2015, 03:52 AM
I grew up in a small NC town in the 50/60s. Yes ma'm, no sir was so ingrained in me I even used it with the kids when I taught. They would give me some strange looks at times. I will say that the mid century South did teach respect, something we could use a good dose of today.

I still remember the skirts with crinolines we wore...crinolines were itchy little creatures. White socks and saddle Oxford shoes. No white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day. Had to wear skirts all through high school and first year of college. Never had a pair of jeans until college. Church meant not only dresses, but hats and white gloves.

Sweet ice tea was the beverage of preference. Fried chicken was a major food staple. We made Hand churned peach ice cream all through the summer. A snowflake was major excitement during the winter and three of those flakes would close school and shut the town down for several days. It was major trauma if you couldn't get to the grocery store to get milk and bread. And,oh, how exciting if you actually got enough snow to sled!

"Ya'll come and visit now!" was the refrain any time you saw people. Everyone knew the genealogy of the entire town and the older ones could sit for hours and tell you all about your aunt (pronounced "ant") and their cousin twice removed. Accents were fairly localized and one could pretty much tell what area of the South you were from by the amount of drawl and certain pronunciations.

I will always be proud of my Southern heritage.

July 11th, 2015, 05:35 AM
I really enjoyed reading your post to Joe, Connie! It touched my heart and got me all teary at the end. Memories!

July 11th, 2015, 06:17 PM
Well, y'all know I am from the South and proud of my heritage as well. I have a Yankee Momma (bless her heart) but after being married to my Daddy for 65 years and living "down" here all her life, she still has that NY accent (another bless her heart).

I can certainly reflect Connie's comments. I live in a town that was once 3 little towns that consolidated back in the 60's. You always could tell where a person came from by their accent. And let me tell you, their social status was determined if they lived in Leaksville, Spray or Draper. Those from Draper back in the day were from the other side of the tracks and determined to be ruffians at best, trash at worst. Those from Spray were hard working, just above Draper folks and Leaksvilles was where the high faluting folks lived. It isn't that way any longer but I can still tell a Draper person from how they talk. They can talk any one syllable word and make at least 3 syllables out of it.
I have lived all over the South and yep, accents are different! When I lived in California people would say "Say Yall" "You must be from Georgia." "What are grits?"

July 11th, 2015, 06:31 PM
I'm from Pennsylvania and live in Ohio, but my hubby is from Mississippi, so I can certainly relate. It was always a struggle when our son was small to get him to understand that when visiting his MS grandparents he needed to use "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am" for all adults, but not when at home.

July 11th, 2015, 06:57 PM
I'm born and raised in Kentucky and I still make bread and milk runs when snow is predicted. LOL! I was taught to call unrelated elders by their first names ONLY if I added "Ms." or "Mr." in front of it...Ms. Orpha and Mr. Carson ran the local country store. Aunts and uncles were referred to as such. I was shocked when I heard DH calling his aunts and uncles by their first names without adding "aunt" (pronounced "ant") or "uncle".

Iris Girl
July 11th, 2015, 08:02 PM
I am born and raised in Lower Hudson Valley New York and my Momma was born and raised here from country farm folk.(something my jersey boy hubby does not understand. To him farm family means commercial farm. To me it means what my momma grew up in growing your fruits and veggies and crops, canning, jelly making etc.Raising your own chickens, cows,pigs.) I was always taught to say yes sir and yes ma'am, Always called my aunts ( pronounced ant) and uncles aunt so and so or uncle so and so . Church was a dress up affair with something on your head and white gloves. White shoes were worn between memorial day and labor day. We still go for bread, milk and eggs when a storm is coming even though we could walk to the store if need be.