Miscellaneous Rumbles

Now about these US regional accents and experssions…

1

My wife is writing a novel set in the USA and one of the bad guys is from the south - maybe Louisiana. She needs him to say something which is particularly souther in his menacing of our hero - her agent has said that just saying "y'all" is not southern enough!

So what could our bad, bad man say which gives him away as southern? I doubt he'll be fixin' some vittles... We don't need anything too obscure, just southern without a doubt. So wotcha got?

3

Look up an old comedian named Justin Wilson if you want a true Louisiana Cajun accent. There ought to be plenty of videos and such from him, tho I mostly remember the LPs. Clean and funny!

4

He won't be fixin' some vittles, but he might be fixin' to kill him right quick. Also, if the bad guy is from Louisiana, he might be referred to as a Coon Ass:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

(I mean no disrespect with the term... whether anyone reading this looks at as a pejorative or a badge of honor. Merely as a suggestion as to what some characters in a work of fiction might refer to other characters in a work of fiction as... Have I sufficiently covered myself here? ).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

See the grammar and vocabulary section of the above Wikipedia entry. Also a trip to New Orleans and drive through that part of the US might help.

Source: I'm a California native living and loving it in San Antonio, Texas for the last 10 1/2 years.

5

Man Louisiana's a big place with quite a few regional dialects of its own, but I'll try to summarize.

Go down to Acadiana and people be talking like that fella from the Waterboy (maybe Coach O from LSU would be an accessible example, YouTube him), with bits of mispronounced French mixed in. Get up north of i10 (in the 'leg of the boot' if you will) and I'd say it's the pretty standard Deep South slow drawl (maybe like ole G W Bush used to put on) you might expect from movies/TV. Parts of New Orleans of course have that weird Brooklyn-mixed-with-who-knows-what 'yat' accent (listen to Dr. John speak).

And that's just the white people.

6

Also what Wabash said... Also, although the Duck Dynasty guys play it stupid, they are all pretty savvy businessmen. Having said that, some of their colloquialisms would be worth studying. Note: they are from up in West Monroe (northern part of Louisiana).

7

I'll tell you what...I have travelled outside the south a bit and nobody who is not from here says y'all, or all y'all.

8

"Might could" and "might should" are a couple I didn't know existed until I moved to the south

9

I'll tell you what...I have travelled outside the south a bit and nobody who is not from here says y'all, or all y'all.

– Deed Eddy

I like when they say You'uns instead of Y'all

10

My wife is writing a novel set in the USA and one of the bad guys is from the south - maybe Louisiana. She needs him to say something which is particularly souther in his menacing of our hero - her agent has said that just saying "y'all" is not southern enough!

So what could our bad, bad man say which gives him away as southern? I doubt he'll be fixin' some vittles... We don't need anything too obscure, just southern without a doubt. So wotcha got?

– JimmyR

Make sure when he talks to a lady he calls her "sugar britches" loosely translates to (hot pants, sweet ass, etc)

11

Rather curious as where you and your wife live, JimmyR? And Billy D, you've seen too many Matthew McConnaghey filmswhich is a good idea actually. He is brilliant whether playing a good guy, bad guy, heroic, horrifying, or totally charming Southern man. Alriiiight, alriiight, alriiight.

Sorry, I digress.

12

i was so nervous you couldn't have pulled a knitting needle out of my ass with a tractor

13

I haven't heard that tractor reference since basic training--- but it referenced one's head instead of a knitting needle. Thank you, Sgt. Fox.

14

Hey Deed we're in Western Australia and my wife's agent is in Georgia. The agent says "y'all" is too general, but i agree with you.

Funny story (at least I thought it was funny) - way back in 1988 my wife and I were travelling through the US and stopped in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras. Had a great time and enjoyed the food. Anyway, we visited a little store which sold punk gear - Doc Martens, biker jackets (which was what we were wearing at the time!), union jack T-shirts, all very London punk. The clerk came up to us, with a mohawk hairdo, rolled up jeans straight off the King's Road Chelsea, union jacks everywhere...and says "How're y'all doin'?" It was all a little incongruous!

Strangely enough we watched Killer Joe last night, with Matthew McConnaghey as Killer Joe. He was amazing. In fact the casting in that movie was brilliant. It was especially interesting for us as a friend of ours had directed the play Killer Joe here 15-20 years ago, and I did the promotion photography.

Thanks for the input everyone!

15

"Dang queer." No sexual orientation connotation. Just something I heard somewhat often when I lived in Texas that I found amusing. It was always meant in the true sense of the word queer, i.e., peculiar. But it would serve you stated purpose. I doubt you'd ever hear anybody north of the Mason-Dixon Line say he words "dang queer."

BTW, it might not have been particularly colorful, but y'all was right on the mark.

16

Dang queer sounds perfect.

Actually I remember someone saying "hot dang!" when I was in New Orleans or somewhere around there once. Is "scuttlebutt" more Texas than Louisiana?

17

Scuttlebutt isn't uniquely southern. It's kind of country, and definitely old-timey, but I remember people of my grandparents generation in the midwest using that word when I was a kid. Then again, I think old-timey, country slang has a longer shelf life in the south, so maybe it is southern slang now. I don't know.

18

Scuttlebutt? If you're in the Navy, yes. Not a word you hear regularly these days. Certainly not southern. It means "gossip, the latest news, the inside story".

19

The problem with the original question is this. What kind of man are we talking about? Is this bad, bad man an educated man? A spiritual man? Would he quote the Bible, or Jo-El Sonnier? What's your vision of this man, because the stereotypical southerner is just that...a stereotype, nearly a cartoon character. It would surely be nice to switch that up a bit, for a change. Don't y'all think?

20

For Southern accents, watch "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?". "Cool Hand Luke" is another one. Deed's right---there are many different Southern accents.

Scuttlebutt is a Navy term that goes back to sailing days. A butt is a keg that water was stored in. Like around the office water cooler, scuttlebutt simply means gossip.

21

otter pretty much got it. Watch Swamp People on history channel for a reference of the Cajun accent. They mix in French words or saying quite a bit. North LA is pretty much typical Southern accent.

22

What Deed said...

Also, what is his background? If he was former military, there might be military slang that he uses, but is not southern.

23

Speaking of Matthew McConnaghey and Killer Joe...Duane produced Lee Hazlewood's version of These Boots Are Made for Walkin', which is in that film.

Small world, eh? Also, we were in Perth in 1976. Loved it!

24

I'm from coastal Southern California but currently living in a small college town in rural Mississippi for about 5 years now. I've heard the expression "that boy needs to get his mind right." a couple of times. I once heard during a cloudburst "It's coming down like a double cunted cow peeing on a flat rock" My impression so far is that law enforcement here is more often about generating revenue and keeping a certain segment of the population repressed.


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