9 things only Southerners say

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Josh Katz, “Speaking American”

Southern Americans are well known for their distinctive dialect of English.

From its country twang to its unique vocabulary, there is a lot that sets Southern English apart from other US dialects.

Graphic designer Joshua Katz mapped some of the most distinctive elements of Southern English in 2013 using data from the Harvard Dialect Survey of the early 2000s.

Here are nine things you’ll only hear in the South.


In the South, people refer to groups of two or more as “y’all” instead of “you guys.”

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Josh Katz, “Speaking American”

Southerners also say “coke” as a generic term for carbonated drinks instead of soda or pop.

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Josh Katz, “Speaking American”

People along the Gulf Coast are the most likely to say “crawfish.”

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Josh Katz, “Speaking American”

Many Southerners eat “pick-AHN” pie.

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Joshua Katz

And when it comes to coleslaw, Southerners just call it slaw.

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Joshua Katz

Southerners pronounce the “law” in “lawyer.”

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Joshua Katz

People from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have a grim idiom for when it’s sunny and rainy at the same time.

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Joshua Katz

Some in the South have different words for a small road next to the highway, including “access road” and “feeder road” in Texas.

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Joshua Katz

And on Halloween, Southerners don’t “TP” people’s houses — according to the survey, they call it “rolling.”

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Joshua Katz