Nothing says your Southern Mama failed in raising you like a bunch of tacky sayings coming out of your mouth, especially in front of the preacher’s wife. It makes the whole family look bad. And it makes Mama doubt whether you will EVER be worthy of Great-Aunt Aurelia’s sterling.
We polled our Facebook Brain Trust to find out which words and phrases were guaranteed to get them in hot water. They came up with 15, but we’d be willing to bet you can add to their list.
Herewith, the deadly expressions guaranteed to get you on Mama’s bad side in a hurry. (Actually, we’re already in trouble because we used the “h” word in our headline):
- “Cuss words unless they’re turned into Southernisms, like ‘hell’s bells,’ thereby neutralizing the profanity.”
- “Any crass or even overt mention of bodily functions, particularly those involved with reproduction—human, animal, or botanical. Mama had a sweet neighbor who made my cousin and me turn our backs to her lilies while she cross-pollinated them.”
- “‘Uh-huh' or ‘unh-unh.' Those two are like fingernails to a chalkboard.”
- “Saying ‘what?’ instead of ‘ma’am?’”
- “‘Yes’ or ‘no’ without the obligatory ‘ma’am’ following.”
- “Saying that something ‘sucks.’ #sorrymama”
- “‘Hate." We weren’t allowed to say that word.”
- “We couldn’t say ‘hate.’ We had to say ‘strongly dislike’ and qualify it. This is making me realize how much I DO sound like my mother and grandmother!”
- “‘Ain’t and cain’t." The former is poor grammar; the latter is both poor grammar and an excuse for laziness.”
- “‘I can’t!' The response was always, ‘Can’t never could do anything.’”
- “Maybe because I was raised in the 80s, I wasn’t allowed to say ‘like.’ As in, ‘Like, I was going over there, and like, it was really far, and like I got tired, and like . . .”
- “I made the mistake of saying ‘crap’ in front of Mother once. It never happened again.”
- “‘Shut up.' My mother can’t stand that. Also, she insists that her kids and grandkids tell her EVERYTHING even though they are now adults. And we’re expected to call every day.”
- “‘Stupid.' We never, ever use the word ‘stupid.’”
One of the quickest ways to straighten your face up is to put a little color on. Sure hope you've got some Wine With Everything in your pocketbook.