Things Only Alabama Moms Say To Their Daughters

It’s called “sweet home” for a reason, y’all.

<p><a href="https://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?photographer=Mike%20Zarrilli"></a>Mike Zarrilli/Stringer/Getty Images</p>

Mike Zarrilli/Stringer/Getty Images

When it comes to things only Southern moms say to their daughters, there are plenty of familiar favorites. I can’t keep count of the amount of times I’ve heard, “don’t be ugly” uttered in my direction by my own mother. Lately, we’ve taken to the Southern Living Facebook page to poll our audience on topics like what their favorite long weekend destinations were in the past year and what classic Southern recipes they’ve actually never attempted to make from scratch. In order to narrow down some answers to a hyper-regional point of view, we recently posed this question: Calling all our friends from Alabama! What's something only an Alabama mom would say? The post racked up almost 1,500 comments. Below, we’re sharing the answers that were mentioned most often in those comments. It’s called “sweet home” for a reason, y’all.

Comments On State School Rivalries

The most popular answer to our question was, “Roll Tide,” which of course can’t be mentioned without its counterpart, “War Eagle.” There were plenty of other mentions of the University of Alabama and Auburn University, though. Responses like, “You can’t date him, he’s an Auburn fan!” made us chuckle, and “Who plans their wedding during the Iron Bowl?” was a staff favorite.

“Little” Makeup Tips

Author Shellie Rushing Tomlinson said, “Southern Mamas are known for being subtle, like a freight train,” and that about sums up how Alabama mamas mention makeup to their daughters. Though the sentiment is obvious: “Go put on some makeup, girl! You’re clearly in need of it right now,” the delivery is practically dripping with cane sugar. About to run out the door? “Don’t you want to put on a little lipstick?” Having a bad day? “You’ll feel better if you put a little lipstick on.” Leaving for a party? “Well, your cheeks could use a little color.” Suggesting a little of this and a little of that (most often lipstick and blush) are Mama’s polite, totally transparent way of saying, “go put a full face of makeup on, honey.”

Blessings And Exclamations

Charleston might be the Holy City because of all the beautiful steeples that dot its skyline, but Alabama is the heart of the Bible Belt. Though it’s frowned upon to take the Lord’s name in vain, the Alabama moms in our Facebook comment section get around that with a little linguistic creativity. Hundreds of commenters mentioned phrases like, “Lawd have mercy,” and “good Lawd,” with a phonetic spelling that only a Southerner would understand. Other common phrases mentioned were “bless your heart” and “bless it.”

Weather Talk

Everyone talks about the weather, but in Alabama, that can mean something wildly different between the morning and afternoon. As one commenter put it, “It’s below freezing this morning, so put your jacket on, but be sure to put it in your backpack and bring it home after school because it’ll be in the 70s and you won’t need it.” And another: “Don’t forget to get your flip flops and your coat.” But you can’t mention weather in Alabama without someone bringing up famed local meteorologist James Spann. Our favorite phrases were, “respect the polygon” and “Oh no! James Spann just rolled his sleeves up.” 

You never quite know what Mama is going to say, whether on the Lord’s day, during a tornado watch, or at the makeup counter.

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