A Smatterin’ of Suthen

Vector cartoon illustration of a country banjo player

Got a call from a friend who was born Alabama and after a brief stay up in the northern climate went right back to his roots in Alabama. This brought some memories of a trip Brunhilda and I went down to see him. I believe it was in 1999 because that was the year that Atlanta played Denver in the Super Bowl.

I don’t know many foreign languages, I took a semester of Spanish in college and my mother spoke German to many of her friends and to her parents. But I probably just know how to great people in both and that is the extent of it. But I didn’t realize that Suthen (Southern) is a whole different language. This was hammered home to me when my host had a barbeque in his expansive patio and invited a few neighbors.

(Now, I will put the phrases and sentences in Italics and follow it with the translation.)

A man came up to me shook my hand and asked me this:

“Dij yawl fla inna Bumminham this moanin’ awe inta Mow-beel?”

At first, I couldn’t must muster more than “Huh.” But after about the third time I got it.

Translation: “Did you fly into Birmingham this morning or into Mobile.” I told him that I had flown all the way from Bismarck, ND and landed in Mobile.

Wahl, that be a right smart ways up Nawth, idinit? Ah spect et’s prolly phasin’ thar. You must be tarred en standin’ in need if a mess ah that thar bobbycue. Yawl need sumpin’ to et otha them thar airplane goobers. Ah’m a headin over yonder ways and afixen’ to have a mess of them banes and bald aigs. I might could ya back sumpin.

Translation: “That is a long way North, isn’t it? I expect it is probably freezing there. You must be tired and would like a helping of barbeque. You need something to eat other than those airline peanuts. I am going over there now for a large helping of beans and boiled eggs. Would you like me to bring you some?”

“How ‘bout that Etlanna team yonder there in Jawja? I be leavin’ my bidness with am awfis hep and heading toreckly for the Supa Bow where I got ‘n idy those good ole boys from Etlanna gonna break bad and put a case o’ whoop-ass on them Denva’ boys and leave ‘em everwhichaways”

Translation:  “How about that Atlanta team over there in Georgia? I will be leaving my business with my office help and going directly to the Super Bowl where I have an idea that the guys from Atlanta are going to get tough and beat Denver and leave them scattered about.”

“Bubba, go on’n hep aint Lulu with that far. She too swimmy headed to see to it. Whatsa matta, Boy, ain’t ya fetched up right? And feed that dawg a bit ‘o that bobbycue, we got gracious plenty. Then put him away summers, there’s comin; up a cloud.”

Translation:  “Bubba, go help your aunt Lulu with the fire. She is a bit too tipsy to do it. Weren’t you raised well? Then feed the dog some the barbeque, there is more than enough, then put the dog away somewhere, it looks like rain.”

And so gentle readers;  I got me a hanker for the catfish thet’s sittin’ on the  table, and there is gracious plenty, I’ll be fixin’ to jaw with ya’ later.

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