The Southern Writer’s Dictionary

As a southern writer who uses southern vernacular in her writing, I often wonder if readers are confused by some of the words I use. Well, that confusion ends today! I have compiled a list of a few words and phrases southern writers often use to aid non-southern readers who pick up our books. Behold, the Southern Writer Dictionary!


Ain’t: (Contraction) Slang for “am not” or “is not”.

‘Backer: (Noun) Slang term for tobacco.

Boot: (Noun) Another word for a vehicle’s trunk.

Britches: (Noun) Another word for pants; usually men’s pants.

Chaw: (Noun) Slang for chewing tobacco and/or tobacco dip.

Chicken and Pastry: (Noun) Another way of saying chicken and dumplings.

Dag on: (Phrase) Another way to express dang or darn.

Fly Flap: (Noun) Another word for fly swatter

Four-Wheeler: (Noun) What most people in the South call a four-wheel-drive ATV.

Miss Priss: (Noun) Nickname for a snooty/preppy female.

Nabs: (Noun) A slang (mostly in North Carolina) term for orange Lance snack crackers.

Pecan: (Noun) (Pronunciation: Pee-can) A type of nut, typically pronounced as pi-caan by others.

Porch: (Noun) Another word for a home’s stoop.

Shug: (Noun) An affectionate nickname for someone (usually a female) | Short for the word sugar.

Slaw: (Noun) Short for coleslaw; usually paired with pulled pork (eastern NC style barbecue) on a sandwich.

Wallago: (Phrase) A verbal slang for “a while ago”; can mean any length of time.

Y’all: (Noun) Slang for “you all”; can mean two or more people. “All y’all” means a large group.

Youngin: (Noun) Slang combination of “young one”; another word for child or kid. | Plural form: Youngins.

What other words can you think to add to the Southern Writer’s Dictionary? Let me know in the comments!

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Posted by

As an author and blogger, my goal is to teach writers that there is a way to write realistic, thought-provoking, redemptive Christian fiction that honors God while not sugarcoating the realities of the world. 

11 thoughts on “The Southern Writer’s Dictionary

  1. This is funny and helpful! When I first read “Can’t Beat the Heart…” it took me a few times of seeing Shug to figure out it must be short for Sugar. I’m from Wisconsin, so even though I love pretending to have a southern accent, the terms are not all familiar 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s