Ya’ll’d’ve Done it Different: How I Define the South


I saw a post recently on Tumblr that stated only in the south would a monstrosity like ya’ll’d’ve be both used normally and considered grammatically ‘correct’. Another one I really like? All ya’ll, because ya’ll isn’t plural enough. This is a side note, which might not be the best way to start a post, but I enjoyed the humor.

I’ve been meaning to write a post on how I define the south, since it is after all part of my URL. Anna Down South was not chosen just because I love the south, but because the south is a big part of my identity. This blog was never meant to be a travel blog where I post all the southern hot spots or a place where I only talked about southern topics, it was supposed to be a lifestyle blog, and I just happened to feel like my lifestyle was southern enough for the name.

So how does one define the south?

I’ve always thought one of the main definers as hospitality. Everyone has heard of southern hospitality and though I can’t say I think of it too much when I’m at home I notice it when I’m gone. In New York you don’t talk to people while waiting for the cross walks and it’s not as common to have all your neighbors in your business and to find yourself waist deep in theirs. In Europe I remember being told how incredibly rude it was to talk to strangers on an elevator. I had never heard anything like that. I find it rude to not make small talk with everyone and anyone. (Also Europeans think we are way too loud in general. They just want us to stop talking and for someone who is loud to loud people, it’s roughhh man.)

I was raised on 90’s Tim McGraw and have always been close to my family. We believe that butter and bacon grease are key to most recipes. I spend more time barefoot then in shoes and half my winter shoes are cowboy boots. My favorite scents are honeysuckle and magnolia. My sister was a debutante. I went to cotillion in fifth grade to learn to dance and have even more manners than I was raised with (read a lot), and though a certain little boy flipped me on my back instead of spinning me during a song, I can’t think of anything more southern than cotillion. The south isn’t just a location it’s a culture, and that’s hard to argue.

Normally when defining the south people start asking about the difference between the country and the southern cities. I do feel like I cheated a little bit on this one, because I feel like I’ve been exposed to the country culture without being fully in it. I was raised in a more suburb area. I’m in city limits, but GSO isn’t exactly a big city anyways and we have the lawns and the quite neighborhood without the traffic. But I spend three days a week out in the outskirts on the horses back. I competed in a rodeo sport growing up and still actively practice it. I own prize belt buckles, people! Both sets of grandparents lived in the same small town growing up that couldn’t be defined as anything but small. I’ve gotten a bit of a mix of it throughout my life. Someone asked my if I was a city girl or a country girl on a dating site recently (and I’ve been asked that a few times on there weirdly enough) and I answered a suburbs girl because I didn’t really know the answer.

Southern can be defined as just the country, but to say you can define it as that is ignoring the country side up north and pretending like cities like Atlanta don’t exist. Southern culture is more than that and there are more type of southerners than rednecks and debs. I titled this that saying that ya’ll’d’ve probably defined it differently because I feel like everyone I talk to does. The south is so full and that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. I’ll always claim it because I can’t imagine living anywhere else. This Carolina girl is here to stay.

4 thoughts on “Ya’ll’d’ve Done it Different: How I Define the South

  1. live_a_life_less_ordinary says:

    I like this. I love how there are so many subcultures within the USA that most people never get to experience. I spent four months traveling in 2005, and discovering all those little differences about different parts of the country was an amazing experience.

    I, on the other hand, have a love-hate relationship with my home state. There are times I wished I lived somewhere else that made more sense, and there are times when I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. (I wrote about that once, in fact: https://highwaypi.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/exit-20-california-knows-how-to-party)

    Liked by 1 person

    • annadownsouth says:

      I really would love to see more of the US, I got lucky to travel overseas a fair amount but the rest of my traveling has been very close to home. I’ve never been to the west coast other than my trip to Alaska. There are sooo many different cultures, and I want to know more about them. I think it’s really interesting how much culture can be in one country, even within the south there are a lot of different ones. I am a home body though, always have been. Carolina girl through and through. Every time I leave I find myself wanting to come back at the end of the trip!

      Liked by 1 person

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