Southern Insults 101: Things Your Mama Taught You

Though Scarlett O’Hara is the kind of woman many Southern girls aspire to be, there were times even she struggled with the proper Southern insults. It’s a tricky business coming up with just the right cutting line. In a fight with Ashley Wilkes, she bursts out, “I can’t think of anything bad enough to call you!” Now, that’s just plain lazy on her part. There are always options for name-calling.

Later, when she’s insulted by Rhett Butler, she does her level best to hit him where it hurts, “Sir, you are no gentleman.” That probably would have been enough to cut your average fellow, but Rhett was an above average guy who quickly returned fire, “And you, Miss, are no lady.”

Fortunately, time goes on and Southerners have become more creative with their swearing. I don’t mean four-letter words, although used properly, those can pack a punch. There are certain times when letting something fly is terribly liberating. But any fool who made it through a middle school locker room can use those words. Southerners are possessed of what I like to call, “nice meanness.” If you wrote the words anyone used down on paper, it would look just fine. But delivered with the right inflection, they are devastating.

Bless your heart

If your children make it past third grade and do not yet understand that this is the lead-in to some of the most vile insults, they are not going far in life. If you attach some version of this phrase to even the most dreadful of insults, it’s totally fine to say.

Bless his heart, he is dumb as a sack of rocks. 

Bless her heart, she has no fashion sense at all. 

Adding “cotton-picking” or “pea-picking” to the phrase is typically a double insult.

Bless your cotton-picking heart, you really have no idea how this works, do you?

God love ‘em

This is used similarly to “bless your heart.” It softens the blow on harsh statements.

God love him, he’s a little slow on the uptake. 

She is dressed like a $10 Memphis whore, God love her. 

I’ll pray for you

This is often used after someone makes a totally insane assertion or is about to make a terrible decision.

Them: I’ve decided to quit my job to pursue a career as a trapeze performer.

You: I’ll pray for you. 

How nice for you

This response is usually prompted when someone makes a claim to be higher than his actual station in life or expresses interest in something no one else can fathom why that’s exciting.

Him: I have the largest earthworm collection west of the Mississippi.

You: How nice for you.

Her: I’m a writer. I’ve kept a journal every day since second grade.

You: How nice for you. 


If you can’t say something nice, use words that say nothing at all.

That sweater sure is memorable. 

That’s an interesting way to decorate your home. 

You know, I would have never thought to color my hair quite that shade. You’re so creative. 

That movie sure was different. 

Thank you for Sharing

There’s always that guy. The one who gives WAY too much personal information when you’ve only just met one another or the gal who gives details far beyond what you need to hear while eating.

Him: You know, they said that rash was incurable, but what do they know. I haven’t had any itching…you know…down there…since I started seeing the psychic.

You: Well…thank you for sharing. 

I’m Just Sayin'…

This particular phrase is used quite often by mamas trying to talk their children out of poor decisions.

I realize dying your hair purple before a job interview seems like a way to stand out from the crowd. I’m just sayin… I’m not sure this company is looking for employees with Easter egg colored hair. 

Of course, if none of these insults are appropriate for the particular situation you’re in, never fear. The icy cold, unflinching stare is enough to make any mortal rethink the idea that the South is a warm climate.

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Brittany and Jason Aldean's Maternity Pics are the Sweetest

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Memphis Aldine Williams is expected to make his debut in December and judging by how much his mom and dad love each other, he's going to be covered in love the second he arrives. He's also got a pretty cool room to come home to, too.

A few weeks ago, Jason shared how the couple came up with the unique name, "I've kinda been infatuated with Elvis since I was a kid, just always watching documentaries and stuff on him. It had a little bit to do with that and, honestly, I just wanted him to have something that wasn't very common. I'm sure he's gonna meet people with the name Memphis—he won't be the only one, but, you know, at least I think it's unique enough where . . . it won't be like Michael or John or, you know, Jason. And that was kinda what we were going for."

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Ryan asked the couple if any pranks occurred between them when out on the road. Faith had a story of a prank, but it occurred at home, not on the road.

"I do not like scary moves at all," Faith said. "We watch scary movies sometimes because our girls want to, and he scares me in the house.

"I like to hide in the hallways," Tim says.

"It is beyond, more than evil. When I was pregnant with Gracie our first daughter," Faith continued.

Tim, who knew which story she was going to tell interjected saying, "This almost made the marriage end."

"You were almost dead," Faith assured him. "He hid underneath the bed and I went to get into the bed and he grabbed my ankles. I was eight months pregnant. I should've just gone like bam and let it all go. That was too much."

"She hit me," Tim responded. "She punched me. She's got a good right hook too, I'll tell ya."

Deservedly so Tim, deservedly so.

You can hear Faith's scare story at the 2:30 mark in the video.


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