People that come from the North may not ever fully comprehend the way that people in the South do things, but the South proudly stays steadfast in their traditions. Here are 18 things so inherently Southern that people from the North struggle to fully understand. 

Using The Term “Y’all”

If you have ever been to the South or know a Southerner then you most definitely have heard them say Y’all, and probably more than once.

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It’s such a commonly used phrase that they even have it embroidered into pillows at the Cracker Barrel.

Drinking Sweet Tea

It isn’t uncommon to drink iced tea without sugar in the North, but in the South you don’t really get an option the sugar is brewed right in with the tea.

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Perhaps all that sugar is why southerners are known for being so dang sweet.

Listening To Country Music

Over the years country music has gained ground all over the country and even the world.

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But country music is deeply ingrained into southern culture. It’s as much a part of their identity as sweet tea and y’all.

College Football

College football is a popular sport amongst most colleges, however, in the South football is more like a religion to them. Doesn’t matter if you attended college or not.

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“On the East Coast, football is a cultural experience. In the Midwest, it’s a form of cannibalism. On the West Coast, it’s a tourist attraction. And in the South, football is a religion, and Saturday is the holy day,” says Hall of Famer Marino Casem.


Some may say that the South is a little more on the preppy side of things, and there is no denying that southerners thoroughly enjoy their monograms.

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They will monogram just about anything, from their bags to their napkins. There really isn’t anything that a southerner wont throw their initials on.

Varieties Of BBQ

If you mention BBQ in the North people may think you are talking about a get together involving some hot dogs and hamburgers. But when it comes to BBQ people from the South know their stuff, and there is nothing quite like authentic southern BBQ.

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The most unique thing about their cuisine is that each region of the South has their own specific way of BBQing, making each eatery experience a special treat.

The Phrase “Bless Your Heart

Southerners are bred to be overly politie, so much so that even their insults sound as sweet as sugar.

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When someone says “Bless your heart” you may be inclined to think that they are saying it to convey sympathy, but when coming from a southerner they are most likely saying it as an insult. They are typically trying to convey contempt, derision or condescension.

Fried Food

To southerners fried food is an everyday staple, not just something you experience when you go to the local county fair.

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Due South Media says, “The fact that this type of preservation also seasoned the food, making it delicious, was nothing more than a glorious and happy accident. The hallmarks of Southern cooking, as it turns out, were born from survival techniques-frying and salted meats kept people alive.”

Using Your Manners

Using your manners should be commonplace wherever you go, unfortunately chivalry isn’t alive and well across all regions.

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In the South they are taught from a very young age to be more than courteous, address people by ‘yes, ma’am’; ‘no, ma’am’; ‘thank you, ma’am.’ Open and hold doors open for people, take your hat off when you enter an indoor space, and always have snacks and beverages ready to serve just in case a friend stops by.

Practicing Religion

Differences emerged in the states during the revivalist movement, and as a result different religions presented themselves.

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It is pretty common to see evangelical sects in the South and West, but in the North you are more likely to come across Episcopalian, Presbyterian, or Unitarian denominations. Some think this is a result of the South and West having fewer opportunities for advancement, whereas the North had a better economical situation, leading to these differences in religious denominations.

Passing Down Heirloom Furniture

When you walk into a southern home you are most likely going to find an old rocking chair or vintage clock that belonged to their grandma or great auntie. Southerners pride themselves in family traditions, and passing down family heirloom furniture is not exempt from this.

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Family and family traditions truly are at the heart of every southerner, so it’s no surprise that they like to hang on to sentimental furniture items.

Snow Days

When the snow hits the schools shut down, whether it’s one inch or ten the schools shut down completely.

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Typically stores and just about everything else will follow suit. Southerners are simply not accustomed to snow like northerners are, and if it hits life goes to a standstill.

Wearing Cowboy Boots

Cowboy boots are just about as southern as you can get, it’s become part of the interwoven fabric that gives the south its charm.

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From line dancing to hanging on your front porch, cowboy boots encapsulate the essence that is the South. Nothing says country more than a pair of stylish cowboy boots, so darlin slide into a pair and let your inner southerner radiate!

Using A Cast-Iron Skillet

A cast-iron skillet is a standard in every southern household, and honestly I don’t blame them because you can use it to cook just about everything!

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It can be used to bake, roast, and as an ordinary skillet. It’s often an item that is passed down through the generations, seasoned over time to absolute perfection. Whatever you do, do NOT put this in your dishwasher, you may be exiled by every southerner you know for doing so.

White Shoes

Gen Z might scoff at this one, but white tennis shoes are everywhere in the South.

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The only rule in the South? You absolutely do not wear white shoes because Easter rolls around.

Capturing Lightning Bugs

On a warm southern night you can count on seeing children running around with their glass jars trying to catch lightning bugs, also known as fireflies.

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Only southern children understand the true joy of capturing and watching these unique creatures light up. Interesting fact about fireflies: they each have their own unique flash patterns, and it varies greatly between regions and species.

Funeral Processions

Like I said, southerners are innately politie. A funeral procession is no exception, and in the South if you see a funeral procession coming your way you pull over to the side and let it pass.

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Northerners tend to be more caught up in the daily hustle and bustle, sometimes not allowing them to pay any mind to the mourners trying to pass them.

Debutante Balls

Many northerners may not have even heard of this one, but a debutante ball (also known as a coming-out party) is a formal ball that consists of presenting debutantes during the social season, typically during the spring or the summer.

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Debutante balls are a display of proper etiquette and morals, and a very common practice in the South.