Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What Southern Mamas Say

Over the last week I've had playdates with a few diferent Southern Mamas. Being a transplant to the deep South, it's taken me a couple years to work words like "ya'll" into my everyday vocabulary. And I must say that it's very strange to say things like "ya'll want some coffee?" with "ya'll" being as Southern as can be, and my still distinct NY accent coming out on "coffee." Oh, and then throw in the long O's of the Pennsylvania Dutch accent I picked up in college. I'm a hot mess the say the least : ) So anyway...

There is one thing all Southern Mamas say to their daughters - and I have definitely picked up on over the last few months. And that is "No, ma'am!"

In the same vein as how "bless his/her heart" is used as a sweet, Southern way of saying "They're NUTS!,"   "No, Ma'am!" is a sweet was of disciplining our baby girls. It can be said gently as you take away something she shouldn't be playing with. It can be said with a slight tone paired with a hand slap if they take something that isn't theirs. Or, it can be used in full force with clenched teeth and the evil eye, when they've done something really bad - NO! MA'AM!!

You should try it. It's a great catchall for discipline, and you'll still sound sweet as a Georgia Peach while saying it. And if you're in the South, pay attention to how many times it's used at your next playdate. I lost track at the last few I've been at : )


  1. This made me last... I am from NJ, and yes I think that I have picked that up too.. I say it to my 5 year old all the time. And, even to the little one who is only 6 months.

  2. Hey y'all! I'm your neighbor two hours west in Alabama. I always giggle when I hear parents say "No Ma'am!" I know they're trying to get their little girl to stop whatever but it sounds funny hearing things like, "No ma'am, you will not pull your sister's hair!" or "No ma'am, we do not throw things." It sounds funny but I know when I have girls I'll say it to them and mean business.