Thursday, March 22, 2012

They call it sass in the South

You guys (y'all :)) know how much I love travel and especially how normal, everyday life is so different in the various parts of the world.

I only really got into accents when I went away to university as that was the first time I'd encountered people who spoke differently to me.

Well, apparently my accent was different back then but I got ragged (!) good and solid and so I speak slightly different these days. Actually without even thinking much about it.

But since then, my ear perks up to any linguistical nuances and if I'm feeling silly enough, I will even impersonate people (count yourself lucky if this ever happens as I've only ever done it for about 5 people outside of D and the kids).

By the way, today Julia sent me a text asking if I'd ever visited Kalk Bay in Cape Town because she was there and thought I'd love it. I started typing back but I'm so bad with that darn "querty" keyboard. And Julia, I DO love Kalk Bay.

The parents of very good friends of ours who now live in Aus lived in Kalk Bay for about 20 years. We'd visit whenever we were in Cape Town.

So I read Julia's text out loud to D and then suddenly launched into impersonating this lady. "Matthew, it's Mrs H. Do you have any of those lovely crunchy wholewheat rolls for me? Yes? I'll pop right over".

D thought it was hilarious and so did Kendra. She, especially, loves me doing accents for them, especially my "very correct" British one. So the three of us laughed and laughed. It was a good moment.

Mrs H used to shop at a Pick & Pay in another suburb just for their bread rolls. They were as passionate about their breads as I am, so I totally get it, but D thought it was funny at the time.

Back to the topic.

So again tonight, Julia sent me an email and I said "I must be the only person to say "supper" instead of "dinner" and she confessed that she actually also says "dinner" but just used supper when she wrote her email.

Do you call your evening meal dinner or supper?

And then sass.

I read a reference to "bold" in a book the other day and filed it away in my mental rolodex til today.

In Ireland, they call naughty kids "bold". As in, "Connor, stop being so bold" :)

Of course I call it naughty. Or I'd say "stop backchatting".

A friend calls it cheeky.

And I'm 100% sure they call it sass in the South.

What's your word for sassy kids?


  1. I'd say both dinner and supper. Here they say Tea...

    And I'd call it cheeky or naughty :-)

    1. Louisa9:46 pm

      We call it dinner...of meestal aandete. And when Nicola acts up I call her impossible/ridiculous/naughty...of stoutgat/wille wragtig/mcguyver/destructo. ;-)

  2. It depends on what kind of mood I am and what word pops into my mind first regarding Supper or Dinner.

  3. I say dinner now, but as a kid used to say supper (wonder when I made the transition).

    I usually say naughty or cheeky ( I find cheeky a bit more endearing that naughty so I use that more)

    Apparently in the South of US when they say something is "lovely" it's their polite way of saying it's awful or ugly (heard that on Say Yes to the dress) a lady from the South was breaking with tradition (every lady in her family got married in the same dress, all 6 of them and she the 'rebel' would not wear it; btw the dress they were all expected to wear was bought by her great grandmother I think) so she tried on a dress in NY and her mum and sister said lovely, the attendant was like great we are making progress, the lady had to explain to her that lovely is not good, so you can imagine the attendant's shock.... And then someone said a dress was se.xy (if only looks could kill)

  4. I interchange supper and dinner alot but probably use supper more than dinner.

    I tell the kids to stop backchatting or misbehaving or shouting or whatever - I have to be specific - they dont get "being naughty"

  5. I am from Virginia- we call dinner- dinner :)

    When my kids are back talking we call it being mouthy or back talking.

  6. We have a "naughty step" for time-out, but we just call it "acting out." I live in south Georgia (teaching high school) and there is always a whole lot of sass here.

    My favorite Southern saying is "bless her heart." This is equivalent to both feeling sorry and making fun of someone (because she doesn't think anything is wrong). As in: Did you see the pants she was wearing? Bless her heart.

  7. You know I came running to read this post when I saw the title! ;) I didn't know if you'd be 'fessing up to your spreadsheet...HA!

    I usually say "supper". "Dinner" to me is a Sunday affair...a big spread of food and family. Or, I'll use it to say, "We're going out to dinner." Again, I think it sounds more formal or fancy or something.

    And as for "sass"...I use my politically correct language and say, "You're really challenging Mommy right now." Or, "I need you to work on your attitude." Or, "Let's remember to be polite."


    Just read through the comments. I do hear "lovely" said sarcastically sometimes, but always with a sarcastic tone. I so agree with "Bless her heart"!!! It was be said at surface value, but it's usually a bit of a joke. ;)

    Can't wait for you to hear my accent!!! And vice-versa!!!

  8. If you ever visit Kalk Bay without visiting us I would consider it to be - forget: sass or bold - just plain outrageous!!! Folks often don't know where I come from, my father speaks afrikaans with an english accent, my mother speaks english with an afrikaans accent... and I have worked with lots of folk from the UK and my best friends are from the States - so lets just say... a typical South African mix of eclectic!!!

  9. We use supper and dinner somewhat interchangeably. Sunday lunch is "dinner" sometimes, and it just depends on my mood which word I use for the evening meal. I don't know that I say "sass" personally, but I certainly hear it often. I might say "smart mouthing" or "backtalking". I heard "Watch that smart mouth!" often during my teenage years! : )

    As a previous commenter said "lovely" doesn't always mean something good here...and "bless her heart" is a favorite phrase in our house!

  10. Oh all these southern belles with their "bless your heart"- I love it! Living in the middle state, I'm too nothern to be southern, and to southern to be norther in all aspects of life. I have a bit of a city dialect, which is horribly annoying to everyone outside the side(especially my husband). We say dinner, but usually in conversation we just ask what we want to eat.

    As for the children, I can't think of what I say. I don't think I really label the behavior, just work on fixing/correct/ etc. However when they are backtalk it's usually met with a very stern "EXCUSE ME"!

  11. This post is just too funny!

    I really don’t understand why you struggle with that querty. It’s like sending an sms from a keyboard. Pretend you are typing out an email and try to use both thumbs to see if it helps.

    Joshua has ALWAYS used dinner. Lance and I interchange dinner and supper but it’s mostly supper for us. The rest of my family (and Lance’s actually) use “supper”

    Oh and for Sass we use cheeky. Stop being cheeky!

    Lance just says to Joshua “stop trying to challenge me!”

    And btw..I live about 10 minutes away from Kalk Bay. We usually swim on that stretch of beach (they call it the False Bay Coast) at Muizenberg, St James, Dalebrook, Fish Hoek, Glencairn, Long Beach, Simonstown etc.

    You would NEVER find me attempting those cold waters on the Atlantic Seaboard.
    And what exactly did your accent sound like before now? Was it PE flat or something?

  12. I'm from northern Illinois, so I have a Chicago accent. My husband makes fun of me for my hard "a" sounds. Tom often comes out like "Tahm". But---I was born in the south (Texas), so we called it supper. At some point I think I transitioned to dinner, because that's what everyone else called it, and I felt funny saying it differently, but now I call it supper again, b/c I like going back to my roots. But really, I don't put THAT much thought into it.

    When my girls are misbehaving, I typically tell them that they're being disobedient, and then identify what they are doing. I think a lot of people around here say that their child is being "bad"----I really don't like that kind of language!

    I will say, since we moved to St. Louis, my Chicago accent has softened. It's funny when I go home to visit----I listen to my family who still lives there, or my sister who lives in Wisconsin, even further north, and they sound so "northern"! Which, of course, I sound "northern" to my St. Louis friends.

    I also refuse to call soft drinks anything other than "pop", because that's what it is where I'm from (even though everyone around here calls it "soda").

    I had a professor in grad school who was from Johannesburg---I loved learning Counseling Theory in his beautiful accent! :)

  13. I call it supper and I call it cheeky;-) Fun post.

  14. Dinner, supper, both work.

    I think I say backsass...

  15. OH and accents.
    I'm from NY
    Lived in Georgia, Washington, Hawaii... now North Carolina. I don't even know what kind of accent I've been left with LOL

  16. We call it dinner.

    When they're acting up, we tell them that they're being rude, disrespectful, or "a piece of work." That last one is code for "a total pain in the ass."


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