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Wondrous Words Wednesday – Southernisms

May 2, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!  I’ve seen several people get creative with their Wondrous Words posts and thought it was a fantastic idea.  It made me realize words don’t have to be new to be celebrated.

I’ve decided to share some Southernisms today.  I’ve lived in five southern states and have spent quite a bit of time in a few others and have come to realize that the sayings in the south are as diverse as the people.  I’ve heard these three Southernisms used everywhere I’ve lived.

1. hosepipe – “Adam loved to play with the hosepipe when he was small.  We had the best watered plants in town.”

A hosepipe is a garden hose.


2. yard broom – “When the kids misbehave, I make them get out the yard broom and clean up the leaves.”

A yard broom is a rake.


3. buggy – “I always seem to get a buggy that’s hard to steer.”

Buggy is used for a lot of things, but the meaning that I think is unique to the south is shopping cart.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

40 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2012 4:28 am

    Thank you for sharing this! They are all very descriptive, I especially like the yard broom.

  2. May 2, 2012 5:11 am

    I’ve lived in Little Rock; I knew buggy. But not the other two probably cause I was in college and lived in apartments!

  3. bonniejacobs permalink
    May 2, 2012 5:23 am

    I was born in Chattanooga and have lived my whole life (72 years) in Tennessee and Georgia, yet I have never heard the terms “hosepipe” or “yard broom.” “Buggy,” yes. I, too, often seem to get “a buggy that’s hard to steer.” Where have you lived in the South?

    • May 2, 2012 7:24 am

      I’ve lived in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi.

      • bonniejacobs permalink
        May 2, 2012 8:10 pm

        Thanks, Kathy. Now I’m curious — where are you from originally, and where do you live now. The “Bermuda” in BermudaOnion makes me think you are in or from Bermuda.

  4. May 2, 2012 8:34 am

    I was familiar with buggy but not the first two.

  5. May 2, 2012 8:36 am

    What fun terms. I really like yard broom too. Wish I could get away with that here, not that I use a rake all that often.

  6. May 2, 2012 9:40 am

    Hmm, Yard broom. I like how its used in the sentence.

  7. May 2, 2012 9:46 am

    I love these terms especially yard broom.

  8. May 2, 2012 10:22 am

    We talked about the use of “buggy” and I just love that it is used for a shopping cart. I want to start putting that word into regular rotation at the grocery store thanks to you! Great words today!

  9. May 2, 2012 10:26 am

    Ugh! I hate it when people call a shopping cart a buggy. When I first heard that term I had no idea what the person was talking about? A horse and buggy?!

  10. May 2, 2012 11:03 am

    I knew buggy and yard broom, enjoyed the words.

  11. May 2, 2012 11:07 am

    All new to me. I live in Missouri which has some southern elements, but my parents are from central Indiana which has none. Fun post — thanks!

  12. May 2, 2012 11:07 am

    Like your southernisms. Too many dialect quirky terms are disappearing. A friend used a New Jersey term yesterday that I hadn’t heard for a long time: “down the shore.”

  13. May 2, 2012 11:09 am

    I totally never heard of any of those! LOL What fun!

  14. May 2, 2012 11:18 am

    How fun! We use buggy here (eastern Ohio) for shopping cart too, but I guess in our case it’s a Pittsburgh thing.

  15. May 2, 2012 11:38 am

    Hi Kathy,

    We use ‘hosepipe’ all the time here in the UK.

    We wouldn’t typically say ‘yard broom’, however a ‘broom’ over here would be a brush not a rake.

    We call ‘buggies’ or ‘shopping carts’ … ‘shopping trolleys’. A ‘buggy’ is generally used to refer to a child’s lightweight, folding pushchair.

    See how easy it is to get yourself in all kinds of trouble, with the same word, spelt exactly the same way, having so many different meanings.

    A fun post this week.


  16. May 2, 2012 11:51 am

    I love southernisms. I like these for sure and will probably start using them. We already say buggy here for shopping carts at times. Good words today Kathy!

  17. May 2, 2012 11:51 am

    I grew up in Virginia and all of those are words I know. When I read hosepipe I was whisked back to being little wanting nothing more on a hot summer day than taking a drink from the hosepipe. Thanks for the memories.

  18. May 2, 2012 11:58 am

    What fun words! Great idea. 🙂

  19. May 2, 2012 11:59 am

    What a fun event! I’m going to have to try this one someday….

  20. May 2, 2012 12:10 pm

    I would like to start using “grab a buggy” rather than “grab a cart”- it sounds so cute. Yard broom is a good one too.

  21. May 2, 2012 12:50 pm

    These are great words! I love knowing different words used by various areas of the country or world such as England. My favorite southernism here is ‘Buggy” for shopping cart. Thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge of the south.

    Kathy, do you have a favorite place you lived out of the 5 states?!

  22. May 2, 2012 12:54 pm

    I knew buggy, but not hosepipe or lawn broom.
    I love all things southern, but perhaps my very favorite is the appearance of a slower pace, a slower way of talking, and deliberate way of mosying along. Really good sweet tea and southern prepared vegatables are right up there too.

  23. May 2, 2012 1:41 pm

    Buggy made me chuckle! When I worked at a craft store in college, customers were always walking up to ask me where the “buggies” were. It took a few times for me to figure out what they meant — I just gave vague answers like, “Um, up front?” (Which turned out to be right, actually.) I hate having to ask people what in the heck they’re talking about, but sometimes it’s unavoidable!

  24. May 2, 2012 2:46 pm

    I don’t think I ever heard that definition of buggy before! 🙂

  25. May 2, 2012 2:50 pm

    I’ve heard all of these but I don’t use any of them. So at least I understand the southern english language!

  26. Beth Hoffman permalink
    May 2, 2012 3:16 pm

    I knew all three. The first time I was grocery shopping in Savannah and heard a gal refer to a cart as a buggy, it delighted me no end.

  27. May 2, 2012 3:41 pm

    I was raised in Ohio and have lived in California and Florida, and have never called it anything other than a “buggy”. The one I used yesterday had a wheel almost freeze up and man was it hard to push!! If I hadn’t had so much stuff in it and wasn’t almost done, I’d have switched it for another one!

  28. May 2, 2012 3:59 pm

    Not a single one this time

  29. talesofwhimsy permalink
    May 2, 2012 4:23 pm

    Yard broom? You don’t say. I usually have an outdoor broom and would have assumed that is what was meant by that sentence. Thanks for teaching me something new.

  30. May 2, 2012 4:41 pm

    I’ve lived in the south most of my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard “yard broom” — it does make sense, though. But yes, I grew up calling shopping carts “buggies” — still do it now and then.

  31. Patty permalink
    May 2, 2012 5:13 pm

    Hmm…great Southern words…I grew up in Ohio and my mom always called the shopping cart a buggy…quite interesting.

  32. May 2, 2012 6:03 pm

    My mother, an Arkansan, always called it a hosepipe. We also call a gas station a filling station. I don’t know if that’s just eccentric, or an archaic southernism.

  33. bookingmama permalink
    May 2, 2012 8:00 pm

    I grew up in the south when I was young, but I’m not sure I remember those! I know I’ve heard you use the term buggy before.

  34. May 2, 2012 8:01 pm

    I’ve never heard yard broom! But buggy and hosepipe yes. Though I’ve never heard “buggy” in the wild where I grew up in Virginia. I love words like this!

  35. May 2, 2012 11:28 pm

    i’ve lived in the south the majority of my life now and love, love, love southernisms! I know I’ve used the word buggy and yard broom but not familiar with hose pipe – these are so funny!

  36. melaniesmusingsnet permalink
    May 3, 2012 12:15 am

    It’s funny, I’ve lived in the south all my life, and the only one I’ve heard of is “buggy.” I’ll be on the lookout for the other two!

  37. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    May 4, 2012 8:37 pm

    Now, those are words that I can use! Love them!

  38. May 4, 2012 8:52 pm

    I think you’re right about buggy. The first time I heard it used for a shopping cart was when I was in Florida. The Walmart cashier told my son that “he couldn’t push the buggy” because it had wine in it and he was under 21 (I was buying it). I still tease him about that incident.

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