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When It Comes to the Creative Use of Language, Southerners Steal the Show

April 7, 2016


“Mrs. Conroy was nervous as a rat terrier.”

“Mrs. Bailey White was ten years older than God.”

“That there is a sorry excuse for a road.”

These are a few of the "Southern-isms" from my latest novel, Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County. When it comes to creative expressions, there’s no question about it: The South wins. As a writer, I am forever grateful that my parents moved us from Up North to South Carolina when I was six years old, and that I later lived in Florida, and that I acquired all kinds of delicious Southern expressions along the way. Here’s a few more that I share in my novel:

“She was screeching like a banshee on a coconut-milk binge.”

“Ugly as a toad’s hindquarters.”

“We talked that ol’ topic to death and right into the next world.”

"Just when you think you got enough grit in your oysters....”

“She was gussied up.”

The preacher has “a voice deep as a bullfrog’s in mating season.”

She moved “faster than a Chihuahua that smells a chicken bone.”

“He is plumb jack crazy.”

Can you tell that I had fun? While I hope my novel provides some deep insights into life in a small Florida town in 1964, part of the motivation for writing it was, quite simply, the joy of creating characters who speak in the colorful language that is uniquely Southern.