How many cow-rees in a moon pie?

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

We Southerners do have a way with our vocabulary. I think we do it on purpose in order to totally confuse our fellow Americans. After all, we don’t have a clue at what they are saying, so why not return the favor.

These following Southern words are courtesy of Patrick Crispen of Alabama and his “Southern Word” website:

Ah-ite (adverb, adjective, or maybe even an interjection). An affirmation (alright); to be in a state of okay-ness; or a request for someone to stop pestering you. Usage: “How ya doin, Bubba?” “Ah-ite.”

Bob war (noun). A sharp, twisted cable. Usage: “Boy, stay away from datder bob war fence.”

Bidness (noun). A commercial venture. Usage: “Ah’m gonna get into the moon pie bidness.”

Bleeve (verb). To accept as true. Usage: “Ah bleeve I’ll have anutta moon pie.”

Bottle (noun). A military engagement. Usage: “Ah bleeve da South woulda won the Bottle of Gettysburg if’in Bear Bryant was thar.”

Ciril (noun). A breakfast food. Usage: “Ju wont some mo milk with your ciril?”

Coat (noun). A legal gathering. Usage: “All rise, dis coat is now in owduh.”

Cow-rees (noun). A measurement of food fat. Usage: “Ah’m on a diet. How many cow-rees in a moon pie?”

Faints (noun). A wire or wooden barrier. Usage: “Boy, dat Sammy Sosa sure did whomp dat ball over the faints.

Fard (verb). Terminated. Usage: “Bubba ain’t working hair no mo. He got fard.”

Farn (adj.). Not local. Usage: “I cudnt unnerstan a word he sed. He must be from a farn country.”

Guff (noun). A deep chasm. Usage: “Dat hurrycain sho did some damage in da Guff of Mexico.”

In-tar (adj.). The entire quantity. Usage: “I ate da in-tar box of moon pies.”

Jape (noun). A general purpose military-type vehicle. Usage: “Bubba, have ya seen dat new Jape Liberty?”

Laig (noun). A limb or appendage. Usage: “Dat dog bit me in da laig.”

Mayter (noun). A red vegetable. Usage: “Fix me a mayter sanwitch.”

Nascar (phase). Appealing to the eye. Usage: “Ya seen dat new Crown Vic? Dat’s a nascar.”

Rice (noun). A contest of speed. Usage: “Y’all going to Talladega to see da rice?”

Sawka (noun). A sport where all but two players cannot touch the ball with their hands. Usage: “Dat ain’t football, dat’s sawka.”

Spald (verb). Flawed or ruined. Usage: “Bubba, you done spald dem kids rotten.”

Tuna mint (noun). A contest. Usage: “Y’all gonna go to dat Bass Masters tuna mint.”

Vitamin (phrase). A formal welcome to guests. Usage: “Bubba, jus don’t stand der; vitamin.”

Yannah (noun). Title of respect given to members of the judicial bench. Usage: “Yannah, if it pleases the coat.”

Yup (phrase). An inquiry into someone’s state of consciousness. Usage: “Honey, yup yet?”

Y’all can bleeve dis – I’m outta here for dis week.


Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal