How to talk with an American southern accent

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How to talk with an American southern accent
Talk like the people in Gone with the Wind. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

It's no wonder we often imitate a southern accent. Many of the great speech makers in early America orated with a drawl. Just talking to a person with a southern accent can conjure up the scent of a homemade meal. Humor, political candidates and country music all come off a little better when touched by southern charm. If you want to talk with a southern accent, it may be easier to learn than you think.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Buy a book or CD on the market if you want an elaborate education in the southern accent. Otherwise, just interchanging a few of your daily words with southern choices or understanding how to draw out some syllables will get you there.

  2. 2

    Use "y'all" every chance you get. This is appropriate in referring to a single person or a group of people. Never say "going to" again but insert "fixin to" and you will already seem like a pro.

  3. 3

    Stop differentiating the "e" and the "i" in a word. If you're doing it right, then someone should wonder whether you're wanting to sew or write when you ask for a "pen."

  4. 4

    Take words and add some syllables. "Why" should be "waa" and then "eye." The word "nail" should be "nay" and then "eel."

  5. 5

    Take two syllable words and shorten them to one, like change the "tar" (tire) on the car.

  6. 6

    Perfect a small vocabulary. Purdy, reckon, awfullest, gol darned, critter and breetches, and tarnation are all a good place to start.

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