Our Favorite Quotes About the South

Anyone who lives in the Southern US knows that being southern is a state of mind. Here are some of our favorite quotes about the South that might just help explain why we love it here despite its flaws and quirks.

Maybe these southern quotes will help those of you who aren’t southern to understand the South a little bit better.

Quotes About the South – that help to explain the South

Learning to express ourselves in beautiful language starts from birth.

This is a place where grandmothers hold babies on their laps under the stars and whisper in their ears that the lights in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven.

Rick Bragg – From the Book Somebody Told Me: The Newspaper Stories of Rick Bragg

Bless your heart if you visit the south and don’t understand that we don’t always mean what we say.

Yankees don’t understand that the Southern way of talking is a language of nuance. What we can do in the South is we can take a word and change it just a little bit and make it mean something altogether different.     

Lewis Grizzard

This is why so many of us have gardens.

Because I’m an old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t know why, I don’t make the rules!

Ouiser from the movie: Steel Magnolias

We know “tacky” when we see it even if we can’t explain it.

It’s impossible to explain to a Yankee what ‘tacky’ is. They simply have no word for it up north, but my God, do they ever need one.

Pat Conroy – The Lords of Discipline

Love of nature and home is ingrained in our souls.

Did you ever see a she-gator protect her youngin’, Or fish in a river swimmin’ free, Did you ever see the beauty of the hills of Carolina, Or the sweetness of the grass in Tennessee

Lynyrd Skynyrd – All I Can Do is Write About It

There might actually be degrees of “southernness.”

She was so Southern that she cried tears that came straight from the Mississippi, and she always smelled faintly of cottonwood and peaches.

Sarah Addison Allen from her book Garden Spells. She is also the author of one of our favorite books about the south.

We do love our football.

Explaining the myriad delights of a football Saturday in the South to anyone who has not enjoyed them may be impossible – like trying to describe the ocean to a blind man.

Tim Heaton from Don’t Be Ugly: The G-Rated companion book to “Momma n ‘Em Said.

Yes, we are a little proud of our southern roots

Because I was born in the South, I’m a Southerner. If I had been born in the North, the West or the Central Plains, I would be just a human being.

Author Clyde Edgerton

When you put a steak or a hot dog on a grill you are grilling. This is NOT Barbecue!

Southern barbecue is the closet thing we have in the U.S. to Europe’s wines and cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes.

John Shelton Reed – Sociologist who studied the south

It’s true. We are a bit verbose…

A true Southerner will never say in 2-3 words what can better be said in 10-12.

Charles Kuralt

…and if you annoy us, we might just use our verbosity against you.

Annoy a Southerner and we will drain away the moments of your life with our slow, detailed replies until you are nothing but a husk of your former self and that much closer to death.

Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

Everything in the South shuts down when it snows. But we kind of love it.

Snow in the South is wonderful. It has a kind of magic and mystery that it has nowhere else. And the reason for this is that it comes to people of the South not as a grim, unyielding tenant of Winter’s keep, but as a strange and wild visitor from the secret North.

Thomas Wolfe

A southerner doesn’t truly understand cold.

Though Anne was born in Alabama and schooled in Mississippi, she had traveled North, and, like many Southerners, gained a theoretical understanding of the concept of cold. But the mind is an overprotective parent. What it doesn’t care for, it hides. Like many inhabiting the subtropics, Anne had repressed the reality of subzero mercury.

Kathy Reichs, Monday Mourning

If you only know the South as shown by Hollywood, then you don’t know the South at all.

If you care to define the South as a poor, rural region with lousy race relations, that South survives only in geographical shreds and patches and most Southerners don’t live there any more.

John Shelton Reed – Sociologist who studied the south

Football again…and warm winters.

I like the South because it is so much warmer on the sidelines than it is up North.

Coach Tom Landry

Family and food, food and family

In my South, the most treasured things passed down from generation to generation are the family recipes.

Robert St. John – chef, restauranteur, writer

More food – We do like our cobblers…and pies…and other sweets

Southerners know you can’t be considered a serious Southern cook if you don’t know how to make peach cobbler.     

Trisha Yearwood – singer and southern cookbook writer

This is why southerners are always trying to feed you!

Southerners equate food with love, so if you love what they cook, they’re sure to love you back.     

Kim Holloway

Yep, none of us are afraid of a little cooking oil.

You can say a lot of bad things about Alabama, but you can’t say that Alabamans as a people are duly afraid of deep fryers.

John Green, Looking for Alaska

So true.

It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took: we know it because she repented.

Mark Twain

We don’t have an accent…y’all do.

There’s a southern accent, where I come from, The young ‘uns call it country, The Yankees call it dumb, I got my own way of talkin’, But everything is done, with a southern accent, Where I come from

Tom Petty – lines from his song Southern Accent

And we would say that a southern accent on a man is pretty nice, too.

The most beautiful voice in the world is that of an educated Southern woman.     

Winston Churchill

But don’t let that accent fool you.

I’ll have you know Southern isn’t a synonym for stupid.     

Janice Lane Palko, author

I’ll bet that anyone who underestimated Reese wishes they hadn’t.

Being a Southern person and a blonde, it’s not a good combination. Immediately, when people meet you, they think of you as not being smart.     

Reese Witherspoon

Southern women are way tougher than you might think.

Southern women see no contradiction in mixing strength with gentleness.

Sharon McKern – author of Redneck Mothers, Good Ol’ Girls and Other Southern Belles

And you better watch out when you make them angry

Southern women can say more with a cut of their eyes than a whole debate club’s worth of speeches.     

Allison Glock – journalist and author

A southerner can say bad things about the south…but an outsider better not.

Even today, the South is quirky, quick to take offense, fanciful: it has an attitude, a frame of mind. It prefers the flowery to the plain, likes its own jokes, its own rhetoric. It can laugh at itself at home, but it is immediately riled at any snicker from outside.

Eugene Walter – poet and screen writer

We love our southern home despite its flaws.

Despite the sarcastic remarks of Northerners, who don’t know the region (read Easterners, Westerners, North Easterners, North Westerners, Midwesterners), the South of the United States can be so impellingly beautiful that sophisticated creature comforts diminish in importance.

Maya Angelou – Gather Together in My Name

Being southern is a state of mind. No matter where you roam in your heart you are always there.

I could be anywhere, In my heart I’m always there. Where they drink sweet tea And they raise you to be polite. No changin’ who I am, That’s they way I’ve always been. No matter what state I’m in, I’m in a southern state of mind.

Dairus Rucker – from his song Southern State of Mine

The sweetness of the South.

“All I can say is that there’s a sweetness here, a Southern sweetness, that makes sweet music. If I had to tell somebody who had never been to the South, who had never heard of soul music, what it was, I’d just have to tell him that it’s music from the heart, from the pulse, from the innermost feeling. That’s my soul; that’s how I sing. And that’s the South.” 

Al Green

Hope you enjoyed these quotes about the South.

Flowers at the stone house in Natchez Mississippi. Best quotes about the south.

Thanks for stopping by!