1. Say “you guys…”

Don’t you mean “y’all”?

2. Call your cookout a barbeque.

If you’re invited to a “barbeque” up north, don’t expect any actual barbeque to be there. Don’t ask me why, but grilling hamburgers and hot dogs outside is often given the same name as that tangy delicious sauce on some ribs or pulled pork. It should clearly be called a cookout.

3. Say you don’t like mayonnaise.

Mayonnaise is one of our major food groups, right next to fried vegetables and sweet tea. What is the point of a meal without a side of coleslaw? You’re missing out on broccoli salad, egg salad, chicken salad, deviled eggs, and so many other delicious southern staples.

4. Say you don’t own (or know anyone who owns) a truck.

What else do you go muddin’ in? In the south, trucks are one of the most popular types of vehicles, but in the north you can’t find even half as many. What do you have against trucks? Whether you’re a boy or a girl, driving your first truck is a rite of passage down here.

5. Act stunned when we talk to a stranger.

It’s called southern hospitality, and it’s everywhere. We expect friendliness not because people are fake, but because we’re genuinely kind. So when we go to the store and start chatting up a random stranger in line, we don’t expect them to look at us like we’re crazy.

6. Tell us you don’t have snow days.

What do you mean you still go to school if it snows? And your whole town doesn’t shut down, with bread flying off the shelves at the local grocery store like the apocalypse is coming? In the south, we aren’t the best at handling snow. So, you can bet that if there’s snow in the forecast, you’re going to get a day off from school.

7. Tell us you don’t have a car.

Public transportation and walking just aren’t much of a thing down here unless you’re in a large city — not to mention sidewalks don’t even exist in small towns. As much as I would love to, walking to my closest grocery store would take me one hour and five minutes (I just checked). So, if you don’t have a car in the south, you are probably stuck in your house.

8. Forget your koozie.

Who wants a warm beer? Apparently, people who aren’t from the south, because koozies are basically a southern thing. It’s just common sense, really — you can show support for your favorite team, or anything else you want on your koozie, while keeping your canned drink nice and cold.

9. Mutter anything close to the words, “What is Waffle House?”

Where do you go for your midnight waffles? Biscuits and gravy at 3 in the morning? Sunday brunch on a budget? Clearly the answer is Waffle House. While a couple states up north have Waffle House, it’s incredibly popular all over the south. I’ll take my hashbrowns smothered and covered, thank you very much.

10. Say you’re going on a day trip to another state.

In Tennessee, I can drive for seven hours and never leave the state. If I want to go from south to north Texas, that’s 11 long, long hours. So when you tell me that you’ve started your road trip in Vermont and have gone through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York in four hours, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

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