U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-18-2009, 07:15 AM
 
6,196 posts, read 14,231,807 times
Reputation: 4483

Advertisements

I saw a thread that said "Northerner/Southerner," and the OP was a Northerner who had been down here three years.

It made me wonder, "What is a Southerner?" in today's world?

I was born south of the Mason/Dixon line and spent my first few years in the South. My mother loved to make black-eyed peas and chicken and biscuits. My godparents, Beulah and Andy, were wonderful people, and they were very, very Southern.

We moved North.

Now, I've been in Raleigh for 16 years and married to a Raleigh native. So I was born in the South and live in the South. I subscribe to Southern Living Magazine. Does any of that make me Southern? Maybe a little bit? I don't think so -- what do you think?

My grandson was born here nearly a decade ago. But he doesn't have a Southern accent. He's Asian and can use chopsticks like a pro, and his favorite meal is Asian noodles. Is he Southern? He's not Northern.

What is a Southerner?

Are there "Old South" Southerners and "New South" Southerners?

What do you think "Southern" will look like in the future?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-18-2009, 11:07 AM
 
183 posts, read 612,051 times
Reputation: 119
Hmm...that's a good question, and I have no doubt there will be varying opinions. My personal opinion is that it's not so much where you were born as much as it's where you are from. For example...I was born in the mountains of NC, but we moved to Wilmington when I was 8. I consider myself FROM Wilmington, even though the vast majority of my family is still up in the mountains. Similar situation with my wife...she was born in Mississippi, but her folks moved from there to Virginia when she was 2, and then from Virginia to Laurinburg, NC when she was about 7. She considers herself from Laurinburg even though the majority of her family is in Virginia.

Now, the one flaw in my definition is like what you said; being born in the south but then moving up north and moving back. I could see where you would be considered an outsider even though you've lived here for that long and were born in the south. I get the same thing on a much smaller scale; mountain folk, particularly in the smaller towns west of Asheville, are notoriously wary of outsiders (particularly Floridians). My southern accent isn't *quite* the same as their southern accent, so when I talk with non-family up there, I'm considered an outsider as well unless I have family with me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2009, 11:40 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,205,362 times
Reputation: 14558
A southerner is someone whose entire family has been born in the south for at least 200 years.

If your great, great, great, great great, great grandmother was born in Pennsylvania 150 years ago... sorry.. you're a yankee.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2009, 12:18 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
1,077 posts, read 3,145,583 times
Reputation: 891
That is a hard question to answer. Hmmmm...well I consider myself a southerner . I was born and have lived in Deep Run, NC for 23 years now. My parents and grandparents have always lived near this area. Most of my family on my mom's side live on this road which is named after my great granddad.

I think if you were born here and actually still live here, I would call that a southerner. If you move out of the south and adapt to a new way of life, why would you still call that person a southerner? There is still a lot of "southerness" in NC but a lot of it has vanished.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2009, 12:38 PM
 
122 posts, read 408,834 times
Reputation: 122
I am torn. I do agree with Rubber Factory, who said it was/is about bloodline and how many of your people are buried in the burying grounds of the South.
But it can be about attitude and personality as well. I know folks that are newcomers, but are Southern at heart. They fit right in and like doing things the Southern way.
And I know folks that have been here forever and act like Yankees.

Do not ask me to define/explain what acting Northern or acting Southern is. I just can't explain.
And my people have been here durn near forever, but I do not have an Appalachian/Smoky Mountain accent. But my older family members do.. 'warsh', 'h'it', 'h'ain't', 'her'n' etc..
And my favorite.. I bring the clothes in 'of an evening'.

I have been accused of being a Yankee more times that I care to remember. My face gets red and the hair on the back of my neck stands up. I can't help it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2009, 12:43 PM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,205,362 times
Reputation: 14558
Well now, there is an alternate method. We don't want to be close-minded or provincial here.

You find the closest east-west interstate (number ending with 0) to the north of your birthplace.. everybody who lives north of that isn't a southerner.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2009, 01:00 PM
 
183 posts, read 612,051 times
Reputation: 119
LOL, my grandfather used to put it this way (and he's born and raised in Graham County, one of the poorest, most rural counties in western NC).

"If you move here, and don't try to tell us how much better things are where y'ouns are from, then I reckon we'll get along. It might take a generation or two before you're a local, but all I'm saying is if you wanna make waves, move to the beach, not the Smokies."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2009, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Lansing, MI
2,953 posts, read 6,139,557 times
Reputation: 3254
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubber_factory View Post
A southerner is someone whose entire family has been born in the south for at least 200 years.

If your great, great, great, great great, great grandmother was born in Pennsylvania 150 years ago... sorry.. you're a yankee.

So, by that logic.... My husband, born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, is actually a southerner. The furthest south he's ever lived is 40 miles south of Cleveland, Ohio.

Grandma is from Alabama with roots several generations back born and raised Alabama natives. Grandpa is from Tazwell, Tennessee also with several generations born and raised Tennessee natives. Many of the current family members live on the original tabacco farm in the foothills around Tazwell on the road named after the great, great, great, great grandfather.

Makes perfect sense!

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2009, 02:31 PM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,205,362 times
Reputation: 14558
Quote:
Originally Posted by chance2jump View Post
So, by that logic.... My husband, born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, is actually a southerner. The furthest south he's ever lived is 40 miles south of Cleveland, Ohio.
I'm not sure how that's logically consistent, if he was born in Toledo.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2009, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest NC
1,611 posts, read 4,405,160 times
Reputation: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenista View Post
...
And my favorite.. I bring the clothes in 'of an evening'.
Love it. Another British phrase that has survived intact in both British & Southern cultures but is not heard up north. Interesting.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top