5 thoughts on “When I Became A North Carolinian – Published Article!

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your story, Noelle. So much so that I’m still smiling… We relocated from upstate New York to a tiny town in Southern Maine in 1974 with two young daughter and our Siamese cat in tow. Your North Carolinian and our Maine adventures follow parallel trails (literally through ice and snow) are resoundingly similar and I couldn’t understand why Mainers dropped ‘r’s when they clearly appeared in typographic form and inserted them where they didn’t belong when they spoke. Questioning a coworker’s diction, she replies, “You the one who talks funny.” From then on, I listened carefully and inwardly enjoyed the banter. However, I was persistent in correcting both daughters (ages 3 and 7 when we became the newcomers) thoughout their childhood, reminding them to enunciate words correctly. Those were the days… We’re back ‘home’ after several years away and I’m still smiling! 🙂


    • I had no idea there were such similarities between Maine and NC! I worked hard to lose my Massachusetts accent when I went to college, and I think because neither Gene nor I have a pronounced accent of any kind, our kids did not adopt a Southern one – although it is soothing to listen to!


  2. I loved reading more about you – and your gentle sense of humor certainly hit home with me. You supplied the Silence of the Lambs bugs? How on earth did that connection get made?

    I have spent a good bit of time in the south myself. I adapted quickly and easily to speech tempo and pronunciation — especially quickly considering the fact that my father was the self-selected protector of all things concerning the English language, especially “enunciation” (meaning accent-free standard American pronunciation, frequently referred to as “broadcast English”).

    A few things still make me grin, however:

    In beautiful East Tennessee where I spent a great deal of time, in college and afterwards, there were no boyfriends, only “honeys” (as in, “Madelyn, your honey’s on the phone). Mamaws and Papaws replaced Grandmothers and Grandfathers too. Actions intended for the near future were announced by “fixin’ to” (as in, “I’m fixin’ to go to the store, do you need anything?”). “In the floor” replaced “on the floor.”

    I can’t leave out “I swaney!” (instead of I swear!), and everything that is especially funny is “a hoot!” It is perfectly acceptable to use the term as a verb as well – in various tenses, especially past.

    The first time I was invited by “my honey’s” parents to spend the weekend, I had no idea what the gravy on the breakfast table was for, or what it was made out of (bacon gravy?!). My perplexity must have been plastered all over my face. Everyone laughed when his father said, “Good lord, son, you’ve brought us home a Yankee!” I also learned that sliced tomatoes were not left-overs from last night’s salad, and before I fairly recently went gluten-free, I chowed down on biscuits and gravy with “thuh bestuv ‘um!”

    A couple of New Orleans funnies to me (not as typically southern as the movies and TV shows present them, btw), you “drive by” (as in “I’m fixin’ to drive by your house” meaning that they are coming to visit). And even the most Italian of red sauces is “tomato gravy.”

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”


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