Since we have moved to North Carolina from Iowa we have noticed many differences in words, wording, and food. Here are some translations from Iowan to North Carolinian.
Phrases and nouns:
e.g.: “Midwestern phrase/word” = “Southern phrase/word”
“Turn the lights on” = “Cut the lights on”
“Turn the lights off” = “Cut the lights off”
“You all” = “Ya’ll”
“Good time” = “Big time” (with an emphasis on the ‘big’)
“Watch a movie” =”Look at a movie”
“Take you out to dinner” = “Carry you out to dinner”
“Toilet” = “Cammode”
“Angry” = “Ill”
“Ill” = “Sick”
“…with you, do you” (as in “you don’t have a pocket knife with you, do you?”) = “Widjya didjya”
“Right here” = “Rightcheer”
“Grandma” = “Memaw” (pronounced may-ma)
“Grandpa” = “Pepaw/Bempaw” (pronounced pay-pa)
“Collect” = “Take up”
“Crappie (the fish)” = “Crappie (the fish)”, but with different pronunciation
Midwesterners pronounce crappie as in “crop” “ee”
Southerners pronounce crappie as in “crap” “ee”
“Nabs” – North Carolinian for crackers (of the snacking kind), specifically two crackers with cheese in the middle. **EDIT**: I’ve since found out that “nabs” are called such because back in the day, the primary brand for this mass-produced snack was from Nabisco and their company name was in big letters on the wrapper. The word “nabs” is short for “Nabisco”.
Sauerkraut – Most North Carolinian have no idea what sauerkraut is unless they have German ancestry which implies they are “transplants” from the north.
Barbecue – In Iowa, barbecue means to grill burgers, steaks, brats etc. In North Carolina grilling things like that is called grilling out or cook-out. A barbecue is when you roast a whole hog on a large grill. The meat is then pulled off the hog, mixed up and served in a pulled pork sandwich-style with hush puppies and NC BBQ sauce.
BBQ Sauce – In Iowa, BBQ sauce is Kansas City style which means tomato based and really viscous. In NC, the eastern part of the state uses a vinegar based sauce that is dry and both tart and sweet at the same time. In the west it is tomato or mustard based and much more liquid.
European influenced food – Unlike Iowa, most people whose families have lived here forever are from England, Scotland, or Ireland. There is little German, Norwegian, Dutch, etc influenced food. There is however a lot more kosher food because of the large amounts of New York transplants.
Ham loaf – This Midwestern delicacy is unheard of in the south and people look at you funny if you ask for it.
Hot dish – Is equivalent to casserole in the Midwest but this word is not used in the south. Again, they look at you funny if you mention the word. **EDIT**: After a thorough discussion at a house party on the origin of “hot dish”, we referred to the cooking dictionary that is Stacy’s mother. She said she didn’t know and that she would get back to us with an answer. After discussing the topic with some of her siblings, aunts, etc., she discovered that “hot dish” is only used in Minnesota, North Dakota, and some parts of South Dakota and Iowa (as part of the northern Midwestern accent). It is synonymous with casserole. Our original hypothesis is that there was actually a difference between hot dish and casserole, but we were wrong apparently. Also, the word casserole apparently got the name from the piece of kitchenware in which it is served – i.e., you serve a casserole dish in a casserole dish… weird eh?
e.g.: Midwestern word for a drink = Southern word for a drink
Pop = Soda and/or Coke
Draw = Draft (as in beer on tap)
Iced Tea = Unsweetened Tea
Sweet tea = Iced Tea (normally made with 1.5 to 2 cups of sugar/gallon of tea)