20 Words People Say Differently in the North vs. South

It’s no surprise that there are some significant differences between the southern part of the United States and the northern part. Both have had their differences and their similarities on various issues. Though, dialect is something that really sets these two apart.

It’s not just the north and the south, either. Different parts of the United States all have vastly different dialects that make them all unique from one another. It’s a wonder that northerners can understand anything a southerner is saying (and vice versa).

Growing up in the south, you probably learned several key phrases (e.g. ‘y’all’ or the famous ‘bless your heart’). However, if you grew up in the north, you probably recognize some vastly different ones (e.g. ‘you guys’ or ‘youse guys’).

Southerners are known for their southern drawl that uses long, lazy vowels. While northerners are known for precise pronunciation and break up the vowels a lot more.

Not to say either is better than the other, but it’s fascinating to look at. Of course, there are plenty of sub-dialects for each of these. The northern midwest and northeast have distinctly different accents and dialects from one another, just like how the southwest and southeast a distinctly different from one another.

It can be hard to tell which accents come from where specifically, and generalizing them is even harder. We did our best though and compiled this list of words that the north and south generally differ on.

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