ALABAMA (WHNT) — Could that sweet, thick Alabama drawl soon become an official dialect? A recent poll shows most people would vote “yes”!
The “melting pot” that is America contains at least 30 dialects, ranging from New England where you can ‘pahk ya cah,’ to ‘Nawlins,’ in Louisiana to ‘you betcha,’ in Minnesota – making trips from one region to another pretty interesting.
59% of those who participated in the poll, conducted by The Writing Tips Institute, said they want the Alabama dialect to be protected by law, adding that local residents worry that some phrases and slang terms unique to the Yellowhammer state are dying out.
Locals don’t want phrases like ‘A ways‘ (and distance between 10 minutes and two hours in an approximate direction), or ‘Chunk it‘ (throwing something away), or ‘Fixin’ to‘ (about to) disappearing from the local lexicon.
The Southern accent is actually about seven distinct accents and is one of the more “well-known” dialects, even if it is hard to pinpoint exactly where in the south someone is from.
“I’m finer than a frog hair split four ways,” “bless your heart,” or “I’m hangin’ on like a hair in a biscuit!” are just a few of the…well…odd phrases you’ll hear across the south, even if you’re not exactly sure what someone is talking about.
“It’s a hoot and a holler away!” Tourists on a road trip through West Virginia’s country roads (insert John Denver stanza here) might be confused after asking locals for directions. In fact, “holler” is a remote road or area to locals. Out-of-staters may have just been hoping for a simple ‘left or right’!
“Holler” in Appalachia, meanwhile, is a small valley between mountains.
While many people across America still use phrases like these and speak their region’s dialect, recent studies have found that, as America becomes more diverse, regional accents and dialects are dying out – and the more we move around, the more the rough edges of our conversation style get whittled down.
A few years ago, the British government even acted to protect Welsh by making it an official language to preserve its use.
If you’re feeling adventurous, then youse guys can test your dialect knowledge with this here quiz, y’all!