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30 Words That Mean Something ENTIRELY Different In Tennessee

When Tennessee is home, you learn to speak the language and come to understand a couple of words and phrases that the state just gets right. We’ve put together a quick list for you out-of-towners, all of y’all that maybe just don’t know how the state ticks just yet. Now worries. We got you.

30) Hot Chicken: This? Means delicious and fried and Nashville. Also, it’s burn-your-tongue-off good!

hot chicken
Jessica Dillree / Flickr

29) Fixin’: Used in lieu of, “I’m going to,” or, “I will.” 

28) Sweet Tea: All tea in Tennessee. Ever. All tea is sweet because HOW ELSE WOULD YOU DRINK IT?!

Sweet Tea
Jennifer / Flickr 

27) Grizzlies: Not a bear, but the Memphis basketball team. 

26) Titans: Not a race of fantastical people in Greek mythology, but yeah – another sports team. Tennessee Titans, kids. 

Titans
Hector Alejandro / Flickr 

25) Y’all: You all. Everyone. All you peeps. It works for all of ’em. 

24) Preds: Short for, “Predators,” as in, the Nashville Predators. HOCKEY. 

23) Smashville: Where thus stated, “Preds” do their thing. 

Smashville
Larry Darling / Flickr

22) Vols: Knoxville. Orange. Football. Tennessee Volunteers, everyone.

21) Buckle on the Bible Belt: This refers to Nashville. Music City is the buckle, right in the middle of the religious south. 

20) Athens of the South: Again, Nashville. For being a city rife with colleges. Nice work!

19) Goo Goo: No, not a baby or a really bad pet name. It refers to the amazingly delicious Goo Goo Cluster, a Tennessee staple. 

Goo Goo
Brent Moore / Flickr 

18) Toboggan: It’s a beanie! Not a sled. 

Toboggan
Udri / Flickr 

17) Hose Pipe: Just your regular ‘ol garden hose. 

hose pipe
Nic Stage / Flickr 

16) Bleedin’ Orange: In east Tennessee you bleed orange, not red – for the Vols. 

15) Bless Her Heart: You can pretty much follow up any insult with, “bless their/her/his heart” and that makes it okay. 

14) Moonshine: Originally illegal alcohol, the term originating in temperance. You can buy it now, though!

moonshine
Brave Heart / Flickr 

13) RC: RC Cola! Southern fare. 

12) Suga’: A term of endearment similar though not the same as, “sugar,” which northerners say. 

11) Tennis Shoes: Means sneakers. All kinds of sneakers, not just those used for tennis. 

Sneakers
Richard Elzey / Flickr 

10) Skullbone: Little town Tennessee

Little Town
DGTX / Flickr 

9) God love ’em: Means that God better love ’em because I sure don’t 

8) Meat and three: The typical southern dinner. Meat and three sides, heavy on the carbs. 

Meat And Three
chapstickaddict / Flickr 

7) Common: This pretty much means there ain’t nothin’ special about you. Usually used with a bad connotation. 

6) Crick: That little creek down yonder. A small body of running water. 

Coldwater Creek

Billy Wilson / Flickr 

5) Winder: Refers to a window. 

4) Family: Everyone which whom you share blood or just really like a lot. 

3) Membership: What church do you attend? Where are you a member? 

Tennessee Church

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr 

2) Game Day: All hell has broken loose. 

1) God’s Country: Tennessee. HOME. 

Gods Country

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr  

There you go. A mini-Tennessee dictionary, just for you. What do you think? Anythin’ new? Tell us in the comments below!

Meghan O'Brien
Meghan is a Tennessee transplant wildly in love with Music City. She’s quite the fan of snobby coffee, late night diner dates and the unnecessary hair flip.