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!

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/

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!