41 Alabama Words, Sayings & Phrases (Complete List)

In the United States, the southern culture tends to have a strong reputation. Whether it’s for its amazing food or legendary hospitality, this region is known all over the country.

One of the best examples of southern comfort is Alabama. This down-to-earth state has developed its own unique slew of slang words and phrases that you may never have heard before. In this post, we’ll be discussing and defining Alabama words, sayings, and phrases.


Table of Contents

Alabama Words, Sayings & Phrases (in Alphabetical Order)

A

Ain’t

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Common southern slang that means “is not.” You’ll hear this all over the southern United States, and not necessarily just Alabama.
  • Example: “He ain’t from around these parts.”

B

‘Bama

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Abbreviated version of the word “Alabama.” Most Alabamians refer to their home state this way fondly.
  • Example: “My heart belongs in ‘bama.”

Bless Your Heart

Meaning:

  • (Interjection): A phrase that you can use to indicate sympathy or that you really like someone. In Alabama, this is often used as a politer way of showing sympathy for someone you think is dumb.
  • Example: “He never was the brightest bulb in the bunch, bless his heart.”

Buck

Meaning:

  • (Noun): In Alabama, this word typically refers to a male deer, and not a dollar bill. The more tips it has on its antlers, the more points it has.
  • Example: “Joe got a 12-point buck while he was out hunting last weekend.”

Buggy

Meaning:

  • (Noun): The Alabamian word for shopping cart.
  • Example: “Remember to put your buggy in the corral when you’re done shopping.”

C

Chunk It

Meaning:

  • (Verb): To dispose of something or toss it out.
  • Example: “Was I supposed to keep that letter? I chunked it because it looked like junk.”

Coke

Meaning:

  • (Noun): In Alabama, this is used to refer to all types of soda, not just Coca-Cola.
  • Example: “Can I get some Coke with my burger?”

D

Diddly Squat

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Nothing. This phrase literally means an amount of something is negligible or nonexistent.
  • Example: “I got diddly squat for Christmas this year.”

F

Fixin’ To

Meaning:

  • (Verb): Going to do something or planning to do something.
  • Example: “I’m fixin’ to make dinner soon. What are you in the mood for?”

G

Grits

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A southern comfort food staple that’s made from ground corn, butter, cheese, and cream. You usually top it with some kind of meat, such as shrimp.
  • Example: “I start every morning with a heaping plate of grits.”

H

Hankerin’

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A craving for something.
  • Example: “I’ve got a hankerin’ for grits right now.”

Hold the Horns

Meaning:

  • (Expression): To cool off or calm down.
  • Example: “Hold the horns – I promise I didn’t eat your grits.”

Holler

Meaning:

  • (Verb): To call someone on the phone or yell for them.
  • Example: “I gave my meemaw a holler to see how she’s doing.”

Hosepipe

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Alabamian slang for a garden hose.
  • Example: “My grandma needs a new hosepipe so she can water her plants.”

Houndstooth

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A type of pattern you’ll see on clothing. University of Alabama fans will wear clothing with this pattern on it on gameday.
  • Example: “You know I’ll be wearing my houndstooth sweater at tomorrow night’s game.”

Hussy

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A promiscuous woman. Be careful when you use this one, as it is an insulting term.
  • Example: “Cover up, Laura. You’re dressing like a hussy right now.”

K

Kinfolk

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Term that can be used to refer to close friends or relatives. It does not need to be applied to specific relatives – just anyone related to you.
  • Example: “I’m having dinner with some kinfolk of mine Sunday night.”

L

LA

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This term doesn’t mean Los Angeles – in Alabama, it means “lower Alabama.”
  • Example: “She took a trip down to LA last week.”

Learn More Slang: New York Slang Words and Meanings


M

Mad as All Get Out

Meaning:

  • (Expression): To be incredibly angry or enraged.
  • Example: “He was mad as all get out after his girlfriend keyed his pickup.”

Meat and Three

Meaning:

  • (Noun): The fundamentals of a great meal: some kind of meat or protein with three side dishes.
  • Example: “I always use the meat and three standard to plan my meals.”

Meemaw

Meaning:

  • (Noun): An affectionate nickname for your grandmother.
  • Example: “My meemaw is so cute. She knits sweaters for her dog.”

Mullet Toss

Meaning:

  • (Noun): No, this doesn’t have anything to do with the hairstyle. The mullet toss is a yearly event in which residents throw mullet fish across the Alabama-Florida border.
  • Example: “Did you do the mullet toss this weekend?”

P

Peepaw

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Like meemaw, except for your grandfather.

Pickup

Meaning:

  • (Noun): This refers to a truck that usually has an open back for carrying loads.
  • Example: “I’m asking Frank to help us move next week since he has a pickup.”

Pitch a Fit

Meaning:

  • (Verb): To throw a temper tantrum over something.
  • Example: “Peepaw pitches a fit if meemaw doesn’t make him grits for breakfast.”

Pot Luck

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A communal meal in which all the guests bring dishes to serve to each other.
  • Example: “I made a casserole for the church pot luck.”

Preaching to the Choir

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A phrase that means you’re advocating for something to people who already support it. It also can mean you’re saying something that’s very obvious and doesn’t necessarily need to be said.
  • Example: “You don’t need to tell us that snow sucks – you’re preachin’ to the choir.”

Read Also: Minnesota Slang Words, Sayings, and Phrases


R

RC

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A type of soda you can get in Alabama. It’s somewhat similar in taste to Coca-Cola or Pepsi, but it’s a little sweeter.
  • Example: “Nothing is quite as refreshing as an ice-cold RC on a hot day.”

Reckon

Meaning:

  • (Verb): When you assume or suppose that something is true.
  • Example: “I reckon it’s going to rain later.”

Roll Tide

Meaning:

  • (Expression): A cheer for the Alabama Crimson Tide teams. If you hear someone say this, be sure to reply in kind.

Royal Reds

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Huge shrimp found in the Gulf near Alabama. Some say that they taste like lobster.
  • Example: “I grabbed some royal reds while I was grocery shopping today.”

S

Slap Yo’ Mama Good

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Phrase that can be used to describe something that’s unbelievably tasty.
  • Example: “Royal reds on top of grits make a dish that is slap yo’ mama good.”

Slow as Molasses

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Something that is maddeningly slow-moving.
  • Example: “I’m stuck in traffic right now, and it’s going slow as molasses. I’ll be late.”

T

Too Big for Your Britches

Meaning:

  • (Expression): You say this in reference to someone who thinks too highly of themselves or someone who’s conceited.
  • Example: “Al got a little too big for his britches after he got the offer for that job.”

Trailer

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Another word for mobile home. A type of prefabricated housing that you can set down on a plot of land.
  • Example: “Moe has a nice double-wide trailer on a thirty-acre plot of land.”

U

Uppity

Meaning:

  • (Adjective): This is synonymous with being too big for your britches. It means someone has become snobby or conceited.
  • Example: “She’s been acting uppity ever since she moved out of state.”

V

Vulcan Butt

Meaning:

  • (Noun): A statute in Birmingham with a large butt that you can easily see.
  • Example: “Meet me by the Vulcan butt tomorrow.”

W

Wore Slap Out

Meaning:

  • (Expression): To be utterly exhausted or worn out.
  • Example: “I’m wore slap out after my twelve-hour shift today.”

Y

Y’all

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Combination of the words “you” and “all.” You generally use it to address a group of people.
  • Example: “I better’d see y’all at the game later.”

Yonder way

Meaning:

  • (Expression): Instead of saying “over there,” you’d use yonder way to reference a point that’s not within seeing range.
  • Example: “She lives out yonder way.”

Young’uns

Meaning:

  • (Noun): Accented way of saying “young ones.” This is what you call children in Alabama.
  • Example: “She’s got her young’uns with her, so be nice.”

Wrap Up

Alabama has an extremely colorful dialect and vocabulary. If you ever visit this homey state, now you’ll understand what the locals are saying in their daily conversations.

Hawaii is another state with a huge vernacular. If you’d like to learn more, read our list of Hawaii slang & pidgin phrases. You’ll be amazed at how rich their lexicon is. 

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