JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Southerners are undeniably proud to claim the land beneath their feet. Part of southern heritage and tradition lies in the language.
"Most of these expressions go back generations," said Chester "Bo" Morgan, professor and historian at the University of Southern Mississippi. "As recently as the eve of World War II, the overwhelming majority of people in the South lived in the countryside and made their living farming. So both their humor and their language tended to be pretty earthy."
Many of these Southern idioms date back to this time period and have been passed down through families. These expressions have become commonplace, but people from above the Mason-Dixon line are often unfamiliar with them. "People identified with the things that were part of their common experience," said Morgan.
For folks living on farms, this common experience included cows, hens, pigs, and other animals.
"Don't count your chickens before they hatch," said Lori Ford, a Purvis, Mississippi resident.
"It was so windy that my old hen laid the same egg 16 times," said Dubbie White, a Mississippi native. Northerners may find these idioms bizarre, but Southerners are proud to consider these sayings a part of their heritage.