Southern Quotes

A new section to my smart quotes page.

Southern Quotes


The Southern United States is a complicated place. Outsiders tend to lump all Southerners in one group, usually by calling them “Rednecks.” Well, there may be a Southern culture, but there are an awful lot of subcultures right beneath the surface of Dixie. Besides Rednecks, we have Hillbillies, Cajuns, Snowbirds (Yankees in Florida), Cubans, Melungeons, Cowboys (in Texas) and Mexicans. And when it comes to music, the South is home to country, bluegrass, Gospel, blues, zydeco, Elvis, “Southern rock” stars like Greg Allman and Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc.


Of course, if you want to get technical about it and define a person by his birthplace, I’m neither a Yankee or a Southerner. I was born on the Pacific coast, in an area Ernest Callenbach and Joel Garreau named “Ecotopia.” However, I’ve spent more than four fifths of my life south of the Mason & Dixon Line, so I think I’ve got as good a chance of understanding the South as anybody. Maybe these quotes will help you understand the South, too.


  • “Memphis Martini: Gin with a wad of cotton in it.”–Fred Allen
  • “The summer picnic gave the ladies a chance to show off their baking hands. On the barbeque pit, chickens and spareribs sputtered in their own fat and a sauce whose recipe was guarded in the family like a scandalous affair.”–Maya Angelou
  • “I just got wonderful news from my real estate agent in Florida. They found land on my property.”–Milton Berle
  • “True grits, more grits, fish, grits, and collards. Life is good where grits are swallered.”–Roy Blount, Jr.
  • “I don’t think of myself as a Negro. I’m a Southerner. I just like the Southern way of life.”–Julian Bond
  • “Everyone from the South knows who Jefferson Davis was, and this is one thing that distinguishes the South from other parts of the country.”–William F. Buckley
  • “When the smoke and fire was over, the Negroes had nothing gained, the whites had nothing left, while the jackals have all the booty.”–R. H. Cain
  • “The tragedy of the redneck is that he chose the wrong enemy.”–Will D. Campbell
  • “The friend asked why the Rebel Army had continued to fight when defeat was certain. They were simply afraid to go home and face their women.”–Gordon Cotton
  • “Yes, charisma is the middle name of scads of Southern cads.”–Rosemary Daniel
  • “I’m Southern and I know neurotic behavior.”–Faye Dunaway
  • “Because I was born in the South, I’m a Southerner. If I had been born in the North, the West or the Central Plains, I would be just a human being.”–Clyde Edgerton
  • “Anyone with a lick of sense knows that you can’t make good barbeque and comply with the health code.”–John Edgerton
  • “The past is not dead. It isn’t even past.”–William Faulkner
  • “As long as the Negroes are held down by deprivation and lack of opportunity, the other poor people will be held down alongside them.”–Governor Big Jim Folsom
  • “The Southerner always tended to believe with his blood rather than his intellect.”–Marshall Frady
  • “I love everything about the South; I even love hate.”–Brother Dave Gardner
  • “The South may not always be right, but by God it’s never wrong!”–Brother Dave Gardner
  • “Young feller, you will never appreciate the potentialities of the English language until you have heard a Southern mule driver search the soul of a mule.”–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • “I suggest that the true Southland is that territory within which, when asked by an outsider whether he is a Southerner, the reply almost invariably is “Hell yes!” This “Hell yes” line has the advantage of eliminating the ambivalent wishy washy fringes, and leaving the unquestionably defiant, hard-core Southland.”–Hamilton C. Horton, Jr.
  • “We went across the South on Super Tuesday without a single catcall or boo, without a single ugly sign. Not until we got to New York and the North did the litmus test of race and religion spout from the mouths of public officials.”–Jesse Jackson
  • “Southerners have a genius for psychological alchemy. If something intolerable simply cannot be changed, driven away or shot they will not only tolerate it but take pride in it as well.”–Florence King
  • “I’ve always said that next to Imperial China, the South is the best place in the world to be an old lady.”–Florence King
  • “What you need for breakfast, they say in East Tennessee, is a jug of good corn liquor, a thick steak and a hound dog. Then you feed the steak to the dog.”–Charles Kuralt
  • “I like the South because it is so much warmer on the sidelines than it is up North.”–Coach Tom Landry
  • “Southern women see no contradiction in mixing strength with gentleness.”–Sharon McKern
  • “I didn’t make Arkansas the butt of ridicule. God did.”–H. L. Mencken
  • “Southerners can never resist a losing cause.”–Margaret Mitchell
  • “Next to fried food, the South has suffered most from oratory.”–Walter Hines Page
  • “I know why we lost the Civil War. We must have had the same officials.”–Coach Bum Phillips, on losing the Senior Bowl
  • “When the taste changes with every bite and the last bite tastes as good as the first, that’s Cajun.”–Paul Prudhomme
  • “Southern barbeque is the closet thing we have in the U.S. to Europe’s wines and cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbeque changes.”–John Shelton Reed
  • “Every time I look at Atlanta I see what a quarter of a million Confederate soldiers died to prevent.”–John Shelton Reed
  • “The young bloods of the South; sons of planters, lawyers about towns, good billiard players and sportsmen, men who never did any work and never will. War suits them.. They are splendid riders, first rate shots and utterly reckless. These men must all be killed or employed by us before we can hope for peace.”–General William T. Sherman
  • “In the South the war is what A.D. is elsewhere; they date from it.”–Mark Twain
  • “Southerners make such good novelists; they have so many good stories because they have so much family.”–Gore Vidal
  • “Storytelling and copulation are the two chief forms of amusement in the South. They are inexpensive and easy to procure.”–Robert Penn Warren
  • “The remark has been made that in the Civil War the North reaped the victory and the South the glory.”–Richard Weaver
  • “The South is a region that history has happened to.”–Richard Weaver
  • “O magnet-South! O glistening perfumed South! my South! O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! Good and evil! O all dear to me!”–Walt Whitman
  • “I like the South because of the people. They are loyal. Once they love a team, they’re fans forever.”–Dominique Wilkins
  • “The only place in the world that nothing has to be explained to me is the South.”–Woodrow Wilson



6 responses to “Southern Quotes

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « The Xenohistorian Weblog

  2. The differnce between a Northern Baptist and a Southern Baptist.”There ain’t no hell” “Hell there ain’t” Brother Dave Gardner

  3. Charles Kuralt said, ” A true Southerner will never say in 2-3 words what can better be said in 10-12.

    I have heard this often but am unsure of the accuracy of the numbers.

  4. Pingback: [ brother dave gardner quotes ] Best Web Pages | (KoreanNetizen)

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