18 Unmistakable Traits That Prove You’re a True Southern-Bred

The southern region of America offers an upbringing steeped in its culture and traditions. Let’s take a peek into what it’s like to grow up in this area with its captivating idiosyncrasies and enduring customs.

You love Southern food

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One of the well-known aspects of the Southern tradition is the food. Items such as ‘spicy gumbo’, sautéed greens, fried chicken, and BBQ meat are readily available and enjoyed by all families. The typical breakfast comprised of fluffy biscuits with sausage and gravy.

Remember Barefoot summers

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In the scorching heat of the South, it was quite common for children to roam around barefoot during those warm summer days. Remember the feeling of the grass on your feet? There was nothing quite like it.

You have strong family connections

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The sense of family connections runs deep within the southern communities. People often refer to close friends as “cousins ” regardless of blood relations. Your parents welcomed everyone into your home.

You like sweet tea 

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When it comes to “tea” in the South, it’s always understood to be ‘sweet tea’, which is a beloved regional favorite and is commonly known as iced tea to most around the world.

You enjoy giving personalized gifts

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Receiving gifts with one’s initials was a tradition, particularly for young girls. Gifts either have their initials engraved on them or some sort of personalized writing. 

‘Coke’ is ‘soda’

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A unique regional quirk found in the South was referring to all sodas as “Coke. Familiar faces standing around in neighborhood shops were a sight in numerous communities, drinking a soda and talking about their day.

You might be into flannel shirts and NASCAR

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Down South, flannel shirts were considered a crucial component of one’s attire. The neighborhood kids most often had a bunch of NASCAR stuff in their living room, including a box of Dale Earnhardt Bugles. People wore clothes with the flags stitched on them on at least 40% of the material.

Attending church

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Attending church held significance beyond practice. It served as a hub for socializing and community engagement. When you were young, people would often inquire whether you belonged to the First Baptist Church, the First Presbyterian Church, or the lively Pentecostal gathering that resembled a rave lasting for five hours every Sunday.

You respect your elders

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Respecting elders and upholding values were highly esteemed in the South, often influencing interactions and community expectations. ‘Southern Belles’ and ‘Southern Gentlemen’ still exist.

Believe kids should play outdoors

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Southern children enjoyed the freedom of playing in their neighborhoods, allowing them the independence to explore their community—a testament to the trust within their communities and the value placed on outdoor activities.

You remember old people hanging out at general stores

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At the store, you’ll usually find a few folks sitting in chairs engaging in lengthy conversations and occasionally sipping on tea or ‘sweet tea’. As a child, they might have seemed intimidating but your parents would often encourage you to interact with them. This is still a welcome and common occurrence in the South.

College football is important

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College football took on a place in our lives down south. The intense rivalries between teams became a part of our identity and social interactions.

Winter in the south

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Catching sight of a snowflake would ignite sheer joy and excitement among Southerners, and it wasn’t uncommon for schools to close during harsh winters, but you didn’t mind…snowball fight!

Wearing camouflage clothing as a teen

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It wasn’t uncommon to spot kids and teenagers sporting camouflage clothing as their fashion statement, adding a touch of flair to their style.

Outdoor activities are the best

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Southern childhoods often revolved around spending time engaging in activities like capturing tadpoles and crabs and participating in neighborhood swim teams.

Summertime lightning bugs

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When the summer nights were filled with lightning bugs it was a reminder for the kids to head home as the curfew approached, adding a touch of magic to their evenings. Lightning bugs aren’t just insects but a well-known tradition.

Vacations at the Gulf Coast

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For many families, heading to the Gulf Coast for a beach vacation was a cherished tradition that they always looked forward to.

Extracting honey from honeysuckles

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One of the pastimes during summers was extracting honey from honeysuckle flowers showcasing the deep connection between the region and its natural environment. During the summer, in the southern regions, it’s quite common to spend time relaxing near the shrubs in your backyard. You can enjoy about a cup of honey gathered from around 700 flowers while also being cautious of bees from time to time.

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