Things To Know When You Move To The Carolinas

So, I was having a conversation with a customer while waiting to sign their papers, and they had just moved to Raleigh. We talked about hints for those who are new to the Carolinas: here are a few

  • Once a town hits a certain size, everything is in a circle. Stop thinking straight lines, because you’ll end up nowhere near where you want to go
  • Inner/outer loop is easy. The inner is the….inner, and the outer is the….outer. Inner goes clockwise, outer goes counter-clockwise. Simple
  • Barbecue is a noun, not a verb. We eat barbecue, which is pig. We grill out.
  • If you’ve never been to a pig pickin’, don’t put your nose up. You want great food, just grab a hunk off the grill
  • Those mom and pop looking restaurants will give you some of the best food, for a low price, with great service. It may not look fancy, but, they won’t charge you $50 extra for ambiance. They want you to leave with your pants tight and you needing a nap
  • If you see a guy (or girl) in dirty overalls, don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re a hick: they typically drive a combine that costs more than your house for a mere two weeks a year
  • We like things a bit slower around here
  • No matter how long you live here, you will never be a Southerner. If your kids are born here, they will, but, that doesn’t make them a, if you forgive the term, anchor baby for your Southernhood
  • People will call you “hon” and “sweetie.” Women will call both men and women that. Men will say it to women. It is not meant to demean you, offend you, hit on you, hit on your girlfriend/wife, and leave your feminist BS at home. They’re just being polite and personal
  • If someone says to you “well bless your heart,” it means you have done or said something monumentally stupid
  • If a winter storm is on the way, you are required by law to go to the store and buy bread and milk. The Law.
  • Why, yes, everything will shut down with just an inch of ice or snow. Enjoy it.
  • Any time is a good time for Bo Time
  • Yes, people do bring TVs to work or take the day off during the ACC Tournament (basketball)
  • Please do not fake a Southern accent
  • Yes, you can purchase seafood from the folks sitting around with coolers near the beach, and it be safe. And delicious!
  • Don’t tell us how they did it where you came from. You’ll hear “bless your heart,” with a look that says “well, go back there.”

More: A few I forgot (hopefully WP Mobile won’t hose the post)

  • Don’t be alarmed when a good ole boy stops to help you out when you’re in trouble. Southern gents live to help out
  • And don’t offer money to that good ole boy. He just wants you to pay it forward
  • When asking directions, if you don’t know which rock Bob sideswiped when he realized the deer he shot was alive and sticking his horns through the roof of his F150, or where the tree that was hit by lightening and had Gramma and Granpa’s initials in it, or which bridge Sue and Billy Joe made out under in 7th grade, make sure to ask for actual road names
  • Don’t talk down to Billy Bob when asking for directions. He’ll get you so lost that your GPS will have a nervous breakdown, and, is that a banjo playing?
  • Make fun of NASCAR at your own peril

What suggestions do you have?

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12 Responses to “Things To Know When You Move To The Carolinas”

  1. Mike says:

    Damn if you aint got it pegged about right. Been living in the South for over thirty years and some people can still tell I’m not from ’round here.


  2. captainfish says:

    Well, that explains a lot.

    Let’s contrast and compare.
    Here in OK, BBQ is a noun, verb, and an adjective. And, depending on the skill of the BBQ’er, a proper noun.

    Here in OK, much to our recent chigrin, Oklahomans accept anyone. Anyone that is who is willing to work hard and make\give meaning to their lives. But, recently, we’ve been trying to reduce that all-encompassing acceptance.

    Here, “well bless your heart” can mean you are just too stupid to be out walking alone, or, situation is so pathetic or sad that its time to roll out the coin jars.

    Until recently, snow wouldn’t stop everything, but black-ice will always.

    Here, if you ain’t driving a truck or a farm implement, then you are citified.

    Here, everything is so flat, that town are still square, with the newer construction, and most expensive, lies along the outer boundaries.

  3. Mike says:


    Having driven on some OK back roads, I can vouch for the driving a truck or farm implement statement.


  4. Bob Grindrod says:

    So what if my Mother was born, raised and had her first child there, moved up north where she had me, and I went down every other Christmas as a child and a couple of fall and summer trips, fished for crappies, fried them crisp with hush puppies, shot at quail and picked shot out of my teeth, and have sixth sense about fire ant hills and truly ache for a breakfast of eggs, grits sausage, corn bread and black eyed peas? Can I be a Southerner then? (Fireworks is a Christmas thing, not the 4th). (Valedicton: “Don’t rush.”) (Yes Ma’am is not a sexist slur. I have to explain this to sensitive “ladies” all the time. I was raised on yes ma’am yes sir). (“What” is not an acceptable response from child to a parental summons.) I could go on.

  5. gitarcarver says:

    Don’t tell us how they did it where you came from. You’ll hear “bless your heart,” with a look that says “well, go back there.”

    Many will remember the New York ad campaign which had famous people proclaiming “I love NY!” It was also a bumper sticker with “love” being a heart.

    Which led to the bumper sticker which read, “If you heart (love) NY, take I-95 North.”

    Just helping all y’all Yankees out. 🙂

  6. Mike says:

    My wife claims to be from the “Upper South” Yep, she’s a Mainah. I still have to remind her sometimes, we don’t care how y’all done it up there.

    I can still say I’m from the South, having been born and raised in SoCal. (Thank God I don’t live there anymore.)Used to be fairly conservative back then.


  7. Mike says:

    Don’t make fun of our nicknames. There’s a good reason someone has a name like “Nub” or “Dud” or “Smokedaddy”


  8. captainfish says:

    SoCal? Conservative? Really? When? I lived in NoCal for a year over a decade ago. Place where the SoCal people get their food and water. NoCals didn’t see them SoCals as nice friendly conservative-type.

    And as a guide, NoCals see anyting from SanFran on down as SoCal. 🙂 And, we might throw in Eureka to boot.

  9. david7134 says:

    Recently, one of the moms was very upset. She and her pack had moved down from some place above Tenn. She was horrified that her little Johnney was being tauted by the other children at school as they played a game called “kill the Yankee”. Even the teachers did not feel that there was something wrong with the situation. It made me feel warm at heart as I was assured that nothing had changed in over 50 years.

    Always remember that you must respect the flag down here. The stars and bars that is. It is a symbol of freedom sought for and lost.

  10. Mike says:

    @ # 8

    I’m talking about 37 years ago when we moved from San Diego, CA to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Talk about culture shock.

    Reagan was Governor and Carter had just became President.


  11. captainfish says:

    Oh yeah, the good old days of increased freedoms and excessive economic growth. I was happy back then. Wow, look at the purple elephants crawling through the keyhole.

  12. I’ve been in North Carolina full time since 1991, and will never be considered a Southerner. I know some folks who have been here 45 years, but, nope, not Southerners. Have to be born here. Of course, not that big of a deal in the big cities like Raleigh, but, elsewhere…..

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