“God has a Southern accent”

One of my first introductions to living in the American South was the humor of the late Lewis Grizzard.  One of the parishioners at the church I pastored in Louisiana gave me a recording of one of his shows, and I laughed helplessly more times than I can recall as I listened to it.

I was reminded of him by a discussion with a friend about the very Southern expression, “Well, bless his heart!”  Believe me, if you hear a Southern lady say that about someone, he or she is toast.  Ain’t got nothin’ comin’.

That being the case, I thought others among my readers might enjoy hearing Lewis Grizzard discuss Southern language.  (If the embedded video below fails to play, click here to watch it on YouTube.)

I’m still laughing just as hard as the first time I heard him . . .  If Lewis Grizzard made it to heaven when he died, I daresay St. Peter is now greeting new arrivals at the Pearly Gates with a Southern accent, too!



  1. As a [northerner] and an Oregonian I lived in LA (Lower Alabama) for a number of years and I can attest to what Mr. Grizzard spoke of… I didn't try to talk like a Southerner, but, you do pick up the dialect and the way of speaking and after a while, you learn to understand them and adopt to their customs.

  2. At about age 13 the family spent a year in New Orleans. After about six months, I started to pick up a bit of a drawl. Considering I'd spent nearly all of my previous life in Idaho and Utah, the Southern drawl combined with a previously undetected Western twang had my local friends convinced I was from Texas.

  3. When the Dragonette was younger, I explained the concept of "Bless Your Heart" to her as a way to handle an obnoxious boy who kept calling her "sassy" (please – any child of mine is going to be snide, sassy, sarcastic, facetious, and geeky to the Nth degree).

    Then we re-introduced her to her Aunt Brenda who uses that particular phrase sincerely. The poor child thought she had pissed off her beloved Aunt somehow!

  4. Let us not forget there is no one Southern accent. Compare Tidewater Virginia to northern Alabama to Mississippi Delta, and get back to me.

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