It's been almost three months since I moved to the Quad Cities from Arkansas and in that time, I've gotten some profoundly confused looks on some of my vocab.

I counted out at least 10 words or phrases (which did not take long) in my normal lexicon that lost meaning and understanding when communicating in Iowa. Now, I don't throw these words out for funsies to intentionally confuse anyone, they're literally just the result of 28 years of living in Tennessee and Arkansas. It's the part of the rice fields that muscled into my vocab.

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There are several phrases that we both use, midwesterners and southerners. The first ones that come to mind are ope and welp. We both have the tradition of leaving a gathering by slapping our hands on our knees, standing up, and saying something like 'welp, suppose we should head out'. We'll both say 'ope' if we almost crash into someone at the supermarket.

Southerners like coming up with smilies, the comparisons that use 'like' or 'as'. There's no handbook to phrases, it's really whatever harebrained, off-the-wall comparison a southerner can make to a feeling about an event. The more colorful a personality is, the higher the likelihood that they'll be good at this.

Scroll down to check out just a handful of the words and phrases that I've learned are apparently quite southern. Work them into your vocabulary if you want to confuse people too. You won't be the first one to say "whattttt?"

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