Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bless Your Heart...

This phrase came up in a conversation I was having with a friend who lives up North.  It came up again at our neighborhood Bible study on Wednesday.  My Northern friend said that this phrase is confusing for them sometimes because they are never sure exactly what it means...if it is good or bad. At Bible study, one of the ladies (Southern born and bred) said she hated hearing this phrase.  So, I thought I would take a minute to clear up any misconceptions you might have when you hear a Southerner say, "Bless Your Heart".


Bless Your Heart is a phrase that Southerners can use for good or evil.  I don't know it if started out that way, but it's the way it works now.  Here are a few instances of its use and how it should be taken:

"You wrecked your car? Bless your heart, that's awful!" = This is a Southerner being sincerely nice and hates that these circumstances happened.


"I see you got your hair cut...bless your heart" = This is never good.  This is telling you that this was not a good decision, please don't ever do this again.


Then, there are some obscure instances...

"Bless your heart, those are the most interesting salt shakers I've ever seen!"  Hmmmm, do you say thank you or I'll find you something different to use?


I admit that sometimes, I don't even know how to take it.  But, if I use "bless your heart" it is always in a good way....meaning that I sympathize, empathize and generally hate that something bad is going on in your world.

While I'm at it, I would like to clear up a few other misconceptions about Southerners:

1)  I have all of my teeth.  Well, except 2 that I lost last summer due to an abscess.  A dentist, who shall remain nameless, broke a drill bit off in my tooth (go ahead and cringe and say "bless your heart" because it is appropriate to do so) and then put a crown on it.  It had no choice but to abscess...that was miserable.


2)  Down South, it is Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Mellow Yello, Dr. Pepper, etc.  There is no soda or pop.  We don't know what that means.

3)  "Yonder" is an actual location.

4)  We do not fry everything in oil...sometimes we fry it in butter.


5)  We are always "fixin'" to do something.

6)  We have hissie fits and conniptions and they are always pitched!


7) We push buggies, not carts.

8) We make friends while standing in line at the store or in the bathroom at Chick-Fil-A.

9)  Texas is not a Southern state.


10) Southerners always bring food to a funeral.

Hope you enjoyed this little bit of silly!  Happy Saturday!


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30 comments

  1. Thank you for clearing that up! I am sure your Northern friend gets it now. Sort of. ;)

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    1. That's okay...I live here in the South and get confused by it sometimes. :-)

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  2. This is so great Benita. Glad you cleared that up for us Northerners lol! I always have heard this said to mean a good thing. Love all the silly's today. Made me smile. Y'all have a great trip and safe travels!!!
    Kris

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    1. LOL…so glad you enjoyed it. Since it had come up twice in the last few weeks, I decided to play on it for a silly post for today! Thank you so much! Have a great rest of the weekend! :-)

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  3. I was just fixin' to grab a drank from the fridge.

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    1. Did you have to walk over yonder to yer fridge?

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  4. I too have used Bless your (his, her) heart in both ways and hope that the tone of my voice lets people know how it's meant. Usually if it's a "She can't help it, bless her heart" it's followed by a laugh and this you only say with your closest and most trusted friends!

    Benita, I love all of these and love the South! It's the only place where strangers all actually talk in an elevator. I remember a preacher we knew telling us about his trip to D.C. where he tried to start up a conversation in the Metro. Everyone looked at him like he was scary. Here if you start talking everyone starts smiling and tells you to "take care" when you leave. My father would talk to everyone he came across when we were out. We would think they were his long lost cousin but no, they were total strangers.

    You take care now, you hear?
    Dewena

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    1. Dewena, I use it the same way with very close friends who know what I mean by it..LOL

      The South is a very friendly place, that's for sure. We usually talk to everyone... you find something in common and start up a conversation. We did find on our recent trip up North, that everyone we talked to did carry on a small conversation, which was encouraging. I love the "you take care now, ya hear?"...it's just a Southern thing! :-)

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  5. Very silly post and just downright cute! Up here in the north saying "Bless Your Heart" in some cases is equal to our "I was just kidding".... another way of kiddingly meaning it in a nice, I want to dig you anyways, sort of way. It was "pop" when I was a kid, now it's soda. No one makes eye contact up here so there are no friendships made in public places and I do have hissy fits every once in a while! Us Italians bring food to funerals! Oh, and one pet peeve of mine about us New Yorkers.....we all don't live in New York City. There is a whole beautiful state above the city and it is filled with people!! Thanks for letting me vent :-)

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    1. While we were traveling up North, we were able to strike up some conversations with a few strangers, but when I was in NYC a while back, everyone walked with their head down and seemed in a hurry. The store owners were nice and chatty, but waiting at red lights and such, there was no conversation. Down here, everyone’s your long lost brother or sister and chats nonstop. :-) New York state is absolutely gorgeous, but you are right, no one seems to know the rest of it exists…LOL. I will pitch a hissy fit on occasion and have a conniption about once a week..LOL. We Italians do bring food to everything! :-) And you are welcome to vent anytime! :-)

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  6. Native born Texan here. Wouldn't even consider living in any other part of the world - and yes I have seen a large part of the world. I also do have all my teeth, wear shoes, use the above sayings and talk to strangers. Meet some of the nicest people that way! If this is silly, keep up the silliness. Made me smile to think that others don't know what they are missing.

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    1. We lived in Dallas for a while, but I feel as though I was born and raised there. :-) We still miss it and hope to be able to move back one day. The South does move a little slower and probably seems to do things a little backward from the rest of the country, but we've never met a stranger. I talk nonstop...lol. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I appreciate it greatly! :-)

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    2. I'm born and bred Mississippi here but I currently live in Texas with my husband. We've also lived out West and in the Midwest when he was active duty USAF. I have to agree TEXAS is not the South BUT it is a wonderful place still.

      I know that I'm biased but there really is not anything better than a true Texas guy. And by that I do not mean just the "Cowboy". There are so many things about a Texas guy that is genuine and real that I've not seen in other guys. I say that he just bleeds Texas to me. And what my idea of Texas would be.

      Never would I insinuate that Southern boys from other states don't possess these same qualities at all or even qualities Texas guys may not have. It's just a different kind of breed in Texas. And I just don't think you can understand what I'm trying to say unless you've experienced living in Texas.

      And honestly, do they get any better than Texas boy Matthew McConaughey? I think not!

      Wonderful post! Thank you. Have a most blessed day!
      Belinda

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    3. Belinda, thank you so much for your comment! I totally understand what you are talking about. I got the best of both worlds. My hubster was born in Alabama but raised in Texas. So I got a Southern born Texas raised cowboy! :-) Thanks so much and have a wonderful night! :-)

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  7. I do believe you're getting sillier by the day, but I like it. It suits you.
    Brenda

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    1. Thank you ma'am...I think all of this house hunting did it to me! Love ya!

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  8. That's interesting...bless your heart up here in western Pa would always be taken nicely as far as I know.

    But we have 'hissie fits' too! :)

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    1. I've always known it to be nice, but then I started seeing and hearing it used in sarcastic ways...don't understand it though. I think the "hissie fits" and "conniptions" are strictly female and do not apply to a geographical location...LOL

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  9. PS read your nice article over at Brenda 's :)

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  10. This Northern Girl LOVES it! You are SO MUCH FUN!!
    I say "Soda" LOL

    I have never visited the South, I hope to some day.
    Carla

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    1. Thank you so much Carla! I try to shake things up a bit. You would enjoy it, but come in the winter…it’s about 80 degrees then…LOL.

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  11. Hi Benita!
    This was really interesting and cleared things up for me too...being from Canada and living here in Illinois for the past couple of years I have encountered a lot of different sayings and words. We have travelled to the south and found the people to be amazingly chatty and friendly and this is what we are used to where we are from in Canada. It's one of the things I miss the most about home - knowing your neighbors - talking to people like you have a genuine interest in them...it seems like a simple thing, but it's how I think the world should be!
    Did that really happen to you at the dentist? That made me cringe!
    Can't wait to see the post on your new home!! :)

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    1. I think a lot of people have mixed emotions about the "bless your heart" phrase. I usually take it as a good thing. We are definitely chatty down here and never really meet a stranger. I love talking to people to find out about their life and family...I find it interesting. And I agree, it's how it should be. Yes ma'am, that really happened. It was an awful experience. That tooth with the drill bit and crown bothered me so much and then it just finally abscessed. I had never had one in my entire life and I lost 2 teeth because of it. I was furious and in so much pain! Thanks so much girl! Hope you have a great night!

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  12. some of my friends in England use it too, and yes, it depends on the context. you use it if you really appreciate someone, are thankful for something someone did, or if you feel sorry or a worried about them. I find it funny because you don't hear it often, and if often only the short versions 'bless' or 'bless her' and I always wonder where those people got the habit from...

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    1. That is so cool that it is used in England. I naively thought it was only stateside. But I've never heard the shorter version. Here in the south, we draw everything out for the long version. :-) Even the word "real" has 4 syllables. :-)

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  13. Good read Benita and entertaining especially since I live in CA and we do things a bit different here!

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    1. Thank you ma’am! I love hearing about the differences between the regions of the US…that’s why I share some of our weird things down here…in case anyone wants to know…LOL

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  14. Oh yes... the "Bless your heart" game lol When I moved from California to Virginia, I learned all kinds of things, especially that. Mostly, I learned that I would never be excepted if I kept telling people where I was from, unless I told them that my family was originally from the South. Then it was okay, although they still referred to me as "a come here" or called me "California" LOL

    xo

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    1. LOL…I like that…the “Bless Your Heart” game. That sounds about right! I don’t understand why some people are that way. I love it when I meet people who have moved from different places. It definitely makes for more interesting conversation and finding out about new places! Hugs!

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