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

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By Darryl Henderson

The Southern states of the U.S. are deeply rich in tradition, with many wholesome customs, comforting dishes, and iconic phrases gracing the region. However, what really makes Southerners special is their kind-hearted personalities, which are made special by following 20 classic Southern traits. 

Hospitality Never Wavers

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If there’s one thing Southerners are known for, it’s hospitality. You’ll always be ready to invite anyone for a hearty meal, whether that be a stranger or your closest family member. This hospitality extends to more than just a seat at the table; formal addresses like “sir” or “ma’am” are a must!

Love for Sweet Tea

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If you’re made sweet tea by a host, you know you’re in the South! It’s a staple Southern beverage, with the best recipes being homemade and passed down through the family. While we can’t share all the secrets, Food Network reminds us that sweet tea should always be cooling in the fridge.  

A Passion for College Football

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True Southerners will have a strong allegiance to their local college football teams, ever ready for a little sportsmanship! College football games are also the perfect opportunities for a spot of socializing, and you can bet you’ll be welcomed like a local!

Hearty Southern Cooking

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If there’s one thing Southerners love, it’s delicious traditional food. Grits, biscuits, and gravy are all part of a staple diet in the South, and it wouldn’t be a true family gathering without a barbecue or cookout. Southerners enjoy staple dishes passed down through generations – especially fried foods!

A Belief in Ghosts and Spirits

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Southerners are passionate about all things that go bump in the night. According to CNBC, Charleston in the south is one of the most haunted cities in the U.S., with the region being filled with spine-chilling legends. Awash with so much history, it’s no surprise haunted tours are so popular!

Those Deep-Rooted Family Values

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Large family gatherings, especially during the holidays and on birthdays, are quintessentially Southern. People from the South respect deep-rooted family values, and they also deeply respect older family members and the wisdom they can share. If you get invited to spend some time with a Southern family, don’t pass that down!

A Strong Religious Foundation

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Those from the South ensure to prioritize regular church attendance, making a huge effort to actively participate in community church events and services. Religion is often a large part of everyday routine and values for a true Southern bred, and it’s something to be respected regardless of whether you’re religious. 

Warm and Welcoming

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You can always depend on a Southerner to greet you with a warm smile and an open conversation. Because they’re so social and friendly, it’s nothing new to see them taking a genuine interest in strangers and striking up a conversation.

Pride in Southern Heritage

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Because the South is filled with so much history, culture, and legends, pride in Southern heritage is huge. Even when going through hardship, you can bet that a Southerner will still make time to celebrate their history and heritage with friends and family. 

The Art of Storytelling

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Southerners are extremely talented at storytelling; they’re always spinning a yarn about the past and present. Due to their welcoming and social nature, you’re always guaranteed entertainment when hanging out with a local, who will happily entertain you with humorous stories or valuable lessons.

The Porch is the Perfect Spot

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According to Town and Country Magazine, “porching” isn’t just a tradition in the South – it’s a way of life. You’re not a true Southerner if you don’t enjoy relaxing on the porch with family and friends. It’s the perfect spot to shoot the breeze and indulge in that engaging Southern conversation!

A Dedication to Land and Home

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Those from the southern U.S. don’t just have allegiance to family and history – they also have dedication to their own land and property. There’s a certain pride about maintaining your beloved home and showcasing it to guests and strangers alike. This is also why gardening is a common hobby.

A Focus on Manners

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Bad manners are never welcome in the South, but luckily, they’re incredibly uncommon. There’s a huge emphasis on etiquette throughout the region, so you can always expect true Southerners to mind their p’s and q’s. This is taught from a young age, and it’s expected to extend to anyone, no matter their background.

A Knack for Hunting and Fishing

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If you can’t hunt and fish, are you truly southern-bred? Hunting and fishing skills are often passed down through generations as recreational events and social trips. These pastimes are among the most important ways to pass the time, particularly for older gentlemen!

A Reverence for Southern Literature

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The South has an abundance of Southern writers and poets, all of whom have produced works any Southerner would be proud to have on their shelf. Discussions about literature, particularly regarding southern life, are rife, but if you’re not in the know, why not immerse yourself in the local library?

A Celebration of Southern Crafts

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Crafts are celebrated in the South for their creativity and, often, skills passed through the family. Quilting, woodworking, and pottery, to name a few, are all respected in the South. When visiting, check out some regular craft fairs to browse the best items and enjoy the social atmosphere. 

County Music and Blues

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Britannica writes that blues music originated in the South and became “one of the most important influences on the development of popular music” throughout the rest of the U.S. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Southerners have such a deep appreciation for this genre; you’ll hear it everywhere you go.  

The Devotion to Local Festivals

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True southern-breds will know that festivals are a huge part of their culture, and you can expect a festival for pretty much anything! Whether it’s food or music, you can enjoy streets filled with parades, and people from the community to join in.

Respect for Veterans and the Military

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Last but not least, the South highly respects those who served in the military and makes time for specific events such as Memorial Day or Veterans Day. These days are filled with parades, celebrations, and recognition for their service; if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to join in, don’t forget to pay your respects!