Is Kentucky a Southern or Midwestern State?

      Before I answer this question let me give you my credentials (proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know what I am talking/writing about):

  • I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. As were my parents and grandparents. The rumors that some of my great grandparents were Hoosiers are just that...rumors).
  • I have travelled throughout the South and Midwest enough to be able to distinguish between the two.
  • I am smart. 

This should be ample proof that I do indeed know what I am talking about.

       All that being said, 
Kentucky is a Southern State. 

"But of course" you are saying to yourself. Well, you are smart too but there is a small contingency of persons who ardently & misinformed-edly believe that Kentucky is actually part of the midwest. 

For those few I will lay out the most comprehensive and persuasive argument that will ever and need ever be (how is that for some fancy word play?) made.

20 Reasons Why Kentucky is a Southern State:

1. Magnolia trees. Nothing says THE SOUTH like Magnolia trees.  Those evergreen trees with their broad, sturdy and shiny green leaves and their beautiful, fragrant and massive flower blossoms have been a traditional symbol of the South for eons. Kentucky just happens to be the furthest Northern edge where Magnolia trees grow. In fact my parents have a huge Magnolia tree in their front yard. (So there.)

2. Azalea bushes. Yet another traditional Southern plant that is found growing in Kentucky yards.

3. Johnny Depp is from Kentucky. (That has no bearing on this discussion but I thought you'd like to know that). (P.S. George Clooney also from Kentucky. Muhammad Ali... You guessed it, Kentucky.)

4. Unlike all other parts of the Country, people in the South say the following:
  • A type of faucet where you can get water is called a Spicket. In the rest of the Country it is called and spelled Spigot (Tell me that's not weird sounding!)
  • The nonabbreviated form of the word TARP is called and spelled Tarpuleon (like NapoLEON) in the South whereas elsewhere it is pronounced and spelled Tarpaulin (TARPAULIN? Give me a break!)
  • We use the word TUMP. A combination of Tip and dumped. e.g. "I tumped over my red wine and it stained the carpet." According to Urban Dictionary this originated in ALABAMA-nothing more Southern than ALABAMA. (btw The State Motto of Alabama is: STARS FELL ON ALABAMA. Yes, that really is their motto. I think stars fell on Alabama and left large craters which somehow explains the State's multitude of problems-No offense intended Alambanians, Alabamamanians? Alabamers? Whoever you are, I'm sorry. Well I'm kinda sorry. Okay maybe not so much.Okay no really I am sorry, I am a social worker after all.)
  • Many Kentuckians say "Warsh", "Warshington D.C." and "Warsh" your clothes as oppsed to Wash or Washington which is just darned cute. Wait, I say that myself. Does that make me cute too? Yes, it does.
  • Many Kentuckians say Tarlet or Torlet as opposed to Toilet. That's not as cute as "Warsh".
5.  We have the Kentucky Derby here in... well, Kentucky. Nothing says the South like The Kentucky Derby.  We also have Derby pie here which has BOURBON in it. Nothing says the South like Bourbon (see # 11)

6. Kentucky Fried Chicken was created and is still based from here. Colonel Harland Sanders who wore white suits and string bow ties created the Famous restaurant chain (Let us not quibble about where he was born (Hoosierville) he lived, created his Famous 11 Herbs and Spices recipe, died and is buried here in Kentucky. No one was more of a Southerner than the Colonel. He was most certainly not a Mid-Westener.

7. We have free soda refills in our restaurants. Trust me this is one of the biggest proofs in the entire article. I dare you to take a road trip through the Midwest and go to any diner or roadside restaurant and you will have to pay for your precious second or third diet Coke. Then travel down to the South and enjoy as many refills as you'd like. (Kentucky has free refills. The South has free refills. Need I say more? No. But I will.)

8. Annie Potts who starred in "Designing Women" about four Southern Belle interior decorators is from Kentucky.The Late Tennessee native Dixie Carter attended the Kentucky Derby annually even singing "My Old Kentucky Home" (see #9) at the Derby. I just loved her!

9. BTW: Have you ever heard "My Old Kentucky Home"? There is not a more Southern Song ever written.

10. We say "Y'all" and not in an ironic way.

11. The Judd's (that's right, Naomi, Wynonna, Ashley) are from Kentucky.

12. We have cute accents-perhaps not with such a heavy drawl but decidedly not the typical no-accent midwest.

13. Bourbon, the drink of the South is from Kentucky (Nelson County to be exact).

14. When mentioned that Hunger Games Actor Josh Hutcherson was from Union City, KY. they referred to him as a "Southern boy". (I know that is totally random but it came up on a Google search of Stars from Kentucky and without this fact I would only have 19 reasons why Kentucky is a Southern State and 20 has a much better ring to it. Don't you agree? Yes, of course you do. Thanks for that!)

15. We still have a paddle boat named the Belle of Louisville.

16. If we drink tea it's going to be sweet (or at least if we order it un-sweet we use artificial sweeteners aka cancerous chemicals to make it sweet in order for us to save enough calorie points for dessert which will most likely be pie or cobbler-HOW SOUTHERN IS THAT?!)

17. Apple Fritters. We have them. We love them. That makes us Southern.

18. We still have counties that are dry (It's illegal to sell Alcohol in these counties. Odd since we make Bourbon in Kentucky but since we are in the Southern Bible belt what would you expect?)

19. Would you tell the Coal Miner's daughter (Loretta Lynn) that she was born in the MidWest? I would certainly hope you wouldn't! That would be very rude as well as incorrect.

20. Last and certainly not least: People are friendly here!!! It is not that Midwesterners are not nice people, but they are not particularly friendly. If you pass someone of the street of any MidWest town and you'd be lucky to get a nod, a wave or a "How are you doing?". Here in Kentucky people ask how you are doing or at the very least give you a head not and a "Alright now".  

There you have it folks Kentucky is part of the South. Now one could argue that we aren't as Southern as say: Georgia, Mississippi, or Arkansas but we are Southern. We do have flavors of the Midwest for certain and every once in a while a Yankee turn of phrase or inclination can be found in Louisville which is practically unlike any other part of Kentucky but in the end Southern or not (and we are, Southern just for the record) we are one fantastic and amazing State. (Heck, the Happy Birthday song was written by two sisters right here in Louisville, Kentucky. What more proof do you need?
The answer is: Nothing.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. Y'all really know how to splin thangs.