Jenna Wolf of The Lotus Room
for 12th & Broad
Published 8:00 AM EDT Jul 17, 2019
When calling Nashville home (even for the weekend), it’s good to learn to speak the language.
Being a Southern town, Music City is ripe with colloquialisms and sayings unfamiliar to Yankee and Californian ears.
Don’t worry, here at 12th and Broad, we’ve got you Nashville newbies covered.
We will have you speaking like a native in no time with this list of both uniquely Southern and Nashville phrases you will likely hear around town:
Y’all: You all. Everyone. All you people.
Fixin’: Used in lieu of, “I’m going to” or “getting ready to”
Bless your heart: You can pretty much follow up any gossipy comment with, “bless their/her/his heart” and that makes it okay.
Meat and three: A typical Southern dinner. Meat and three sides, heavy on the mashed potatoes and gravy.
God’s Country: The South.
Athens of the South: A nickname of Nashville, for being a city filled with colleges (32 to be exact). Also, the main reason for the life-sized replica of The Parthenon in Centennial Park.
Vols: University of Tennessee athletics. Knoxville. Big Orange. Football. Tennessee Volunteers.
Commodore: Vanderbilt University athletics, in-state rival of the Volunteers.
Preds: Short for, the Nashville “Predators,” our professional hockey team.
Smashville: Where the “Preds” smash their competition – get it?
Titans: Not a race of mythological Greek people, no, no — our professional football team.
Hot Chicken: Other than music, it might just be hot chicken that put Nashville on the map.
Created by the family of Andre Prince Jeffries, owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken, this spicy dish is our local specialty. Traditionally served on white bread and complete with pickles, get ready to sweat and enjoy a taste of Nashville with every bite.
Winder: Refers to a window.
Pitch a fit: A true Southerner knows you don’t have a hissy fit, you pitch one.
Hold your horses: Be patient. Hold on a sec. Slow your roll.
Stompin’ grounds: Where you’re from. Your turf. Your favorite hang.
NashVegas: A term often associated to Nashville as a whole, but locals know this actually refers to Lower Broadway in all of her neon lit, “why am I still up at 2 a.m.” glory.
SAT Co: A long-time Nashville staple, San Antonio Taco Co. has been satisfying student bellies with affordable Tex-Mex and buckets of Corona since 1984.
Paris: In Nashville, when someone tells you they are from Paris, they don’t mean France. They are referring to a little town 86 miles northwest, known for hosting the “World’s Biggest Fish Fry” every April and for it’s 60-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower.
Tax-free weekend: A weekend in August in which certain items are tax-exempt throughout the state.
Tea: Served sweet always. You must request un-sweet or else this is what you’ll get.
Barbecue: Memphis-style, slow-cooked in a pit, served “dry” or “wet.”
I Believe In Nashville: In May of 2010, Nashville was nearly underwater. While we lost homes and precious landmarks, we didn’t lose heart. In fact, Nashville banded together to help those who were affected without hesitation. It was the most beautiful display of unity and loving service a city could ever ask for.
A phrase commemorated with a now world-famous mural located on the side of 12th South Dental Studio; 2700 12th Avenue South.
The Nashville Way: Not just a slogan on this adorable shirt by Project 615, but a phrase coined to praise what is viewed as our city’s amicable race relations during the Civil Rights movement. Read the book, The Nashville Way by Benjamin Houston.
Southern charm: An attitude of hospitality, warmth, sweetness and generosity attributed to Southerners. This attitude will get you a long way in this town and you don’t have to be from here to have it.
Honky Tonkin’: What visitors in cowboy hats are doing on the weekend. Occurs on Lower Broadway only.
It ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity: A phrase that can’t be explained, it’s something you feel. One you will better understand sometime in June.
LOTG: When your friend texts you in August asking if you’d like to go to LOTG, they are inviting you to Live on the Green — Nashville’s free outdoor music festival brought to you by our beloved local independent radio station, Lightning 100. You should say yes.
Swarmageddon: Now and again, you may hear a Nashville local mention the Swarmageddon of 2011. This refers to the 17-year cicada invasion that lasted a whole Summer. It was seriously gross. Get ready, the next 13-year cycle brood will be returning 2021.
We hope ya’ll love this town as much as we do!
Jenna Wolf is a licensed massage therapist, yoga instructor, reiki master, ayurvedic practitioner, Belmont grad and owner of Nashville’s leading healing studio, The Lotus Room. A native Southern Californian, Jenna is inspired by nature and the art of ancient living through the practice of yoga and ayurveda. She believes in the power of positive thinking, the freedom of artistic expression and is a forever advocate of peace and love. For more information on massage, yoga, ayurveda and upcoming workshops, visit thelotusroomnashville.com. Like The Lotus Room on Facebook and follow Jenna’s personal journey into living The Good Life on Instagram @jennawolf.