Arkansas slang can be extremely hilarious and informative at the same time. You have to be an Arkansan to understand but I’ll try to explain.
These Arkansas slang words and phrases don’t feel like slang to Arkansans. They are just part of our everyday language.
In fact, sometimes it’s hard to even name a slang term because we just don’t recognize them anymore!
However, with the help of fellow Arkansans, I have come up with a list of Arkansas slang that might help folks that aren’t from here.
So, if you are looking for a southern colloquialisms list, Arkansas slang or Arkansas dialect, you’re in the right place! We’ll just call this a southern slang dictionary!
Bless your heart.
Slang or Dialect in Arkansas
What ‘cha doin?
Meaning: What are you doing?
I walk outside to see my husband with the hood of the truck up.
“What ‘cha doin?” I ask.
“Oh, just checking the wiper fluid,” he says.
Meaning: About to
I’m fixin’ to go to the store.
or, to make things more confusing…
“I’m fixin’ to fix some supper” which means: I’m about to cook supper.
Always said with a Southern twang.
Meaning: Got them
Did you remember to buy apples at the store?
Yeah. I got ’em.
Meaning: Over there
Have you seen my purse?
Yeah, it’s over yonder.
Where is that cute old smokehouse?
Usually said while pointing in general direction of where item is located.
Gross! Do you smell that polecat?
Usually, said while driving down a back road in Arkansas.
Also known as “polecat slang.”
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I’ve got a hankering for some tacos.
You’re a mess
1. You look awful.
2. You’re so sweet.
3. You’re hilarious!
If your child walks up to you with muddy clothes on, you say, “You’re a mess!”
If someone surprises you by washing your car that hasn’t seen a wet rag in 4 years, you say, “You’re a mess!” It means, “I cannot believe you just did that! Thank you so much!”
You hold a friend’s baby at church and the baby keeps kissing your cheeks. You say, “Aw! You’re a mess” It means, “You’re so sweet and cute!”
If you’re friend starts crying because she has lost her car keys again, she forgot to iron her shirt again, and she’s late for work again, you say, “You’re a mess!” It means, “You need to start setting an alarm clock and stop being such a slacker. If you would just try a little harder, you wouldn’t be crying right now!”
But, of course, it’s nicer to just say, “You’re a mess!” And help your friend look for her car keys.
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Meaning: good, fine
I’m feeling hunkey dorey today!
Bless your heart
One of the most used Arkansas slang phrases out there.
1. You’re stupid.
2. You’re kind.
If someone backs their car into the same power pole three times in a row, you say, “Bless your heart.” It means “I can’t believe you could be that stupid three times in a row.”
If someone shows up to your house with a casserole when you’re sick on the couch, you say, “Bless your heart!” It means, “Thank you so much for the casserole! I’m just too sick to stand in the kitchen and I needed this so much. What a great friend you are!”
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Meaning: working a little
“I’ve been outside piddlin’ in the yard all day.”
This Arkansas slang word means that you probably mowed a little, did a little gardening, and pruned your roses…slowly.
Meaning: You all
- How are y’all?
- Are y’all going to the cookout?
- Y’all better quit running through this house!
Do you ever wonder, “Why Do Southerners Say Y’all So Much?“