Nope, I’m not a Native.

I saw this sign posted the other day and thought it was hilarious.
Yes, that word is supposed to be tamales. I am not sure if it is misspelled or just misunderstood.

People in TN just don’t get Spanish. I almost died laughing the first time I heard the word tortilla pronounced TOR-TILL-UH. I had to quickly stop myself from reacting out loud because the TN native was serious, she wasn’t trying to repeat Napoleon Dynamite.

Here are some other things that I had to learn after moving to TN.

1. to run if you hear a banjo. (that is towards the banjo for those of us that are bluegrass lovers)

2. Walmart is GOD’s department store.

3. Convenient stores are man’s best friend. (I would argue that people know this one all over the country)

4. Moonshine can cure any sickness, virus, and sometimes disease.

5. Hillbilly isnt a label, its a language. (that I readily admit, I do not know)

6. It’s baseball season all year long because everyone has a dip. (chewing tobacco, that is)

7. Bright orange T-shirts should be worn every Friday with pride, and if all your Orange is dirty (which is NEVER for natives) a John Deere shirt or hat is the next best thing to help you fit in.

8. They’re not rednecks, they’re Appalachian Americans. And if you can’t pronounce Appalachian correctly, don’t utter it at all. (App uh latch un)



  1. In my last ward there was this sweet girl Sandra Leal, from Mexico who every once in a while made homemade tamales to sell. I asked her for the recipe, but she said they were too hard to make, sadly. But- she did keep me stocked every once in a while!In all my years as a “faux” Tennessean/southerner, I’ve never seen a native try to make tamales, much less spell tamales. I’d bet it wouldn’t be a southern accent you’d find at the other end of the phone…. awsome tamales however! You may want to call. YUMMY

  2. It’s always fun when you move to another part of the country. I know when we moved from California to North Carolina it was soooooooooo different, but I loved it. Sounds like you’re having a great experience.

  3. We moved from central NJ, Dh worked in NYC and we moved to NC! veddy veddy different. LOL, we have adapted well and love it here. This post had me rolling with laughter! too funny!

  4. My all time favorite is when someone says “I don’t car to”. Well to anyone not from the south that sounds like they are being very rude, but really it means “Sure I would love to.” Now why don’t they just say that.Shannon

  5. I NEVER say Appalachian correctly — that word drives me nuts! (gosh did I even just spell it correctly??)Before we moved here orange was my “go to” color when we were going somewhere crowded with the kids. I could always spot them in orange. I tried that three or four times here before I finally realized in TN, orange is like camoflage! You just blend in!

  6. You’re a regular Utah snob with all your stereotypes of Tennesseans. Maybe you should give credit to the majority who have common sense & can actually speak Spanish. Despite the fact that you pride yourself on people more ignorant than yourself. Have some manners!

  7. I have to comment here.First of all, I am not from Utah.Second of all, I have never called anyone ignorant. In fact I took a lot of the truly ignorant stereotypes off this list before I posted it.And I would be the first to admit my own ignorance. (I just happen to know how to spell tamale because I grew up in CALIFORNIA)Thirdly, I have to admit I haven’t seen the census, but I feel pretty safe in saying that the majority of Tennesseans CAN’T speak Spanish.Really, whoever you are anonymous, can’t you laugh at yourself?…I am not trying to make anyone feel bad. It is just fun to see the differences in societies.I LOVE TENNESSEE!!! It is my permanent home. But, unlike some people, I am willing to take an honest look at my surroundings. They are not BAD… I have never called them BAD, just different.

  8. Renee, Tamales are not necessarily hard just complicated and a LONG process. I am sure you could get a good recipe online, knowing how good you are at playing Martha and all.

  9. Regarding Shannon’s comment:When my husband first started his job in Kentucky, people would say “don’t care to” all the time. He was SO confused as to why people would say that they “didn’t” want to do something, but would do it with a cheery attitude anyway…

  10. Reading the comments actually reminded me of how I mentioned to my California in-laws that when I was a kid my favorite food was tacos. FIL responded in surprise, “They had tacos in Virginia when you were a kid??” MIL answers, “Well, they had Taco Bell.” He gives an understanding, “ohhhh…”I am not sure which one of us was more surprised…. Them because tacos existed in the USA outside of CA…. or me… I was so surprised that they were surprised that I ate tacos as a kid.

  11. Sorry, that my comment was a little off topic.I give the South two thumbs up… 🙂I was a little surprised when I moved not from from Maryland to Virginia when I was 12. I heard about rednecks but I didn’t know what they were. I pictured more of a skin head gang with lots of tatoos and earrings.

  12. You know, I agree that when you live somwhere you have to celebrate the good and the wierd! You do a great job at pointing out both, so whoever anon. is just has some issues dealing with the fact that even Tennessee is not perfect. That sign is a good one though, you gotta love the South right!

  13. Ah you gotta love Alice’s posts. You know it’s a good one when there are a dozen comments. Over Easter weekend we visited Nathan’s ward and a guy from Utah decided to share his testimony of TN. It wasn’t really a testimony because he just talked about things he discovered in TN such as a Piggly Wiggly & the fact that Nashville is really a city, not “a bunch of homeless people playing the guitar on the street” (isn’t that weird that people would have such a perception?) Anyhow… love the drama of your blog- I need to spice mine up. 🙂

  14. Alice, if you’ve got a good tamale recipe, please share! I love good authentic food. I don’t think Sandra really thought they were hard to make, but she thought they were too hard for me! Funny. It’s ok though, because she was always most generous!

  15. Well, here goes a real life Tennesse gal. First, there are four ways to say Appalachian-ap uh ley chee uhnap uh ley chuhnap uh lach ee uhnap uh lach uhnOur son Logan did research on this a couple of years ago. All are correct. Most Tennesseans say it the fourth way. I had a friend from South Carolina, who recently passed away who had the most beautiful, southern accent. When she spoke, EVERONE listened no matter where they were from. Every word she spoke was a delight to hear. In times past, and probably even now, The Appalachian area has been pictured as being populated with un-educated, ignorant people and so sometimes it is easy to become offended. If I’m not mistaken (?) there are all kinds of people who are educated, un-educated, smart, or ignorant, the whole world over. I had a friend from Utah who lived here for a couple of years then her husband’s job took her back to Utah. Someone in their area had a son who was called to serve a mission in Tennessee and she asked my friend if her son should go with a good supply of shoes to last him all his mission. She really thought we didn’t have shoe stores in Tennessee. Now that was probably not the smatest thing to ask but most likely that was all she knew about Tennessee. I choose not to be offended and just try to understand that she was probably a very intellegent woman who was worried about her son and his well being. (I have to admit, though, when I heard this a few years back, I thought it was a stupid question. I have softened.)We all have different ways of pronouncing different words.I say wash and creek. Some of my friends say warsh and crick. I say party, some say potty.Some say straight sentences without any added works and some say “like, I say my, like, sentences, like, with the word like, that’s the, like, way you are suppose to like, you know.” My whole question is, “Does it really matter how we speak or whether it is English or Spanish or with a southern, northern, eastern or western accent?” To me the more important question is “Do we speak to each other in reverence and love having respect for one another?” Something for us all to think about. Just laugh with me, not at me.I told hubby, Duane, about this particular blog and he suggested I ask you how you would pronounce the capitol of Kentucky. Is is:Looie-ville orLouis-ville orLoua-ville? Give your opinion then check the dictionary or look up Kentucky in the encyclopedia. I would give you a link but I haven’t learned how to do that yet. HELP ALI!!Y’all and You’uns have a good day ya here!!

  16. You are very cute Alice’s mother-in-law. I can see why Alice likes you so much.Here in Kentucky, I have heard:Lew-vulLew-villeAnd people who are not from the commonwealth of Kentucky I’ve heard say:Lew-ee-villeLewis-villeI, myself, am a Utah transplant, so I just waited to say it out loud until I heard it about 10 times. Then I decided to say “Lew-ville”.

  17. Hi! I’m here because of Pedaling and I am so excited to see you are in Tennessee. My son is in Tennessee too!! Preaching the gospel in Spanish…Yay. He is in Lebanon-i don’t have any idea where that is in relation to where you are but so cool to “meet” someone living in TN. Loved this post.

  18. I just came over from Renee’s blog. The first trip after I moved here from Texas I stopped and asked another shopper, an older lady, if she knew where they stocked the tortillas. She replied, “Well I have no idea where they would stock tor-till-as. I wouldn’t even know how to cook one.” I was so shocked/amused I left before I found them. To this day I am not sure if she was kidding or not.And I am with you on the tamale making ordeal, it is time consuming. The only time my family would get together and make them is at Christmas. My Tia Rosalinda would make the brisket the day before and soak the corn husks overnight. Then the entire family would gather around several tables pushed together. Everyone has an assignment masa spreaders, meat rollers, wrappers, stackers, and so on. It took the entire (all 7 siblings and all of their children) several hours to make a mere 120-150 dozen. This may seem like alot, but in the end after we had eaten our fill while cooking each family would only leave with about 15 dozen a piece that they would have to then share with their own kids. My dad would get his 15 doz leaving each of his five adult kids with 2 doz to take home because he insisted that he keep some on hand at his house for when we came over for family dinner. Tons of fun to do as a family, but tons of work.

  19. Holy tamoles,batman!That was funny. Just love each areas own culture, it’s so cool. Tamales are a royal pain in the neck to make, that’s why you buy them 🙂

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