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  • Writer's picturePaisley Ingram

Piddlin' A Southern Art Form

Most of the Southern slang that was used growing up sounded nearly made up. Some words and sayings didn't seem to be at all relevant for the meaning they had, but I guess that is what made the beautiful language of the South. Words roll off the tongue like a sweet serenade of a banjo playing across the hills and hollers as we sit on our porch swings rocking to the rhythm of home.

One of my very favorite Southern slang words is Piddlin' now in other parts of the United States this means very different things. Piddling is a word for urinating in some parts of the states; for others, it is the act of wasting time. Even some Southerners view piddlin' as a time of waste but from what I can see when done right Piddlin' can be one of the most relaxing and productive times well spent.

Growing up I would hear someone say...

"I'm just piddlin' in the garden."

"I'm just piddlin' in the yard."

"I'm just piddlin' on the tractor."

Piddlin' is time spent doing something it could be anything with no real rush, no deadlines, or time constraints. You piddle when you don't have anything you really have to be doing but simultaneously have many things to do. When I come in late in the evening and it's too late to start a project, there is still some daylight left. That's when I go piddlin' in the garden. I may pull weeds or deadhead some flowers and before I know it I've accomplished a whole lot without the pressure of having to get it done. It's done with a relaxed mind and spirit just enjoying being in the moment. Now if you are looking for a phrase to embody not doing anything at all.. for real. you may want to use.

"I ain't doing squat."

There's a big difference between the piddlin' relaxing and the not doing squat kind of relaxing but more on that another time.

Until then y'all go out and get to piddlin' you won't regret it.


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