Twanglish Lesson: Junder and Yunder (Not A Law Firm)

Twanglish Lessons is your semi-unregularly posted guide to mastering the finer points of the Official Language of the South. Remember: it’s not English; it’s Twanglish.

We know what you’re thinking: “Where in the world have our Twanglish Lessons been these last few weeks? There are millions of Real Southerners out there whom we can’t understand without your tutelage and sage wisdom.”

Fear not, dear reader. We, the guardians of Southern idiomatics, have been roaming the countryside far and wide in search of those increasingly rare and insightful bits of Twanglish with which to sate your ever-growing hunger for knowledge.

(Seriously, easy on the knowledge hunger. You don’t want to gorge yourself and trigger a nasty bout of knowledge retching. Unless you’re on Jeopardy. Then, just make sure it’s retched in the form of a question.)

How far have we gone in our quest for more Twanglish? We’ve traveled to this week’s lesson and beyond:

Junder –adverb  1. At some great distance in a particular direction. –adjective  1. Distant or far removed (when indicating a specific object or destination). –noun  1. The far distance.

Junder and its alternate version, Yunder, are used interchangeably, dependent upon the last sound of the preceding word:

Run to that new Walmarts out junder in Chelsea to get me some o’ that faincy store jerky. When ya git to the store, it’ll be over yunder in the back left.

Some might say, “This is simply a mispronunciation of ‘yonder'” and dismiss this Twanglish Lesson outright. O’ ye of little knowledge… Yonder, while indicated otherwise in most dictionaries, is simply a Yankeefied creation, a made up non-word likely born of not listening closely or being dazed by our balmy, humid clime.

If you’ve ever listened to the awkward, decidedly non-Southern vocal stylings of the Yonder Mountain String Band, you’ll know what I mean. Had they been Southerners, they would be the Yunder Mountain String Band, and they wouldn’t sound as if they were in an elocution class as they sang. (I recommend a little Dread Clampitt or Steep Canyon Rangers instead.)

While yunder and junder can be used to refer to any far distance, in the metaphorical sense, junder is becoming more difficult to find. As strip malls and subdivisions fill up every valley, field and hillside on the outskirts of even the most modestly sized Southern city, we must go further to find our junder. But something in the Real Southern Heart yearns for the remote, the wild, the long forgotten or undiscovered. Junder is a destination well worth seeking.

So go now, wiser and better informed of the ways of the Southern world. Travel not hither and yon, but hyar and junder, on your own quest for Real Southernness. But for God’s sake, don’t bother going any further north than Kentucky. You won’t find any decent junder up there.

7 Responses to “Twanglish Lesson: Junder and Yunder (Not A Law Firm)”

  1. I think you made up “junder” like you did “quinny.” 😛 But regardless, “yunder” is a Southern treasure and should be used more often.

  2. Nope….junder was not made up. I grew up hearing my Georgia and Alabama relatives tell me, “You’ll find ye ball out junder (could also be ‘out chunder’) under the willer (Willow) tree”….or…”go on out junder and wait fer me….I’ll be out in a minit”….

  3. Reblogged this on lettersfromawhoremongerswife and commented:
    A humorous bit of Southern-ness…

  4. Bolieu, Harold T. Reply April 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Yes Ma’am, your right. It was the same in Southern Texas. And, as you say, no matter which way you pronounce it Junder-r-Chunder, it was out chunder nieth tha pecan tree.

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