Southern Thing Column

Here’s why Southerners say ‘fixin’ to’

Below is an excerpt from a column that appeared on It’s a Southern Thing (SoutherThing.com). To be immediately directed to the full column, click here.

When I was at Auburn University, I went out with a guy in a fraternity for a couple of weeks. (The brothers put a hose through a window and – let ”er rip, tater chip – they had a slip-n-slide down the hall of their house. I mean inside the house. They’d just let ‘er rip, tater chip, with no regard to dry wall or human life. It was no place for decent people, is all I’m sayin’.)

What I recall most – second only to the slip-n-die – is that the guy, an engineering major, had the nerve to correct the speech of yours truly, an English major. He told me saying “fixin’ to” made me sound ignorant.

At the time, I was young and impressionable and I stopped saying “fixin’ to.” These days, I would respond: “I’m fixin’ ta jerk a knot in your tail.” Not really. That would be rude and therefore un-Southern. But I would stand up for my Southern heritage and quote Loretta Lynn, “I may be ignorant but I ain’t stupid..”

RELATED: Colorful Southern phrases and their origins

Southerners know “fixin’ to” has nothing to do with making repairs. It is a handy-dandy phrase meaning “about to.” It functions as a verb.

Example: “I reckon it’s fixin’ to rain.”

I asked the internet the origins of the phrase and it said an archaic meaning of “fix” is “to prepare.” And please note, there is no “g” on the end of “fixin'”. If you pronounce the “g,” you’re doing it wrong. Click here to read the full column.

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