What do these two words mean to you? As a”’mature’ woman of the South (although true Southern women would wag their momma finger at me because Texas isn’t considered ‘in the South!’), this is a phrase I grew up with, use on occasion, and get mixed reactions! My grown son hates it when I tell him this, but I like it. Conveys a lot — sympathy, compassion, or if said quickly, disbelief, disdain.
Colloquialisms, regional sayings and dual purpose words don’t always work in our manuscripts. When I was a personal assistant for a published author, I reviewed her rewrites and some of the notes from the copy editor were strange, and laughable. If you have to explain a word or phrase, then it has lost something in translation. And so has some of the wonderful color and flavor of that region. Poor baby! Bless her heart, she just doesn’t understand.
Should we as writers continue to use them, explaining the meaning in the following paragraphs, or not? I want to know, so chime in. Ya hear?