Whatcha ‘fixing’ to do? 

Published 12:54 pm Monday, May 22, 2023

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Dear Aunty Pam,

I’m a middle aged woman that has moved down to North Carolina from Manhattan. I love it here and people are so friendly. My only problem is I can only understand about half of them.

Can you tell me why everybody is ‘fixing’ something? What do they mean when they say they are ‘fixing to go to the store?’ Doesn’t the word, fix, mean to mend? I don’t get it.

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The other thing is everyone wants to know what church I’m going to join. That’s the first thing they ask and then I have to tell them I’m Jewish. Then they say, ‘Well, so was Jesus.’

I’m not really sure what to say to that. Like I said, they are such friendly, kind people. Any suggestions?




Dear Dolores

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. (Thought you might enjoy that). Consider moving to the south as if it were a full immersion cultural experience. Like, say, moving to Paris and being plunked down in the middle of the city with no idea where you are and being unable to speak or understand the language. But instead of sitting at a sidewalk cafe with a pain au chocolat and an espresso, you’ll be tucking into a meat and three and Wade’s and a sweet tea, whether you want it or not. It’s sort of the law. Like retired guys getting into woodworking.

The ‘fixing’ thing, I have no idea, and I was born and raised in Georgia. It seems to be short for ‘getting ready to.’  So it can be used in a variety of ways: “I’m fixing to go to the store,” “I’m fixing to pass out if I don’t get some sleep,” or “I’m fixing to beat you like a rented mule.” In fact, it’s used for everything instead of actually repairing something, as I’ve yet to hear anyone ever say, “I’m fixing to fix the vacuum,” yet I have heard a woman say, “Wait, I’m still fixing my hair.”

It’s really no different than New York, Dolores, just a different dialect. You’ve got ‘Youse guys,’ we’ve got ‘Y’all.’ Even when it’s just one person. Don’t sweat it, just go with the flow and learn how to bake casseroles.


Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam