Study: Southerners more courteous than Yankee losers

CLICK TO ENLARGE (Image from Marchex Institute)

CLICK TO ENLARGE (Image from Marchex Institute)

If there’s one thing I learned growing up in the South it’s that Northerners are rude and “cussing” is the verbal ammunition fired by losers.

OK, that’s two things that may not even be true, but, if you put them together, you get something called “research.”

According to a new study, Southerners don’t cuss as much as Northerners.

Ohio, which has to put up with more political ads than any other state in the country, curses the most, according to a new study.

How was this determined?

The Marchex Institute, which must be akin to the Everest Institute for the NSA, used fancy computers to scan 600,000 customer service phone calls and counted how often people in different states unloaded on the poor saps that have to work in customer service.

Other foul-mouthed states in the top 5 include Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois.

Washington, whose “chillaxed” population is under the effect of legalized marijuana, dropped the bong – I mean f-bomb – the least. Washington is also home to Marchex, so they probably cheated to make themselves look good.

Ohioans used profanity every 150 phone calls.  Washington folks cursed half as often.

In honor of National Etiquette Week, phone call data was also scanned for phrases like “thank you,” “please” and “I reckon.”

Unsurprisingly, Southern states were named “Most Courteous.”

Georgians said kind words fifth most often. First and second place were secured by our good neighbors South Carolina and North Carolina.

Louisiana, a state of schizophrenia which can only be explained by the brave soul who has dated someone from that alcohol-soaked area, came in fourth on cursing and courtesy.

Links you can thank me for later:

68 comments Add your comment


December 4th, 2013
9:00 am

Profanity is the result of a limited vocabulary…the lazy man’s approach to conflict resolution.


December 4th, 2013
9:40 am

My theory is that the states with the highest rate of cussing are the ones with the most cat owners.


December 4th, 2013
9:41 am

As a southerner, I can say this study is a waste of time!


December 4th, 2013
9:44 am

If you’ve ever been to NYC (been dozens of times), you know cussing is a way of life. You can’t walk one block without hearing F you. Southerners are raised to be polite, saying yes sir, yes mam, please and thank you goes a long way in living a good life.

(the other) Rodney

December 4th, 2013
10:14 am

Well I declare! You could have knocked me over with a feather :)

@joe – I work with NYers every day (half of my team is out on Long Island) and you’re right. At least, the ones I know are like that. Ultimately they’re nice and I get along with them but they’re a saucy bunch.


December 4th, 2013
10:19 am

“Louisiana, a state of schizophrenia which can only be explained by the brave soul who has dated someone from that alcohol-soaked area, came in fourth on cursing and courtesy.”

BRILLIANT! Dating one right now!


December 4th, 2013
10:21 am

Who gives a F?


December 4th, 2013
10:26 am

wow that blows my mind. I guess they did the Ga study outside the metro Atlanta area cause you all here in metro Atlanta are some rude folks. And Tennessee, must have done that one in the metro areas, (Nashville, Memphis) because when I go to Tennessee the folks there are a lot nicer than here.


December 4th, 2013
10:32 am

Bless your heart – if you refer to northerners as “Yankees” in your headline, you should equally refer southerners as “Rebels”.

I wonder if that research included Alabama Roll Tide fans who poison trees, send death threats to their own field goal kicker, or the murderer who didn’t like the fact that her guests weren’t upset enough about their team losing.


December 4th, 2013
10:33 am

If you’ve ever been in a cab in New York City, you would have discovered there’s a disease that affects the brain that causes cabbies to raise their middle finger and curse every time they get behind the wheel of a taxi. I think it’s called scarethehelloutofyourpassengeritus.


December 4th, 2013
10:41 am

Asking directions in NYC goes a lot faster if you do it like this: “Can you tell me how to get to Columbus Circle, or should I just go f-&% myself?”


December 4th, 2013
10:45 am

Where did they find cutsomer service people who spoke English as the first language to complete this survey?


December 4th, 2013
10:47 am

@ Maude—In India


December 4th, 2013
10:48 am

“According to a new study, Southerners don’t cuss as much as Northerners.”

… unless we’re watching football. :)



December 4th, 2013
10:57 am

New Yorkers are very phony and they lie like a rug. They are fake and very rude and think it’s O.K. Their accent is very annoying…They move to the South and then complain and say that it’s too slow down south. I say go back to your over crowded, filthy dirty state and continue to live in over priced apartments that are in the hood and you have to pay a min. of 3K a month for a tiny studio apt. that is the same size as a utility closet.

They are foul mouthed and very rude/fake & phony…

I always say that if it’s so much better than the south, move back. I don’t know why people that are from New York are constantly bragging that they are from there like it’s an accomplishment of some sort.


December 4th, 2013
10:59 am

GaBlue..I’m with you on that one. Only when we are watching football is when we may say a couple of cuss words… :)


December 4th, 2013
11:06 am

Really limited vocabulary? The states in the south are constantly ranked in the Bottom. New Jersey may curse a lot but the students are ranked in the Top 10 HS in the country all the time. I’m an intelligent and educated women from the New Jersey, who took this as a joke and not to be used as a tool to bash any particular region. Funny thing about reading- NY wasn’t even in the top 3. It was as follows -1. OHIO 2.MD and 3. New Jersey!!!

People from Ohio

December 4th, 2013
11:06 am

I used to be friends with someone from Ohio. She turned out to be a complete cracked nutt job…


December 4th, 2013
11:10 am

I think it was Lewis Grizzard who said (I’ll paraphrase): “Yankees live in the north. Damn Yankees relocate in the south. Good ole Yankees marry ignorant southern rednecks and move back north.”


December 4th, 2013
11:20 am

Samantha, you are right. I’m also sick and tired of northerners complaining once they get down here. If it was so great up there, why did they come way down here? Such a bunch of obnoxious, ill-mannered, loud mouths.


December 4th, 2013
11:20 am

My first trip to NYC was on a week-long business trip–>at a port. The way the workers spoke to each other I figured blood was going to be spilled in short order, but I didn’t understand the laughter between vulgar insults. I told one of them that I thought for sure somebody was about to die. He laughed and told me that’s they way they talked to each other. By the end of my trip I could cuss with the best of them.


December 4th, 2013
11:41 am

What I want to know is, did George Mathis get paid to write this article???


December 4th, 2013
11:42 am

Samantha, to assert that New York state is filthy dirty is to reveal that you’ve never really been there, outside of the metro areas perhaps. Georgia is by far the filthiest state judging by the trash along the roadways. I’ve traveled the country extensively and nowhere is there less pride when it comes to littering than Georgia. And don’t try to tell me that rural Georgia has been invaded by Yankees and it’s their fault. It’s born of an “I don’t give a damn, you clean it up” attitude. Sorry. I love Georgia but New York state has it all over Georgia for cleanliness.

Hidden agenda

December 4th, 2013
11:44 am

The details of the study weren’t included, but maybe southerners get better customer service than northerners too. No indication of where the various companies studied were based either.

Personally I save my profanity for conversations about government or with government employees. I know with them I have no other choice but to deal with their horrible performance. With a private business I can always change companies. The beauty of the market over government.

Jack ®

December 4th, 2013
11:57 am

I don’t like to hear women cuss: It takes away from their Southern charm. And a man that cusses a lot is short on something of importance to say.


December 4th, 2013
11:59 am

I AGREE WITH SAMANTHA…why oh why do they move here from new york bash the south which they have ruined but move here and bragg about how great NYC IS??perhaps not as good as they say it is or they wouldnt have moved over a 1000 miles away

mystery poster

December 4th, 2013
12:05 pm

F*** you!

Yag Kosha

December 4th, 2013
12:30 pm

What I find is that Southerners are friendlier, more polite and more likely to be personable.
Northerners are dour, judgmental and unlikely to converse with others unless they know them personally. They are also more likely to be highly educated. Makes you wonder.


December 4th, 2013
12:43 pm

Meh. The South is getting worse with all these Yankee carpetbaggers moving down here. It’s bad enough Georgia drivers are just plain bad, but throw in the Yankees with their crude and rude behavior and you have the recipe for stupid accidents.


December 4th, 2013
1:04 pm

When one thinks of the People of the South and Georgia, their UNDYING LOVE and AFFECTION of and embracing of The Institution of Slavery, Segregation and Treatment of People of Color.

One can easily say that People of the South and Georgia are HIGH in the TOP (5) FIVE on the List of People in the entire WORLD, who are Historically the most CRUEL, INHUMANE AND WITHOUT HUMAN DIGNITY, the People of this EARTH have EVER WITNESSED in the HISTORY of MANKIND.

The Historical DASTARDLY ACTS of these People make Adolph Hitler LQQKS like an Alter BOY!

in Comparison.

Scam watcher

December 4th, 2013
1:07 pm

“Cussers” are generally a class of undereducated morons or educated loser jerks.


December 4th, 2013
1:15 pm

Bernie31, take your racious a$$ back to New York

A. Teesman

December 4th, 2013
1:16 pm

I see California was courteous and that has been my experience there. I think moreso than in the South.

Bill Clinton's Love Child

December 4th, 2013
1:48 pm

A. Teesman, I’ve made the same observation of people in Colorado. Maybe it’s the weed.


December 4th, 2013
1:51 pm

Scam watcher @ 1:07 pm – You Mean like the time when VP Dickie BOY Cheney told Democratic Senate Leaders to “TO GO “LOVE” Themselves”?

Thanks …Now I understand.


December 4th, 2013
1:57 pm

I agree with the SC choice for courtesy, having moved here to my “Mayberry RFD” 3 yrs. ago, but am surprised about TN. Lived there for 13 yrs. and found them to be quite courteous and respectful usually.

Rock Gaines

December 4th, 2013
2:13 pm

I’ve been living here in ATL for almost 20 years, transplanted from NYC. I moved here because the job moved here. I also lived in North Florida when I was a teen.

A lot of the cursing/cussin’ that goes on depends on where you are. Growing up in the Bronx, you learned all kinds of foul language because almost everyone else spoke that way. You also had to show people you could handle yourself verbally, physically and intellectually. New Yorkers look for that. New Orleans is kind of like that too – lots of f-bombs and insults – until you meet them on their level, then you have an understanding.

When I moved to Florida, I had to watch what I said or I’d get paddled in school, or Grandpa would smack you upside the head. That was their way of deprogramming you. Of course, you might get smacked if you didn’t follow “yes” or “no” with “Sir” or “Ma’am”.

Once I moved here, I found that there was less courtesy in Atlanta than in Florida, North Carolina, or in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, Canada. I found the people in Alpharetta nicer than the people in other parts of Metro Atlanta, based on my visits.

Atlanta has some work to do as far as courtesy is concerned. In my opinion, there are too many who in public act selfishly (particularly when driving or at the mall – it’s all about them). We need to be more genuinely courteous and less selfish. I miss my family and the conveniences of New York (like good pastrami!), but Atlanta’s a good place to live.

Reality Check

December 4th, 2013
2:25 pm

Any negativity regarding Southern manners, speech, and / or education is directly related to the large number of people that migrate South. Unfortunately the South has been destroyed by the lowest common denominator from the rest of the nation seeking a cheaper way of life. Castaways are the biggest problem the South has.

So, yes the rest of the country has virtually destroyed the South.


December 4th, 2013
2:27 pm

Reality Check @ 2:25 pm – Now Your comment is Truly Funny and Void of REALITY.


December 4th, 2013
2:31 pm

My Reality Check is that I am a blundering idiot just LQQking for attention at every chance I get.

NO ONE pays attention to me because I am the biggest TROLL on the AJC blogs!

Been everywhere

December 4th, 2013
2:33 pm

In my experiences the survey is right on. I appreciate the efficiency and intelligence in the northeast and the courtesy and thoughtfulness in the south – among all races.

The south is very misunderstood outside of the region and we tend not to argue against the stereotypes. Georgia is a beautiful state with helpful people and a good work ethic as a whole. Atlanta is great mix of the better attributes of all parts our country and I love living here.

@ Rock Gaines

December 4th, 2013
2:39 pm

“Once I moved here, I found that there was less courtesy in Atlanta than in Florida, North Carolina, or in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, Canada. I found the people in Alpharetta nicer than the people in other parts of Metro Atlanta, based on my visits.”


That is because most people with money have manners. Education is the key to success in life.

Just look at poster Bernie31 as a prime example of what the of a lack of education can do to a person. He is what what is wrong with metro Atlanta! Sad but true! ;)


December 4th, 2013
2:41 pm

Yankees might swear, but arent as two faced as southerners.

2 face

December 4th, 2013
2:45 pm

Southern folks tell it like is, usually with sugar on top.

Midwesterners are the ones not to trust.


December 4th, 2013
2:53 pm

Slavery was pretty awful, but historically it doesn’t hold a candle to Egyptian slavery, Ghengis Kahn, Ivan the Terrible, the Spanish Inquisition and wiping out of South American Indians during plundering, Stalin, Trotsky, Lenin, and Mao Tse-tung’s Red Guard Cultural Revolution to name a few.


December 4th, 2013
2:55 pm

Bernie 31 you hit it right on the head!!


December 4th, 2013
2:59 pm

Ralph you need to read somemore- 400years of being held captive -slavery, lynching, jim crow, burning alive,ripping babies out of stomachs, hold picnics to celebrate lynchings, sexual genocide by raping, poll tax, horse whippings, chain gangs, working in coal minds because of false arrest and dying of black lung!! Really? Either way any genocide is horrible and there arent any winners in something like that. We were talking about the south and its inhumanity to humans. SOutherners have always had a southern charm and one hand on the gun to kill if you were the wrong color. SO pease stop the madness


December 4th, 2013
3:02 pm

Lynn, you have no realistic concept of historical inhumanity.


December 4th, 2013
3:07 pm

I work for an air line here in Atlanta, and the fact that Ohio made this list twice is no surprise. Consistantly on flights to the Buckeye State, passengers from Ohio are exceedingly rude.


December 4th, 2013
3:19 pm

The data is from call centers. This only shows which states have companies with the worst customer service or most frustrated customers.