10 Signs You Grew Up in Charleston

Updated June 24, 2016

On June 10, 2015 after a little hesitation, I published the “10 Signs You Grew Up in Charleston” list. Over 2,000 shares, 100 comments and I don’t know how many Facebook mentions later, it became my first “viral” post.

10 Signs You Grew Up In Charleston-- The Palmetto Peaches

Exactly 7 days after that list brought us so many laughs and stories, tragedy struck: 9 people were killed, 1 of them being a dear friend of my mom, during bible study at Mother Emanuel AME church. Our trip down memory lane came to a devastating stop. Even though Charleston received so much support from people all over the world, the Charleston community became the angels the Holy City needed.


June 10, 2015: Original post

Like a lot of people, I didn’t appreciate my hometown (Charleston, SC) until after I left for college. Besides walking on “The Battery” and splashing in the pineapple fountain, there wasn’t much to do if you weren’t 21. Although I complained back then, it’s hard to imagine what life would be like if I grew up in any other city. “You Know You’re from Charleston if” type lists already exist, but I wanted to write one based on the “Holy City” I’ve grown to love.
10 Signs You Grew Up in Charleston-- The Palmetto Peaches


10 Signs You Grew Up in Charleston:

  1. You’ve been sent to the corner store for a Chilly Bear.

  2. You actually know what a Chilly Bear is.

  3. You went to the Christmas parade specifically to see the High Steppin’ Burke Bulldogs.

  4. Frooties were a legit party favor.

  5. It’s acceptable to cancel plans, especially Downtown, when it rains longer than 5 minutes.

  6. People from other cities ask if you’re from Jamaica, ya know, because you have an accent.

  7. Your friends from out-of-town ask you to say, “Y’all boy look ya”.

  8. You think Chewies should be on the dessert menu at local restaurants.

  9. Saying “init” is how you agree during a conversation.

  10. Mayor Riley was the mayor for most of, if not all, of your life.

Fast forward to June 2016

One year later, and still in need of more love and unity, I’m adding to  the original post! There were some unimpressed readers who felt left out of the loop because they couldn’t relate. One person even took the time to comment to say this list was made for Black people from Charleston. Welp, since I based the list on my personal experience, and I’m Black — she’s right. This list was created because I didn’t relate to most of the other lists.

Hopefully, more folks will recognize the new additions!

10 (more) Signs You Know You Grew Up in Charleston

  1. You’ve climbed into a stranger’s yard to pick Japanese plums. (Post comment from A. Monroe)
  2. You eat rice with every vegetable or meal. (Post comment from E. Fleming)
  3. You either bought Sweetgrass roses from kids on Market Street, hid from the kids selling Sweetgrass roses on Market Street, or you were the kids selling Sweetgrass roses on Market Street.
  4. Tourists assume you’re a shrimp and grits expert. 
    People: “Where do you go for good shrimp and grits?”
    Me: “Home.”
  5. …Speaking of grits, you Alway them at any time of the day. (With salt, not sugar)
  6. The pineapple at Waterfront Park was basically a swimming pool. (It was a better idea when we were kids who didn’t know better.)
  7. California Dreaming was your dinner spot for prom, birthdays, and any other special occasion.
  8. You know “Huger” is pronounced HOO-jee.
  9. You bond with your friends and family over “eating crabs”.
  10. You know where to stand to watch the Riverdogs’ Friday night fireworks, without having to actually go the games.

If you’re from the #HolyCity, tell me what all you’ve done on this list, and what you would add! Leave a comment below or tweet me @TheAceAlexa!

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

118 Replies to “10 Signs You Grew Up in Charleston”

  1. Sheena Gibbs says:

    Init tho I have done all

    1. Nanny up, gimmie or gimmy

  2. Born and raised in Charleston but have been living in Washington D.C. and boy everyone thinks I’m an African….lol

    1. LOL! I’ve never been to DC. I have to come and see what responses I get.

      1. I love reading this article and all of the comments. Yes, you must come to DC and checkout the Charleston SC Club of Washington, D.C. We are having our 70th Grand Reunion, July 19 – July 21, 2018. Please come and share in the fun, gullah-geechee, talent show, dining, dancing and reliving your history. For more info contact benros333@gmail.com or newmac23@gmail.com or website: charlestonscclub.org

    2. Aponda Rose says:

      That must be common here in DC because when I met my best friend, who’s also from Charleston, I thought she was African, too. You gotta attend, the Charleston accent is unlike the other accents in the rest of the South.

    3. Jermaine S. Brown Sr. says:

      When I joined the Army in 1992, my nick name was “Jamaican Brown” given to me by the Soldiers because of the Geechie accent. It got me a lot of woman too.

  3. Have done it all!! LOL! Great list!

    1. I might have to make a part 2, haha. Thank you for reading!

  4. One that needs to be added “I hungry” or I sleepy” there is never “I’m hungry” or “I’m sleepy” LOL

    1. Daaaaang!! How did I miss those? LOL

  5. When I moved to beaufort Ppl asked me to say fish and biscuit and quarter lol I’m like ok…..? Fush, buskut, qwatah, and they thought it was hilarious lol

  6. We add ‘-up’ on to everything. ‘You fool up…she look snatch up’ lol

  7. Anita Mitchell says:

    You left out “you smell like outside” “you jokey”

  8. James Singleton says:

    If you know what a “boonkie” is you from da chuck.

    1. Jermaine S. Brown Sr. says:

      Sure, yeah right……butt.

  9. I love Charleston or Chucktown so much I’ll moving there in the next week.

  10. Andre Monroe says:

    Climb into a strangers yard to pick Japanese plumbs

  11. Box ya…means to punch someone not to place things in a box
    Churn is the plural form of child
    You separate Charleston into Downtown,West Ashley and da Country

  12. Y’all forgot the “up” add on…Pee up, stank up, shet (not shut) up, rank up, etc.

  13. Vernon (Tracy) Singleton says:

    I hungry is something I still say. Down the road might be 5-10 miles down the road. And up the window. I am always asked am I from the islands. My nick here in N.C. is Charleston because of my accent.

  14. shanneka holston says:

    I’ve done it all!!!!

  15. You got it from Charleston.

  16. 1. Red Kool aide is described by its color and not the flavor.
    2. No one knows why Huger SC is pronounced Hue-gee SC.
    3. “Gimme a minute” is always more than five minutes.

  17. 3 cents for a Chilly Bear back in 1959.

    1. Three cents?! We were paying 25 or 50…sometimes even $1! Haha, thank you for reading!

  18. Init lol love this. Glad to seem some of us in the Atlanta area love the blog will be subscribing and please tell me we got a new mayor down there please.
    Kita recently posted…What’s New in SEO?My Profile

  19. You know you are from Charleston when you use up at the end of your statement: fool up, stuppid up, crazy up, etc. When you eat rice with every vegetable and meal. When you can keep up with fast clap in church while ther is no music.

    1. if a woman is pregnant we say she big up

  20. Jenille Dawson says:

    All of them lol

  21. I was born and raised in Charleston and I still live there and only like one of these applies to me…

    1. Which one is it? Thanks for reading!

  22. Or SAY WORD

  23. How about watup yall

  24. You k ow you from Charleston if you know Double Dribble…..you know from Charleston if you had to go back to Teddy Foster & get the right change because he took advantage of the kids who were sent to the corner store that couldn’t count money.

  25. You know you from Charleston if you’ve ever seen Floyd marching beside the Burke High Band

  26. Lol man luk ya. Yal boy cant talk bout ma city now. I love me sum charleston.

  27. Imma box you was one, and you know you’re from Charleston cause we eat red rice!!!

  28. Ashley Hunter says:

    Love this! The Frooties comment made me LOL. People STILL put these on candy buffets at weddings. (And best believe I grab a handful) Where do you even buy them?!

    1. There’s a warehouse in North Charleston where we get ours! LOL

      1. You mean the one behind the bread store? My granny used to be the candy lady at her boyfriend’s house on George Legree (North Park Village)!

  29. Shawn Gadson says:

    I done did it all!!! #geechieforlife

  30. For trut??? Yeah gal!! Johns Island in ya too!!!

    1. I from Mount Pleasant & my granny ALWAYS say that!

  31. Always being asked about shrimp & grits or Red rice!

  32. Wow! It’s brings back so many fond memories. Init

  33. I could do this all day besides “please for a quarter so I can get a buggie from Aldi’s” lol

  34. You had ‘fo-get’ every time we say something it starts with ‘Eee’, lol . “Eee dun fo-get’ ta dump da trash, now eee stank!” Lol

  35. Jermaine S. Brown Sr. says:

    How about saying “Some feet” when your actually asking for ” Something to eat”.

    1. I ain’ know bout dat one, nah. lol Thank you for reading!

      1. Jermaine S. Brown Sr. says:

        My grandmother would say it fast so it sounded like some feet. ” Come ya boy and get somefeet.”

  36. Goooray is a term for excited

  37. Goooray is a term used for excited, I grew up on Johns island
    Go to the barbershop and get a Stock……aka tape up

    1. I’m a true Charlestonian;-) ha ha

  38. I’m gonna cut your “Bunky”

  39. You u know u from Charleston if you ever asked someone “How You Mean” or “Wah Da Verdict Is” lol

    1. What about them crabs. Boy we eat them crabs year round if we can find them. I was eat in that thing up (laughing).

  40. Delinzy Smalls says:

    Let’s not forget the sweet

  41. Lol init tho. These comments got me trippin. Yal boy head bad man

  42. Man dem boi be flammin

  43. When ya had bout 10 cases ah chek soda from Winn-Dixie

  44. Boy E hott outcha

  45. Oan I goin tada mall to get some Willie D’s (Nike AirForce 1s)

  46. scooter b says:

    Your from Charleston if you say E-N -even been like dat, E come May first wit da dumb junk ,so I box em first. My momma say if E hit me hit em back,now

  47. Boi no

  48. When you call somebody wingy lol

  49. Jermaine S. Brown Sr. says:

    On James Island, we said “Ku-Raaaay” for excitement.

  50. Jermaine S. Brown Sr. says:

    How could we forget witnessing something and being discussed. “Just look-a-day”

  51. latoya mazyck says:

    When you gossipin and you say “a dem boi say”

  52. cum ya can’t tell been ya nuttin, cause cum ya just cum ya and been ya, been ya

  53. I’m not racist but it should of been titled if u are African American and grew up in Charleston. Js

    1. I know people who aren’t “African-American” who’ve experienced things on this list too. Thank you for reading!

    2. You may have a little Chucktown flair too—Your name is Nunya? We used that all the time and even to this day. Your name is actually a common word in the Chuck!

  54. Carolina Nesbitt says:

    When someone ask you to do something and you say to someone else “is he/she hand broke?”

  55. sylvia brandon says:

    I ain’t bunkin up to pick up no penny or dey to jokie.

  56. You know you from Charleston if your momma/grandmama answer to everything was “go wash off”
    I think I broke my leg… go wash off
    I got a headach… go wash off
    I itchy …go wash off
    I hongry… go wash off

  57. You know you from Charleston if you know these stores:
    Three Sisters
    And you know.you’re from Charleston if your school bus was the city bus.

    1. Yes!! That’s what I’m talking about. Don’t forget Shirley’s Shoe Shop

  58. Maybe it’s because I was raised by a Yankee family, but only 2 of these apply to me. I was disappointed, but I’m glad some of you have found common ground! Maybe it’s just who you grew up around.

    1. Thanks for reading! Maybe you’ll find common ground on the other lists.

  59. You know you from Charleston when you crave crabs all the time. Big juicy rusty crabs seasoned to the tee.

    1. …and “dungee crab” versus dungeness crabs.

  60. Also okra soup and rice and good ole fried chicken.

  61. I’m a buss you a lik.
    who Chile you be for?
    who yo ma and yo pa?
    gone gal
    born and raised in Charleston, James island to be exact – but lived in Kansas for more than 20 years.

  62. I don’t know about that Jermaine S. Brown Sr. when you say on James Island we say kurayyy meaning excitement because I live on James Island and never heard no such thing

  63. Sandra green says:

    Yea I miss Charleston I rambler the chilly bear Burke highschool bulldog and the parade that .was my thing all the time the accent and most of all the battery wild there are something I miss in Charleston be bless

  64. Having Baked Mac& Cheese every Sunday with dinner

  65. Jermaine S. Brown Sr. says:

    If you lived in the E.M.E Apartment OR HAVE ANY ” Geechie” in you, it’s text book. I didn’t say every single person said it. Just like every single person don’t know what a “Chilly Bear” is.

  66. Everything on list.

  67. cherish green says:

    Instead of saying “up the window” we say “up the winda”

  68. That Hannon Gal says:

    Init doe! For real! And you’ve been to a fish fry or a crab crack at least once. Plus you like rice with everything! Lol! Born and bred in the Chuck! Love my city!

  69. I done it all, especially up da winda.

  70. I am from Georgia but ended up in the Low Country via the US Navy, I am an impostor because I claim Charleston as home! My husband, native Charlestonian and all 3 of our daughters were born and raised here-so if they can be Charlestonians and native to Charleston, I want to be included too!!! Love it!!!

  71. “ee head bad!”,
    “ee done fool init?”,
    “man Susie done dead”,
    “dat ting know ee head bad, init?”
    “e done brush e teet?
    man please fa some dem sau-chas (sausage)
    “dat brek-wis been gud” (breakfast)
    “ev-ree time I luk up, ee lukin’ in mout”; “…downg my troat”
    “i ga slap ee teet out ee mout!”
    ooh no, dat thing ain’ dat fool nawng”(now)

  72. Raised in Charleston Heights and I know about everything on the list. Add to the list the word ” Teef” (to steal) and the phrase “He ever did been…”

  73. I fixin na go cross the screet (street)

  74. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  75. Shelia W. Waring says:

    Ya’ll head is too bad!

    I absolutely love these…yes, if you understand these sayings, you are a true Charlestonian…and a geechie….of which I am very proud to be!!!

  76. They say I sound like an intelligent geechie.

  77. Janet Odom says:

    Instead of hitting people — we say, “Boy I’ll box yo head off…” Instead of “raising the window” we say “up the window.”

  78. Janet Odom says:

    I can attest to all of the posting and for the person from James Island that never heard “kurayyy”, I can’t imagine where you’ve been–not only is that a James Island saying but it is infamous all over Charleston, (downtown, Johns Island, Wadmalaw, etc. etc.

  79. “Dat Broad Street Talk”
    ” I hongree”
    “case qwawtuh”
    “bunk up”
    “bung up”
    “cock up”

  80. Her bookie all cock up in da air.
    Come from round dat corner cuz we got red rice n fush fo dinna.
    Y’all betta not eat my last Murray link!

    1. Cock up! Now that’s funny!

  81. “A major sign that you grew up in Charleston is knowing about the infamous “George Legare projects…
    Unity..Breakdancing…house parties and block parties!!”peace!!

  82. And all the other signs posted…i remember doing them all

  83. Lamonte McGee says:

    Burke & North Charleston sports games was the stuff! Watch out for the fights afterwards lol!

  84. What about- “I ga box you” (I’m going to punch you in the face with my fist!” Or
    “E yo cuntry.”- He doesn’t dress very well or lacks fashion coordination!

  85. edrica miller says:

    What about “man dem boy day act Georgia”. No offense Georgia thats just what is was. That means they talk country or they couldnt dress. Or “I tell you wah” thats means i tell you what. Or “i go box yo mout off”…I am going to punch you in the mouth….My Lord i miss my home town. I in Fl now.
    Liberty Hill for life

  86. Caleb Hanke says:

    ABSOLUTELY love this article. I just did a research paper about how I believe that African American culture is a sub culture of Geechie Culture. Since most African Americans can trace their roots to Charleston SC

    Chucktown Ouchea in all of us

    1. Say word?! Will your research paper be available online? Sounds like a good read! -Ace

  87. Grew up and STILL live on HEW-GEE (Huger) St……lololol

  88. What about “out the light” instead of turn off the lights

  89. Married to an Charleston girl. My favorite was “Down the window”

  90. I was born in Charleston what was those links called it was red in the inside and we use to put mustard on it..I sure would like to have some now

    1. Jennifer Courtney my mother was Patricia Courtney

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