16 'Gone With The Wind' Slang Terms, Translated

Arguably the most iconic scene in Gone With the Wind, nay, all of cinema, is when Rhett Butler tells Scarlett O'Hara that her underwear is SO out. "I don't know a woman in Paris who wears pantalettes," he starts, and Scarlett starts to ask what is trendy to the European set before realizing how utterly creepy that is. The truth is, being unfashionable is something Scarlett doesn't want to be, which is awkward because the memorable language from the otherwise timeless classic is hideously outdated. I mean, "pantalettes," really?

To be fair, this problem will arise in many period films. With the drastic 150-year difference between the film's setting and now, the entire movie is filled with things that are distinctly of-its-time. Hoop skirts have become bodycon minis, horse drawn buggies have been replaced with Uber, and owning other people is a practice that is now both illegal and generally frowned upon.

But that Old South slang in particular is something that needs a dramatic makeover. And I'm here wielding a corset and getting my fingers ready to pinch some cheeks — FACE cheeks, sickos, only a tramp would use rouge.

So the next time you're lost in another heated Scarlett-and-Rhett exchange, consult this handy translator. As God as my witness, you'll never be confused again.



interjection; an expression of scorn, disgust, dismissal or disbelief.

Example: "Fiddle-dee-dee! War, war, war; this war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream."

Modern Term: Whatevs, beotch, plz


Definition: verb; messing with one's emotions, particularly by putting on pretenses of courtship.

Example: "Has he been trifling you? Has he asked you to marry him?"

Modern Term: Playing


Definition: noun; a strapping young gentleman

Example: "You might have any of the bucks in the county."

Modern Term: hottie


Definition: noun; a significant other, particular a male

Example: "Look at Scarlett, she's never even noticed Charles before, now just because he's your beau, she's after him like a hornet."

Modern Term: BF, bae


Definition: noun; a type of shapeless undergarment, often either made of satin and/or trimmed with lace

Example: "He looks as if he knows what I look like without my shimmy."

Modern Term: Slip


Definition: verb; to defeat

Example: "One Southerner can lick 20 Yankees."

Modern Term: slay

Tweaking his nose

Definition: verb; to agitate someone in a mosquito-esque way

Example: "No, no, no, please, don't go tweaking his nose anymore."

Modern Term: Pissing him off


Definition: verb; to diminish into oblivion due to lack of resources

Example: "Don't stand there talking nonsense at me when it's us who are being winnowed out."

Modern Term: phased

Trashy wench

Definition: noun; a tacky and often promiscuous woman

Example: "Get off these steps, you trashy wench!"

Modern Term: Thot, rachet ho

Turned idiot

Definition: verb; to lose one's mind

Example: "I know your father's turned idiot."

Modern Term: Went cray

Drop the moonlight and magnolia

Definition: verb; stop putting on airs and give up the ruse

Example: "You can drop the moonlight and magnolia, Scarlett. Things have been going well at Tara, have they?"

Modern Term: cut that shit out, stop playing, quit stunting


Definition: adjective; I don't even know, man, given the context I'm guessing it's something to the affect of false, weak, and cowardly.

Example: "What a wheg-livered little coward you are."

Modern Term: chicken shit

Great balls of fire

Definition: interjection; an exclamation of exasperation, akin to fiddle-dee-dee but with a dash more venom.

Example: "Great balls of fire! Don't bother me anymore, and don't call me sugar."

Modern Term: I can't even


Definition: noun; a smarmy, dishonorable man

Example: "No woman would want a child of a cad like you."

Modern Term: Creep, scumbag

Mealy-mouth ninny

Definition: noun; an insipid and somewhat subservient person

Example: "She’s a pale-faced Mealy-mouth ninny and I hate her."

Modern Term: Basic bitch


Definition: noun; an adorable little lady

Example: "You still think you're the Belle of the county don't you? That you're the cutest little trick in shoe leather and that every man you meet is dying of love for you."

Modern Term: Babe

Bonus Phrase: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

"Tbh, bae, IDGAF." Or hell, let's just get full-on sacrilegious and resort to "Bye, Felicia."

Images: MGM (1), Giphy (17)