Southern hospitality is something that we Southerners take pride in. Across the United States, folks below the Mason Dixon Line are known for our kind and welcoming ways, our food and our excellence as hosts. However, did you ever stop to think about what "Southern hospitality" means to people outside your home state?
Twiddy, a vacation rental company in North Carolina, put that question to the test. They surveyed over 2,000 Americans to find out the various definitions of Southern hospitality, and everything that it encompasses. There's also a handy key to know what each symbol of hospitality means (or kinds, if you prefer).
The results of the survey are interesting. For example, Georgia ranked in the highest rating for the most hospitable state in the American South. Mississippi topped the list of least welcoming states, based on how many people had welcomed a stranger into their home. Also, the masses agree with Guy Clark's assessment of Texas Cookin'.
The survey also determined the definition of hospitality. Southerners mostly responded that it refers to politeness, whereas non-Southerners ranked good home cooking as the highest quality. Other aspects of a hospitable state include kindness, helpfulness, charm and charity.
One particularly amusing map proves that most people who self-identify as Southern live, well, in the South. Not many surprises here, aside from Missouri residents not being sold on being Southern.
Survey respondents also weighed in on the best quality for each state in the South. The qualities listed are charm, good home cooking, helpfulness and politeness. For example, the survey showed that folks in West Virginia are very helpful, while people in South Carolina are super charming.
How did your state measure up? Do you agree with the survey results?
This story originally ran on Aug. 8, 2017.