An Observation: Warm Words

I can’t say much about summertime in the South that hasn’t already been said. I’ll try, though, and I’ve noticed that lots of other people continue to do the same. I would, however, like to modify one piece of terminology that seems to have crept into the descriptions lately.


I can’t get behind this one, and, as you know, I’m happy to explain why.

Toast is usually crispy. Southern heat isn’t usually crispy. Sure, the occasional “dry heat” settles in for a day or two during summertime, but we usually refer to it as a “cool day” and go outside to play. No, typical Southern temperatures are famously punctuated with the infamous Gulf of Mexico humidity. (By the way–I won’t use the word “moisture,” because I’ve discovered that a lot of people hate the word “moist.” I don’t know that I share their sentiment; “moist” is just a word, after all, but I’m in the process of picking apart the subtle nuances of words right now, and it wouldn’t seem right to keep throwing the word “moist” into the conversation right now if…oops.)

Anyway, back to “toasty.” Yeah, it’s a “no” from me. Southern heat is soggy. Southern heat is a sauna. I considered using the word “steamy,” but “steamy” can carry, ahem, different connotations.

Instead, I’ve chosen to go with sweltering. In my mind–which, I’ll admit, can be a bit of side show on occasion–“sweltering” fully encapsulates the overall feeling of peeling sweaty legs off of car seats to step out into nature’s preheated steam bath while continuously pulling at a shirt that sticks to different places via the perspiration adhesive that initiates itself upon first contact with the air.

So, does “sweltering” nail it, or have I completely missed the mark? Let me know. I’ll just be adjusting the thermostat.