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Folklore: favorite southern US expression

Lonesome EJ 09 Apr 07 - 04:44 PM
mrmoe 09 Apr 07 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Right Now I am 09 Apr 07 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,At t'ere good ol 08 Apr 07 - 10:19 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 07 Jan 07 - 08:31 PM
katlaughing 07 Jan 07 - 08:01 PM
GUEST 07 Jan 07 - 07:21 PM
GUEST 31 Dec 06 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,JTT 31 Dec 06 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,JTT 30 Dec 06 - 07:18 AM
Elettra 29 Dec 06 - 11:59 PM
DannyC 29 Dec 06 - 11:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Nov 05 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 29 Nov 05 - 10:21 PM
Goose Gander 29 Nov 05 - 08:40 PM
Ebbie 29 Nov 05 - 12:42 PM
Leadfingers 29 Nov 05 - 07:53 AM
DannyC 29 Nov 05 - 07:40 AM
GUEST 05 Oct 05 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 04 Oct 05 - 09:19 PM
kendall 04 Oct 05 - 08:14 PM
Muskratpete 04 Oct 05 - 06:32 PM
jeffp 04 Oct 05 - 02:57 PM
robomatic 04 Oct 05 - 01:21 PM
JennyO 04 Oct 05 - 01:00 AM
aussiebloke 04 Oct 05 - 12:26 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 03 Oct 05 - 03:36 PM
DannyC 03 Oct 05 - 09:36 AM
Muskratpete 03 Oct 05 - 12:34 AM
Muskratpete 03 Oct 05 - 12:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 05 - 07:25 PM
Gwenzilla 02 Oct 05 - 02:06 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 01 Oct 05 - 08:55 AM
Tannywheeler 01 Oct 05 - 01:36 AM
DannyC 30 Sep 05 - 12:13 PM
kendall 30 Sep 05 - 12:06 PM
GutBucketeer 30 Sep 05 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,kgj 29 Sep 05 - 11:35 PM
Margo 14 Sep 03 - 11:57 AM
PoppaGator 13 Sep 03 - 12:13 PM
LadyJean 12 Sep 03 - 10:40 PM
Bert 12 Sep 03 - 10:19 PM
Fred (Beetle) Bailey 12 Sep 03 - 09:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Sep 03 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,lovebug 11 Sep 03 - 03:45 PM
Big Mick 25 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,foureyes 24 Feb 03 - 09:26 PM
wilco 24 Feb 03 - 05:51 PM
anais 24 Feb 03 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,eavesdropper 24 Feb 03 - 03:53 PM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 04:44 PM

For Michael Morris...my Dad used to say "all them Ritis boys's bad, but that Arthur is the worst!"

When my family moved from LA back to Kentucky, I was about 12, and it always felt like going back in time to me. That's when I really got to know my Grandpa. He was from Crab Orchard Kentucky, and had worked most of his life on the L&N railroad. He was a man of few words, but I always liked the way he said "yon." He said yonder, too, but yon always had a medieval feel to it for me. "Ernie...go pick up the rake lyin' over by yon Chestnut tree." That's a word you just won't hear from anyone again.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: mrmoe
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 03:50 PM

my current favorite....."slap tore up"....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Right Now I am
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 02:27 PM

busier than a 1 legged man at a butt-kickin' contest.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,At t'ere good ol
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 10:19 PM


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 08:31 PM

I had a friend whose mother (from Arkansas or thereabouts) used to say, "Fetch me to the (grocers,doctor, etc)" when she wanted him to drive her somewhere.
She also used to pronounce a certain metal, "Alunium." Her son would correct her, telling her the pronunciation was "Aluminum." She, after being corrected for the umpteenth time, yelled at him, "God dammit, Raymond, you know I can't say 'aluminum'!" And to the best of my knowledge, she never did again.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 08:01 PM

JTT, thanks for the accent quiz link. Pretty funny. I must've been listening to too many Canadians or else my first six months of life really stuck with me up der in North Dah-koe-tah! It says I am North Central, that the folks in "Fargo" probably sounded normal to me!

Funny thing is my old business partner who had a degree in linguistics used to say it drove him nuts trying to figure what it was in the way my brother and I spoke which made us from western Colorado. He could hear we had an accent but he couldn't pinpoint its elements.

Regarding the quix, I am a mynah bird. I think I've lived too many places and picked up on quirks from all.:-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 07:21 PM

Okay, didn't see this one here - My Nanny used to say, "Well, guess you fergot ta hold yer mouth rite..." When some attempt comes out wrong. (Cake falls, beans burn, etc...)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 06 - 04:40 AM

'Let's drop these babies anywhere and get back to base'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 31 Dec 06 - 04:22 AM

By the way, here's a test of your American accent. (I did it for fun - I have a Dublin accent - and I come out as 'the Northeast'.)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 30 Dec 06 - 07:18 AM

As mentioned by a previous posters, redd up is a northern Irish usage; it comes from 'ag réiteach' - 'tidying'; 'réite' - tidy.

This was taken to America by the lowland Scots who had been given land stolen from Irish people in the 'Plantation of Ulster'. These people were devotees of King William of Orange, and when they went to settle the mountainy lands of Virginia, their descendants were labelled 'hillbilly'.

The lowland Scots, of course, were not Gaelic speakers; however, they were always fond of tidying, so they tidied this handy term into their bag and took it with them.

Their descendants must have shed their liking for King William, who was, of course, homosexual, because they've apparently become homophobic.

A term no one has mentioned is 'coosey-eyed' - used by a friend whose family were from the part of America she calls Misery. Apparently it suggests a woman whose looks are a little too sexual, and who is suspected of being free in her ways.

Incidentally, a knitted african is an important character in Stephen King's latest book, Lisey's Story.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Elettra
Date: 29 Dec 06 - 11:59 PM

"Homemade", as in " Y'all quit actin' like you're homemade", insinuating that one's idiotic behavior is caused by one's parents hanging a bit too closely on the family tree. I use this one alot at my place of employment.
Happy New Year to all y'all from alla us down South.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: DannyC
Date: 29 Dec 06 - 11:24 PM

Overheard today as Clemson unsuccessfully closed in on Kentucky (American football - Go Cats!!):

"... coach looks as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full o' rocking chairs."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Nov 05 - 12:16 AM

Here comes the calvery. Heard from several Georgians. (Cavalry).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 29 Nov 05 - 10:21 PM

You might want to look up the book _Texas Crude_, by the former (obSongs) Fug, Ken Weaver.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: He giveth his beloved sleep. :||


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Goose Gander
Date: 29 Nov 05 - 08:40 PM

"Ol' Arthur" or "Arthur 'Ritus" = arthritis

As in "Ol' Arthur got hold of me, he gets all of us in the end."

From my Missouri-born grandmother.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Nov 05 - 12:42 PM

If you'll notice, the original Carter Family often uses pronunciations or even words out of whole cloth that are now archaic:
Like 'beckon' for 'beacon'
chimley
childern
tavren

y'all when said to one person implies that you are including his or her family at home, as in Y'all come on over tonight. Or Y'all goin' to the picnic?

I mean to tell ya!
dreckly - Ah'll be there dreckly
uglier'n t' south end of a northbound cow
Can you carry me to my Doctor's office?" Makes more sense than to 'drive' me. I always picture someone with a whip, chasin' after me. yeehaw!

In Alaska we say 'down south' for everywhere but north. Heck, to us Minnesota is down south.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Nov 05 - 07:53 AM

And this is as useless as a 200 th post


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: DannyC
Date: 29 Nov 05 - 07:40 AM

Overheard at this past weekend's Kentucky football game with Univ. of Tennessee. The occasion was yet another failed offensive play by the Blue. The feller behind me quipped:

"Aw, come on boys... That play wuz as useless as a two-pound pig!"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 03:57 PM

weelittledrummer said "Perhaps one of you could put me right on a turn of phrase.

A meeting was breaking up and a Southern gentleman said, okay time to piss on the fire and put the dawgs out....or something similar "

Coon (raccoon) hunters set around a campfire at night drinking whiskey and listening to their dogs run. When the whiskey is gone and the fire has burned down, they say "it's time to piss on the fire and call in the dogs".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 09:19 PM

When I asked Walter Vinson (from the Mississippi Shieks) how/why he got into music, he answered, I got damn tired o' smellin' mule farts!"

Pretty vivid I've always thought!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: kendall
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 08:14 PM

Been workin' like a borrowed mule.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Muskratpete
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 06:32 PM

Put on yer Sunday go-to-meetin' clothes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: jeffp
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 02:57 PM

Not the brightest crayola in the box.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 01:21 PM

This one I absolutely love, because I've hardly ever heard it, and it has a kind of hidden thoroughness:

From Olive Anne Burns "Cold Sassy Tree" which takes place in the deep south: "He's either stupid or crazy, one." (meaning that the person referred to is 'one' of the choice: stupid, crazy. It's damn near mathematical out of set theory.

From Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys: "They oughta send you back to Roosha, boy, or New York City, one; (You just wanna diddle a Kerstian gal and y'kill God's only son!)" The meaning is similar, and the song is based in Texas.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: JennyO
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 01:00 AM

While we're on tools, there's "not the sharpest tack in the box" and "not the sharpest knife in the drawer".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: aussiebloke
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 12:26 AM

Heard recently in the Coen Brothers movie 'O Brother Where Art Thou?'

"Dummer'n a bag of hammers"

cheers all

aussiebloke


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 03:36 PM

In southern Indiana, near Newburg on the Ohio River, I've heard folks say: That person (he, she, or whatever) is a few straws short of a bale!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: DannyC
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 09:36 AM

o' course there's mountain roads in Eastern Kentucky where the turns are so tight you can "spit out the car window onto yerself"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Muskratpete
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 12:34 AM

oh, and one more...this I heard from the mouth of a T.I. in basic training:
"They've come up with a new surgical procedure for you. They're gonna put a plexiglass window in yer stomach so's you can see where your going with yer head up yer ass!"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Muskratpete
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 12:12 AM

When I was in the Air Force I had a room-mate from Kentucky. Whenever I asked him if he wanted to do something he'd reply, "might as well...I can't dance...too tall to be a midget n' too short to be a cowboy." He also liked the term "hells-farr."

The late humorist H. Allen Smith devoted several pages of his book "Rude Jokes" to "country-isms" such as:
You look like you been sackin bobcats and run outa sacks.
He was grinnin' like a mule eatin briars.
That woman was so tall she could stand flat-footed and piss in the radiator of a Chevy pickup.
Our place is so far out we gotta grease the wagon twicet before we get to town.
Talk? He could talk a dog down offen a meat wagon.
He smelt like the bottom of the hired girl's trunk.
I was shakin so bad I had to use a funnel to stick a finger up my ass.
She can cook a pancake so thin its only got one side to it.
It was as smooth as the inside of a school teacher's thigh.
She's as happy as a tick in a lap dog's crotch.
He was so drunk he couldn't see through a ladder.
His feet was so big he had to go down to the crossroads to turn around.
and finally....
It's tighter n gnat's ass stretched over a fifty five gallon drum.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 07:25 PM

Perhaps one of you could put me right on a turn of phrase.

A meeting was breaking up and a Southern gentleman said, okay time to piss on the fire and put the dawgs out....or something similar


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Gwenzilla
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 02:06 AM

I grew up variously in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama. My mother, who was from the tiny town of Eclectic, Alabama (yes, it exists!), used to say, "I don't know whether to shit or go blind," when she was frustrated. All the kids were like, "Mom, duh, shit!"

Gwen In London


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 08:55 AM

My old boss on the farm used to say,

"I'll jus' LET you clean out the chicken house today."

and, in delight, whenever something pleased him,

"Wal, I'll be DIPPED in SHIT."

Simple, not ornate. But it sure did liven up the day.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 01:36 AM

Well, DannyC, you hug 'er up good; don't you turn loose of 'er--'n' if you EVER do ennythin' to make her sorry she knows you I'll snatch you baldheaded, boy.          Tw


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: DannyC
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 12:13 PM

Well I met this l'il ol' Hazel Green gal o' mine, an' she set my "eyes a-spinnin' like a calf out dyin' in a hailstorm". You ken quote me on that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: kendall
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 12:06 PM

I used to play poker with a bunch of old reprobates in Florida, and there was one guy who didn't know when to fold, and he would bet on nothing, so he almost always lost.
But, one night he somehow won a big pot. Well suh, he was grinnin' like a dog eating bumblebees, and one of the guys said:
"Even a blind hog will find an acorn sometimes"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 09:51 AM

kgi:

You got that right!

Y'all is plural, You is singular.
M'am (but never lady) and Sir show respect and you use them to address all adults.
You say "stop on by sometime" and really mean it.
You eat your black-eyed peas and greens every New Years Day, Or else.
Bar-B-Que is a mystical experience.

People in the North have a congental inability to understand some of these things. That's why we call Yankees, "Yankees". They just don't git it :-)

A transplanted Texan.
Gutbucketeer

Some other expressions from my child hood.
"Come to Jesus Meeting" - When meet with someone to resolve major issues.
"Cooking with Gas" - Really working well now
"better than sliced bread"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,kgj
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 11:35 PM

I beg to differ about y'all being singular.I have lived in alabama most of my life and y'all is when you are talking about a group of people.as in "Y'all come over for a spell." This means you and those
with you(your wife, kids , of friends).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Margo
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 11:57 AM

I used to play cards with an old cowboy in Southern Oregon (he grew up in Oklahoma). When I got to where I was in a fix and it looked like I was going to lose, he'd say,

"Now you got your tit in a wringer".

Obviously an undesireable position to be in. Can you imagine? Women using that particular tool to wring out the laundry and accidentally getting pulled in? OUCH!

I finally protested and asked him to stop saying that. So he came up with "Now you got your udder in a rudder". Funny guy.

Margo


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: PoppaGator
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 12:13 PM

"Southern US" expressions, huh? Well, a lot of these colorful phrases are not only not-southern (not exclusively, anyway) -- they're not even US (with so many having roots in Ireland/Scotland/England, etc.) -- Doesn't make 'em less entertaining, though, that's for sure.

Some favorites heard in and around my adopted hometown, New Orleans:

Heard from a coworker originally from Oklahoma: "Uglier'n a tree full of owls."

The popular expression "fixin' to" (preparing to / about to) is often contracted hereabouts to "fi'n' to," actually "finnda."

Another local favorite of mine, which perhaps captures the laid-back local attitude as well as anything: "Don't fret your nerves."

Of course, New Orleans is a whole other linguistic melting pot, what with the French transliterations and the Afro-Caribbean influence, etc. Someone already mentioned the characteristic Cajun addition of a pronoun at the end of a sentence ("I'll have some of that boudin, me," etc.). Another holdover from French often heard in the New Orleans area is "making groceries" (for "shopping" or "buying groceries"), from the French "faire marche."

Not southernisms, really, since they don't exist anywhere in the English-settled Bible-belt Protestant South, but only in our little French-settled Catholic area which happens to be located to the immediate south of "The South."

Let me second the endorsement of John Kennedy Toole's "Confederacy of Dunces," a masterpiece of literary humor and a treasure trove of Louisiana linguistic idiosyncracies. Every character represents a different cultural-ethnic constituancy and speaks a different local dialect, and Toole got every one of them down perfectly. Plus, it's hilarious. If you haven't read it yet, do it now!

Pops


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: LadyJean
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 10:40 PM

We say redd up for clean up here in Pittsburgh too. An excessively inquisitive person is called nebby, a nebber, or a neb. (Neb is Scots for nose.) The Scots chased the French out of Fort Duquesne, and we've never left. The plural for you, in Pittsburgh, is yinz. The tragically hip call a low class Pittsburgher a yinzer.

My mother used the expression "All over Israel" to mean all over the place.
Another favorite southern expression, "Like a hot knife through butter", meaning it went through without any trouble at all.
Mother would say if a couple shall we say deserved each other, "It's not going to spoil two families."

My cousin John, who lives in Kentucky tells of a farmer who was dressed for church when he brought a bucket of milk to a newly weaned calf. The calf sprayed him with milk, and the farmer announced, "Were it not the Lord's day, and were I not wearing my Sunday coat, I would ram your head through this God damned bucket."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bert
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 10:19 PM

True Story.

There was this TV show in Dallas and the woman was teaching the alphabet. She was working on the letter X and said that sometimes the letter X is pronounced 'GZ'




as in egzit.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Fred (Beetle) Bailey
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 09:52 PM

Dunno how Suth'ren a Panhandle Okie can be considered, but the next time you can't think of a more cogent conversational response, just look the other person right in the eye with a slack-jawed, vapid expression and say:

      Big'ern Shit!

Yes, it translates as "bigger than" but when properly slurred, the entire comment consists of precisely two and one-half syllables and, guess what --- it's THE UNIVERSAL REJOINDER!!! Drop it into any conversation, with anyone, any where, anytime. Try it! Your friends will be amazed at your grasp of the Folk Idiom.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 04:44 PM

Carter's Little Liver Pills were a popular nostrum. Still around in the 1930s but the formula was changed later. See thread 25913. Not Southern.

Another expression that is Southern is "He's got more gall that a carter's got oats." Nothing to do with the pills, but referring to a carter hauling oats.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,lovebug
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 03:45 PM

How about "a hitch in my git along"? That's my favorite!

I also want to know where "carter's got pills" or "carter little liver pills" came from?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM

"That boy is so ugly he would gag a maggot off'n a gut wagon" - You had to here it with with a Georgia drawl from my Navy buddy, Larry Cope of Macon, Georgia.

When he saw a gadget he liked he would let out a howl and say, "Waaaallllllll..........ain't that jes slicker'n hot chicken fat on a stuck doorknob".

And being a thoroughly modern Southern man, he described a woman that he thought was less than desirable lookin' as "uglier than the North side of a stump............meanin' no disrespect to you Yankees, Mick.........but y'all are an ugly bunch"

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,foureyes
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 09:26 PM

"All vines and no taters"--a false front, like "all hat and no cattle"
"One day it's chickens, the next day it's feathers"--the sun don't shine on the same dog's tail every day
favor--to resemble, "he favors his daddy around the eyes"
"Rest your features"--shut up
"Dull as a widder woman's ax"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: wilco
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:51 PM

"Rode hard and put up wet." This means you are wore-out. It;s a refernece to a horse being ridden hard in bad weather, and then put in the stable without being dired-off, fed, cooled-off, etc.
   "Piss poor" and "sorry" are incremental descriptions lf lousy, usually in refernce to someone's personality.
   "Your barn door's open." means your pants are unzipped. Sometimes, it is said, "Your barn door is open, and your cow's comin' out." This needs no real explanation.
   "pretty as a new penny"
   "cool as a cucumber"
   "deader'n a doornail"
   "wild as a March hare"
   "Ain't done it!!!" Statement of disbelief.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: anais
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 03:55 PM

my landscaping supervisor was famous for some real off-color ones
i.e.
"i wouldn't use that as a shield in a shit fight"
"i'd rather eat the southbound end of a northbound menstruating skunk"
"you look like you been shot at and missed, shit at and hit."
"speak now or forever hold your piss."
and the classic, if somebody had a big dumb smile, the were grinning,
"like a cat eatin' shit out of a hairbrush"
??????
makes no sense to me, but the guy was a laugh a minute when he wasn't yelling at yeh.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,eavesdropper
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 03:53 PM

Here is a good one for president dubya.

"Either shit or get off the pot."

Go to war with Iraq or shut the hell up.


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