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Folklore: favorite southern US expression

12 Feb 03 - 10:15 AM (#888531)
Subject: favorite southern US expression
From: wilco

Well, shut my mouth!!!
What's your favorite (or most peculiar) southern US expression?


12 Feb 03 - 10:22 AM (#888536)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Kim C

Fixin to.

What in the sam hill.......

Bless his/her/your/its heart.

Lands sakes.

I swan. (my mother says this)


12 Feb 03 - 10:24 AM (#888542)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Mrrzy

Might could, as in, I might could do that.


12 Feb 03 - 10:29 AM (#888549)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Kim C

How about useta could? As in, useta could, you could buy soft drinks in little bottles from vending machines. :-)


12 Feb 03 - 11:07 AM (#888592)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: catspaw49

"carry/carried"----I think this one got me first as unusual to a yankee when I first went to college at Berea. I think it's most popular in the Carolinas and southern Virginia, but it's a popular usage other places as well. The other one is "fixin' to" .... far more popular in the South but has some rural usage everywhere. I had used it for years but found it relatively unknown in the cities, but very used in the South. To use both in a sentence......

I was just fixin' to ask my Daddy if he could carry me on down to the Piggly Wiggly."......Meaning "I am going to ask my Dad if he could drive me to the grocery store."

Seriously, the first time I heard "carry" the mental image of someone riding piggyback came immediately to mind!

Sometimes it's just the pronounciation.....as in the two different ways to say "queer." Now if someone is homosexual, he's queer (kweer). No problem. But if someone is acting oddly, he's actin' kinda' queer, but now it's pronounced "kwa-oir." Thats as close as I can get it phonetically. Almost, but not quite, two syllables and the "oir" is as it is in "choir." Thing is, you have to flow the "a" into the "oir" so they become one distinctive sound. Hard to explain, you have to hear it.

More mountain than southern is "holt." The real word is hold, but the usage is, "That stuff is okay I guess, but it ain't nothin' I holt with." Meaning you disagree and are trying to be polite about it. The finest secretary I ever had used it a lot and although most of her accent was pretty well "cityfied" her usage of holt still stuck, as did her ability to turn "hello" into a 5 syllable word. I always loved that sound when she answered the phone!

More later.....

Spaw


12 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM (#888600)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,maire-aine

I don't know how "Southern" this is, probably southern Pennsylvania at best. My dad used to say "that makes the cheese more binding". He used that phrase in many different contexts, so I was never quite sure what it meant. Sort of in response to some information that explained something under discussion. Has anybody else heard this expression?


12 Feb 03 - 11:37 AM (#888616)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,bbc at work

can't hardly

bbc (from her Missouri Mom)


12 Feb 03 - 12:01 PM (#888638)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Bee-dubya-ell

"Ah musta been holdin' ma mouth right."

An explanation for unexpected good fortune. A homey way of saying that you didn't do anything special, it just happened.

Bruce


12 Feb 03 - 12:17 PM (#888653)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: TIA

Make the cheese more binding! Of course I've heard it, I'm from.....(drumroll) Pennsylvania! I think it's got a Pennsylvania German origin, 'cause my grandparents (who spoke PA German as a first language) used it all the time. I believe I'll start a whole new thread on "Dutchified" expressions like "why don't you hold this awhile" and "the milk is all" and "once't" and "whatfer car are ya drivin?" and ...

Back to the south - I love the variations on y'all. Y'all is singular, the plural is often "y'alls", or in a very large group "alla y'all".

My other favorite is "hamawn" which is short for "I am going to..."


12 Feb 03 - 12:26 PM (#888662)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: gaber

"Tiny propellers" = Tiene Papeles = Do You have Papers?

It's what Border Patrol agents with a southern accent say to Mexicans near the US-Mexico Border.


12 Feb 03 - 12:31 PM (#888668)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: mack/misophist

'It's better than a jab in the eye with a sharp stick' is my all time favourite. I also use 'like a boar hog in a peach orchard'. When I was in grade school, the spelling book still had 'I'd as lief' but country people are more likely to say 'I'd liefer'.


12 Feb 03 - 12:40 PM (#888678)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: gaber

I really like "Holy bow legged Sara" I don'tknow if it is southern, but my football coach used to say it all the time. It denoted shock, either good or bad.

ex. Holy bow legged Sara!, I can't believe you caught the ball.


12 Feb 03 - 12:46 PM (#888680)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Q

In the big middle. To be in the middle of an argument or just to be in the "middle of nowhere."
Wal, Ah de-clahr! Wal, Ah do declahr!

With reference to "make the cheese more binding," common folklore is that too much cheese causes constipation, but I have heard that in all parts of the country.


12 Feb 03 - 02:23 PM (#888752)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Bee-dubya-ell

I've only noticed this one from Kentuckians:

Using "ideal" instead of "idea" - as in "That's a really good ideal!"

Bruce


12 Feb 03 - 03:04 PM (#888781)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Dave Swan

My father-in-law who has lived all around the South all of his life explains a complete understanding of something as "how the hog eats the cabbage"

"I had to tell him how the hog eats the cabbage" He didn't understand the situation and required tuition.

"He knows how the hog eats the cabbage" You may trust his analysis of the situation.

D


12 Feb 03 - 03:11 PM (#888788)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Beccy

Well, I don't know how common these expressions are, but my Grandmpa was from West Virginia and he said them frequently... so into the southern expressions category go:

"Well, shave my legs and call me smoothy."

"Well, flap my gums and call me Peter Cottontail" (??????? Huh?)

"I'll be a monkey's uncle..."

"Slicker 'n cat snot"

... and my personal favorite...

"Redder 'n a gooses butt in pokeberry season" That never failed to elicit a bunch of "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww"s from the grands.


12 Feb 03 - 03:17 PM (#888793)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: wysiwyg

You'll find some serious hilarity in some older threads, too. But in the time since I posted my faves there, I learned a new one:

"Sicker than a boiled owl."

(Actually, "Sicker'n'a boiled owl."

~S~


12 Feb 03 - 03:21 PM (#888799)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Beccy

Oh- and a couple other of Grandpa's illustrious sayings:

"I'm sweatin' like a stuck pig."

"Slicker 'n a greased hog."

(coincidentally, Grandpa's favorite food was bacon...)

"Looks like a sow in a dress..." (Gramp's version of "you can dress her up but you cain't take her out..."


12 Feb 03 - 03:23 PM (#888801)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,TNDARLN at work

"The driveway don't go all the way to the house" courtesy of some of my Sand Mtn. sangin' buddies. Equivalent to being "one brick shy of a load".

My Mama uses the term "light wad" [He's a light wad- meaning that there's not much there of substance]. Which I know goes back to the days of muzzleloaders, but could [and probably does] have a totally different meaning in other contexts...and I'm sure someone here will point it out to us if that's the case...

thanks for startin' this Wilco: we're doing an Appalachian unit at school, and collecting sayins' is a part of it...


12 Feb 03 - 03:25 PM (#888804)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: harpgirl

" I showed my behind!"

as in, "I got mad or I made a dang fool of myself!'


12 Feb 03 - 03:30 PM (#888808)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: chip a

slicker'n owl shit
slicker'n a moles' ass
he/she's everwho's dog'll hunt with him/her
punkin as in "How are you doin'? well, I ain't much punkin"
"It ort ta crank, it crunk yesterday"
"stay all night"
"You got your music with you?"


12 Feb 03 - 03:31 PM (#888809)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Kim C

Spaw, "carry" is a very old expression. I've seen it used in 18th & 19th century diaries & letters & such. Along with, of course, "yonder" & "reckon."


12 Feb 03 - 03:33 PM (#888812)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: chip a

"his bread ain't quite riz"
dead as a hammer
dead as four o clock
cold as a wedge
sharp as a frogs' tooth
fish belly white (Huck Finn)


12 Feb 03 - 03:36 PM (#888813)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: catspaw49

Thanks Kim.......Which would go a long way towards explaining why it is still used in some parts where much of the language is either a throwback or some throwback variant.

Beccy, I'd submit that maybe Gramps said slicker than a greased pig and bleedin' like a stuck hog. Maybe not, but the slick pig comes from the contests and bleedin' hog generally refers to castration.

Spaw


12 Feb 03 - 03:42 PM (#888818)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Beccy

Spaw- I don't doubt that's what Gramps SHOULD have said, but he was awfully well known for messing up common sayings. To wit:

"You can lead a horse to drink but you can't make him water." (That one was delivered from the pulpit where Gramps was a UM pastor...)


12 Feb 03 - 03:49 PM (#888828)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Allan C.

That dog won't hunt - meaning your suggestion isn't feasible

Finer than frog's hair - refers to something especially pleasing

...at - one of those prepositions we were always warned about in school. This is often unnecessarily added to a question such as: "Where's JoeBob's house at?"


12 Feb 03 - 03:55 PM (#888831)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: chip a

When I first got to Ga. in the early seventies, old people still said ere for when.
.


12 Feb 03 - 04:01 PM (#888837)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Bill D

I have always been bemused by the way (as Catspaw mentions) of getting 4 or 5 syllables from a 1 or 2 syllable word..

well - "way-ul"

(and I remember my mother in 1946 bewildered by her neighbors offer to "carry her somewhere"...perhaps "back to old Virginny"


12 Feb 03 - 04:03 PM (#888839)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Bobert

Now don't ask me the context but this is something out of western North Caolina: "Hairlip to the Salvation Army". Hey, like I said. Don't ask me but the P-Vine says it now and then without thinking and then when I ask her about it she nuts up. If anyone knows tha origins of this phrase, please let me know.

But that "fixin'" is *fixin'* to drive me nuts. Can't do nuthin with out something else having to be fixed first. The P-Vine says, "Looks like it's fixin' to rain..."

"Why's that, PVine?" I ask, "Are the clouds broke?"

Now Spaw brought up one from Virginia. You don't take anything or anyone anywhere. You "carry" them. Thats fir real.

I call this stuff Bubba-onics. Kind of my take off on Ebonics.

Well, gotta carry my sorry butt home 'cause its fixin' to snow some more...

Bobert


12 Feb 03 - 04:13 PM (#888846)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Bee-dubya-ell

"Deader'n a by-god"
"Crookeder'n a snake with a cramp"
"He died the death of a red-headed woodpecker"
"Ya ain't from 'round here, are ya?"

And "Ah'm own teh yu wutt", which is "I'm going to tell you what", in English.

Bruce


12 Feb 03 - 04:29 PM (#888858)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: TIA

Shakin' like a dog shittin' peach pits....

(ewwwww)


12 Feb 03 - 04:42 PM (#888868)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: chip a

crooked as a dogs' hind leg
he could make money on a flat rock!
I ain't got no dog in this race.... meaning, I have no stake in what's going on.
"I ain't goin' up there. It's too fur an' snakey!"


12 Feb 03 - 04:46 PM (#888874)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Kim C

Well, if it ain't broke..... I guess there ain't no fixin it!!!!

I don't know where that comes from, but my guess is this:

Fixin = gettin ready = preparing to do something.


12 Feb 03 - 04:52 PM (#888880)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: chip a

When he got hungry out on the job, my old boss used to say "if we had some bread, we'd make us a sandwich, if we had some jelly"
He also said, if we got in a bind: "we can do anything that can be done by us"
Or for a hard job: "we'll do it by mean strength and awkwardness"


12 Feb 03 - 05:10 PM (#888895)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Bill D

"I ain't goin' up there. It's too fur an' snakey!"
oh, I like that one!


12 Feb 03 - 05:15 PM (#888898)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

"You can stick a cat in the oven but that don't make it a biscuit."

Here's another usage for the word 'fix'. "How are you fixed for bread?" Meaning do you have enough bread.

-Kaleb


12 Feb 03 - 05:16 PM (#888900)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Rapparee

Dad gum, iffen y'all don't talk funny! Why, here I am, fuller'n a tick an' feelin' lower'n a snake's belly in a wagon rut, an' y'all start this here stuff! Iffen I had my mind, I'd think that y'all were a couple sannwiches shy of a picnic, er maybe yer elevators don't go all the way up! 'Course, I know better'n that, 'cause y'all are purty good folks, mostly.

(As we say here in Kentucky....)


12 Feb 03 - 05:27 PM (#888909)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Walking Eagle

Redd up. As in 'clean up.' "well, I guess I'd better redd up the kitchen."


12 Feb 03 - 05:42 PM (#888921)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Claymore

A couple of my favorites:

"Felt like a duck at a cock fight"
"I have no dog in that fight" (variation of one above)
"Pretty as a deer, but dumber than owl shit"
"One wheel in the dirt" (meaning about to go out of control)
"Smelled like a fart in a gym sock"
"Shitting in tall cotton" (meaning doing well in life)
"Ugly as a stump"
"I want to date outside the family"
"Too much sugar for the dime" (meaning overwhelming or false praise)
"Herding cats" or "Pushing string" (meaning doing something difficult)


12 Feb 03 - 06:01 PM (#888933)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Murray MacLeod

Fascinating thread.

"Redd up" (clean up) is actually a very old Scots expression. Haven't heard it in years, and it is interesting that it should have migrated to the Southern States.

Murray


12 Feb 03 - 06:05 PM (#888937)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Sam L

My favorite mountain preposition of all time was my grandmother telling us to "come on out from back down up in under there".

Steepr'n a cow's face.

Bins. This took me a while, my wife's family said it and didn't remember saying it a second later so you could ask them about it. B
But from use it seems to be "being as". Bins you're going there I'll go with you.

   Ruirnt. That corn's ruirnt.

   It may not be southern, but my wife loves things going to hell in a handbasket. It's not simply that things are going to hell, but somewhat daintily, in a handbasket.

Kindly, for kind of. I kindly thought so.

Twicet. Once or twicet. Sometimes onest or twicest.


12 Feb 03 - 06:09 PM (#888939)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Puffenkinty

My two favorites:

He was "knee-walkin' drunk".

And when you don't want somebody to mess with something
you say, "Just leave it where Jesus flung it."


12 Feb 03 - 06:09 PM (#888941)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: mack/misophist

Cautious as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Some of these I didn't know were southern. It's just the way I talk.


12 Feb 03 - 06:42 PM (#888958)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST, Dale

The thing to remember about all this is that these are expressions to treasure. Listen while you can because the influence of TV, etc. is fast homogenizing the language. Listening to the old tapes from the 70s and 80s that I am privileged to hear and work with, I can detect a difference from what usta be, and what you would hear now.

That is not to say that the colorful local language is completely gone. I did hear the ultimate fixin' a couple of weeks ago.   A young lady I know (about 21)who was home from college said she was fixin' to fix a particular thing.

Students (most anyway) still speak with a certain amount of respect to, for example, school secretaries.   Now in the North you'd hear them say Mrs. Jones or Miss Smith, or possibly use their first names. But here in the South, while you will hear those titles used, you are far more likely to hear them referred to as Miz Julie, Miz Barbara, whatever. In the North, that would not have been an option.

An excellent source of Ozark humor and language is by Mitch Jayne. (former Dillard and of course, former Darlin' boy!)
Home Grown Stories & Home Fried Lies (subtitled Words With The Bark On Them And Other Ozark Oddments)   Ten sample pages are available for viewing at Amazon.

More about the book here.

Mitch is also a regular contributor for the Missouri Conservationist Magazine. Use the Missouri Conservationist search engine to find Mitch Jayne storys.

Here's an excerpt from one ~~~~

Zeke: Well onct you get past 65 it evens out purty smooth, but 65, that's the rough one.

Mitch: Why 65?

Zeke: That's when everbody figures if you ain't dead yit yer missin' a good chaince. They all fly in to sell you yer box or a plot to plant ye or burial insurance, or they set in to put ye in a home som'ers.

Mitch: They all came at you at once?

Zeke: Hit was a sight on earth. Had to nail up a barrel fer a mail box to catch all the dodgers fer rockin' cheers and wheel cheers and funerals and old folks magazines and nostrums fer regularity and perpetchural keer fer yer plot and rest homes and nursin' homes and a whole outlandish bunch of other plunder I cain't remember.

Mitch: Weren't interested, huh?

Zeke: Well sir, I bottled up a batch of my cold remedy jist fer us old folks. I call it "Ol Quiet Owl."

Mitch: "Ol Quiet Owl"?

Zeke: Take reg'lar doses of it, you keep gettin' old but you won't give a hoot.

_______________________________________________

The expression used by Zeke, "Hit was a sight on earth." was commonly used by my old Uncle Walter, gone from us for many years, but his language lingers on for me.


12 Feb 03 - 07:29 PM (#889001)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Rapparee

It got cold here last night. It was so cold that the thermometer went and said it was five feet below zero. Snow's purtier'n a newborn pup, though. Lotsa younguns got the flu, sicker'n shit and don't smell nowhere near as nice, either. Feller t'other day told me I couldn't walk cross his paster, so I told him to go piss up a rope, I wasn't harmin' nothing. He wanted to light into me, but I lit a shuck outa there -- there's a time an place fer fightin' and that weren't it.


12 Feb 03 - 08:25 PM (#889039)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: artbrooks

Wa'ul, all ah kin say is "Sheee-it!"


12 Feb 03 - 08:51 PM (#889070)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: Neighmond

Well-here goes:

Slower 'n the angel o'death
sail to and do her (git going on it)
ain't worth the shot to shoot 'em
aggrevates my soul
agitates my bein'


12 Feb 03 - 08:53 PM (#889072)
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

"spank mah britches and shet mah mouth!" - Cousin Bill
"Kiss mah ass in th' red!" - Uncle Rob
"Hope ya s**t an' fall back innit!" - Joe(a friend of mine)
"Way-ell, it's fer shur them gals aint a gonna starve to death." - Friend referring to a couple of upper middle class women we saw 'uptown' one time.
"Go cut me a switch!" - Grandma(whenever I'd misbehave)


12 Feb 03 - 09:21 PM (#889091)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mudlark

Windah lights = panes of glass
Bedfast = ill in bed
Haint..."Why I haint see'd you since....Hec was a pup" /said sooo slowly you could feel yourself age as you listened in
You'ns, us'ns
Fight? Why, it was like Daddy 'n the bear...
Leetle, as in leetle ole redbird
Y'all come = invitation
Y'all come go with me...said as someone was leaving
Y'all come back ... said whenever one left a store, or any place else
Feist dog = small, terrier yard dog good for getting snakes and other
        vermin
"Why, I wouldn't take 500 dollars fer that dawg." Usually said of a
        useless hound dog someone was wanting to trade...
The mispronunciation of words: despite the 5 foot high letters in the
        Walmart sign, everybody in Huntsville pronounced it Walmark.

All from the 1970's Ozarks. With the advent of a TV in every house this wonderful vernacular was dying out however, by the time we left in the 80's.


12 Feb 03 - 09:30 PM (#889094)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Ferrara

ROFLMAO!

Here's a few from my mom:

"He hasn't got a pot to pee in!" (shiftless and improvident...)
"He hopped on that like a chicken on a June bug."
"I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off." (very busy, disorganized)
"He called her everything but a lady." (insults)
... and my favorite, "Uglier than home made sin."

Rita


12 Feb 03 - 09:48 PM (#889108)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Frequently heard Southern conversation:

"Djeetchet?"
"Nawdjoo?"
"Notchet."
"Yawntoo?"
"Chitchayuh!"
"Aw-ite."

Bruce


12 Feb 03 - 09:49 PM (#889110)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Walking Eagle

McLeoud: Most of us hillbillies are called Southern Highlanders for a reason--the majortiy of us are of Scots descent. Therefore, it's not unusual that Scot terms would wind up here.

What are some terms that you know? Post them and we may see a very common linguistic connection.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned A (uh) "I'm a'comin'."

Don't think that all of us hillbillies talk this way. AND DON'T EVEN DARE TO THINK THAT BECAUSE SOME OF TALK LIKE THIS THAT WE ARE DUMB AND STUPID!


12 Feb 03 - 09:57 PM (#889114)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: catspaw49

VULGARITY ALERT

Okay?

There must be about a hundred ways to call someone a cocksucker because I know probably 75 and there are bound to be more. One of my "TOP TEN" came from a Southerner and has that certain peculiar Southern "ring' about it. I've loved it since the first time I heard it: "Tell ya' whut, that boy there would suck a root as long as a rake handle."

Spaw


12 Feb 03 - 10:07 PM (#889119)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Q

More expressions here than a carter's got oats.

Some given here are well-known outside of the south.


12 Feb 03 - 10:13 PM (#889124)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Dave Swan

Anybody ever hear "Yankee dime" for a kiss? Anybody got the background? It was used by a friend's grandmother who came from Oklahoma, which I know is not really the South, but this seems like a good place to ask the question.
D


12 Feb 03 - 11:12 PM (#889167)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: TNDARLN

Shoot yeah, Dave-- Daddy said that all the time!

He also talks about "going about his ratkilling..." [which I've never heard anywhere else]

...and the term "sigh foggin'" from an old joke [I think] meaning loosely, that since you can't get there in a straight line, you have to "sigh fogg" [accent first syllable] or, put another way, the path is as crooked as a dawg's hin' leg. Or did I say that bass-ackwards?

Here's another: my Grandmother useta' talk about stinky things as being a "kee yarny" mess...Daddy thinks that comes from "carrion", but I'd love to hear that there's an old Scots phrase similar to it.

What about "flatter'n a flitter"? After I run over hit wi' my four wheeler, that 'possum was flatter'n a flitter.

And from my h.s. physics teacher, "you're a lost ball in high weeds"- he was an onery cuss....

I'll speak my Southern English as natural as I please........!


12 Feb 03 - 11:17 PM (#889171)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bill D

"was it rainin'?..man, it was rainin' like a cow pissin' on a flat rock!"


12 Feb 03 - 11:37 PM (#889181)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Miken

"Shakin like a tall pine in a high wind"

From a friend in Mississippi "les go get us a cona cream" (an ice cream cone)

Answers to an obvious question:
"is a pigs ass pork?", or "does a hobby horse have a hickory dick?"


12 Feb 03 - 11:42 PM (#889188)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: CapriUni

I don't remember the context or who said it, but this is a phrase I heard when I was beginning to move house for New York State to southeast Virginia, and it's stuck in my mind:

"Grinnin' like a butcher's dog"

...

or was it happy as a butcher's dog? ...


13 Feb 03 - 12:48 AM (#889213)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Merritt

Over the years, have lived/worked in North Carolina, W. Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, & Mississippi. Also dated a woman from Texas.

"That Midnight Train Brandy ain't nothin' but the truth!" The "truth" = the real deal. (NC)

"I liketa die. I liketa had a heart attack." (Texas)

"Uh oh, Bobby Joe 'bout to whoop one on." When you start lose your temper, people would try to tease you out of it with little jabs like this. (NC)

"Might could." (NC, WV)

"The hawk is out today." The "hawk" referring to a cold, cutting wind. (NC)

"If it was a snake, it woulda bit me." Meaning that the thing you were looking for was right there in front of you, or the thing you were trying to remember was obvious. (All over)

In response to the question, "Can I buy you a soda?" the phrase "I don't care" or "I don't mind" is common in some parts of the south. It means "yes" but if you're used to a more direct answer it can throw you.

"Barkin' up a stump." Wasting one's time.

"Well, if I ever do this again, that'll be twice."

"Lininumum Rug" = linoleum floor

"Well, a couple of inches this way or that don't make no never mind to Charlie." Local contractor explaining why a house foundation was less than perfect.

"Don't that beat all."

- Merritt


13 Feb 03 - 12:59 AM (#889218)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

Once when looking at a line I'd made to mark a saw cut he was about to make my uncle remarked, "S**t, you call that straight?! Why's it's crooked-er than a bull's d**k!"


13 Feb 03 - 04:07 AM (#889256)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bullfrog Jones

Another one from Mitch Jayne on 'Dillards -- Live, Almost': 'Slicker than deer guts on a door-knob'.

BJ


13 Feb 03 - 08:16 AM (#889369)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Rapparee

Went in to git me a beer, 'cause I was drier'n seven acres a parched corn. Buncha boys in the joint were mean, mean'r'n spoilt meat, an wanted to tare up some. Ugly, too, each of 'em was uglier'n six miles of homemade mud fence, but strong enough to drive ten penny nails with their thumbs. I didn't fancy a poundin' much cuz my face is so pritty an all, and these were the sort who'd stomp shit outa you an then smear it on your face, so I sorta sidled outa there afore they tore it all to flinderations. Managed to finish ma beer, first, though.


(I think someone mixed "homemade sin" and "mud fence" but it comes out okay.)


13 Feb 03 - 09:29 AM (#889421)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Russ

Slicker than snot on a doorknob
Useless as tits on a bull
Dumber than sled tracks
Slower than Christmas
Couldn't pour pee out of a boot with directions on the heel
More x than Carters has got pills
Dumber than a bucket of hair
Dumber than a bucket of rocks


13 Feb 03 - 09:59 AM (#889451)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

"With no more regard than a mule at a funeral"


13 Feb 03 - 10:17 AM (#889472)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Kim C

Ah bleeve it's comin up a rain.

I have read the expression "crazier 'n owl shit" somewhere before.

My friend Howard, who is originally from Mississippi, likes to use the word "fantods." I don't know that it's particularly Southern, but it is somewhat old-fashioned. It sounds like a digestive ailment, but what it really is, is a case of the willies.

I like the word "ain't." I use it often, because I can, dammit. I also frequently disagree my subject and verb, on purpose. I do know better, thank you, but in informal conversation, I really don't care. That don't mean I ain't halfway smart. The college down yonder give me a piece of paper that says so.


13 Feb 03 - 10:56 AM (#889505)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: beadie

I grew up in Wisconsin, where anything below the Illinoyance state line is "SOUTH." But, my Daddy was from Kentucky, so I am familiar with almost all of the expressions listed to this point.

However, I heard a new one today, from a Texan.

Referring to someone who has an unexplained rant or who appears extraordinarily upset, she asks, "Who put Tabasco in YOUR grits?"


13 Feb 03 - 11:07 AM (#889511)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Beccy

This from my consummate southern Pater-in-law (Mr. Virignia himself...)

"That's enough to puke a hound off a gut wagon."

(???I think that means that something is icky.???)


13 Feb 03 - 11:09 AM (#889513)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Kim C

But I like Tabasco in my grits!!!!!! ;-)


13 Feb 03 - 11:10 AM (#889515)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: mack/misophist

"Who put tabasco in your grits?" Considering that normal roadside diners have at least two kinds of hot sauce on the table and grist on the menu, that's an odd thing to ask. I put it there.


13 Feb 03 - 11:13 AM (#889519)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: wilco

Who pissed in your gravy? (What got you upset?)
Even a blind hog roots-up a few acorns. (Any fool gets lucky
    eventually)
Hold your horses!!!! (Slow down).
Ain't that the cat's pajamas. (Not much to it).
Rougher than a cob. (reference to using corncobs in lieu of toilet
    tissue).
All hat. (Big hatted, self-important, pompous person).
Can't find his ass with both hands. (incompetent).


13 Feb 03 - 11:21 AM (#889529)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: beadie

Notwithstanding the opinion of those who do use the ubiquitous hot sauce on grits, and acknowledging that Tabasco is great on the eggs that are set next to them on the breakfast plate, I prefer sausage gravy on my grits.


13 Feb 03 - 11:25 AM (#889531)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Sandy Creek

For a wealth of Southern Expressions, especially around 'Nawlins (which is in LuzAnna) Read "Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. But be careful...once you start reading this novel...it is hard to put it down. Ya'll come on back now, ya heah.


13 Feb 03 - 12:20 PM (#889572)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: chip a

pretty as red shoes
pretty as a speckled pup
dumb as a sack of dog hair
it's better'n snuff and ain't half as dusty
I wouldn't piss in his mouth if his guts was on fire (spoken of somone that ain't worth a pisshole in the snow)
Boy, you really pissed in your oatmeal this time
He' so tight he squeaks when he walks
steeper'n a mules face


13 Feb 03 - 12:28 PM (#889578)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: wysiwyg

All sicked up. All sicked up in de bed.

~S~


13 Feb 03 - 01:36 PM (#889616)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bill D

"sick abed on two chairs" ...from my father, after we had lived in Louisiana and Arkansas and Texas for several years....


13 Feb 03 - 03:09 PM (#889690)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Please note that the southern-ness of any of the above expressions may be greatly enhanced by inserting a large quantity of smokeless tobacco product into one's mouth before uttering them. That makes it very difficult to say, "I'm going to..." but very easy to say, "Ah'm own..." As in, "Ah'm own be own yore ass lak steenk own sheeit!"

Like KimC, I often intentionally use incorrect grammar for the fun of it even though I know better and have a piece a' paper from one a' them university places (in English, no less). I suspect that there are a good number of people around here who like to play at being hicks, especially that guy that lives up in them West Virginny hollers.

I would also like to second Sandy Creek's recommendation of "A Confederacy of Dunces". IMO Ignatius J. Reilly is right up there with Atticus Finch among southern literary heroes, even though his personal habits remind one more of Spaw. Click here to read Walker Percy's foreward to the novel.

Bruce


13 Feb 03 - 03:17 PM (#889703)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Kim C

heheheh Bruce my piece of paper is an English degree too!


13 Feb 03 - 03:47 PM (#889732)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

I've heard most of these too.

Kim, my mother used to say, "Well, I swan." Sometimes "swannee."

In Alabama they really do say "ovah yondah."

From Eastern Kentucky: "You can't prop up agin a crook."
"Are ya trackin'?"
"That's like swimmin' in a mudhole."
"Beat a dead horse or snake."
"Ever what" instead of "whatever"

And my favorite, used around here a lot, "Smartern a hog!"


13 Feb 03 - 04:00 PM (#889741)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

Dave, my dad used to give me a Yankee dime for helping wash the car. He was from Arkansas and Texas.

Another from Eastern Kentucky: "Hotter'n a June bride."

And for Spaw, "Dip yourself in shit and go to hell!"


13 Feb 03 - 04:38 PM (#889761)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: harper

My father in law, talking about someone he couldn't stand, would say, "I wouldn't give him air."    And my mother in law is always "crocheting another african."


13 Feb 03 - 05:00 PM (#889780)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

I think the phrase when referring to someone or something unattractive it(they) would "Back a houn' off a gut wagon!"

Another when referring to someone leaving an embarrassing scene of sorts, "He(She) ran outta here like a stripe-edd assed ape!"

Overheard in gym class - Bob: "Hey Jim, Ah knew ya smoked, but Ah never knew ya could blow smoke rings outta yer butt."
                                       Jim:   "Uh caint!"
                                       Bob:   "No? Then how come 'ere's nicotine stains on yer drawers?"


13 Feb 03 - 05:11 PM (#889789)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Frankham

Love this thread. Some that appealed to me were...."Like a glad dog in a meat house" and if it's pretty far away it's a "fur piece".

Traveling through the South one summer when we were in NC and Tennesee at the local store it was " Y'all come back and see agin now ya' hear?" The furthur west we moved it was "C'mon back and see us." and the furthur West we moved it was by the time we got to Oklahoma or Texas..."Come back". When we reached California nobody said nothin'.

I also like when you leave someone or they leave you it's "I'll look for ya'."

Down here in Georgia it's "Hey" rather than "Hi". Some who want to cityfy other's speech say "Hey is for horses". But I like "hey". I also like "You doin' awraht?"

Frank Hamilton

There is a little book out called "How To Speak Southern".


13 Feb 03 - 05:21 PM (#889793)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Sorcha

"Pure D" as in pure D ugly.


13 Feb 03 - 05:27 PM (#889797)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

When Hubby first started working in a large animal veterinary practice, I often had to answer the phone at home after hours. Many farmers don't like to talk about "delicate" subjects with a woman. I got used to that attitude and just tried to act like I wasn't shocked at anything. But the best one -- one that really had me baffled -- was when a farmer called and said his sow couldn't find her pigs. I relayed the message to Hubby who explained to me that the sow was having trouble giving birth.

Then there were all the times I had to get directions to a farm over the phone. I found it was best to act real dumb and repeat everything several times. I got to know lots of farmers and their wives from phone conversations, but had never met them. Hubby described me to them as, shall we say, not fit for public viewing. When they did meet me, there was a tremendous look of relief on their faces. Then Hubby would tell them that he'd rather take me with him than kiss me goodbye! Oh the stories, many just like in James Herriot's books.

Another expression: Can't see it from my house. (Meaning, I don't care unless it affects me.)


13 Feb 03 - 05:58 PM (#889820)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bill D

when I saw the Lewis family years ago, they worked their accent and expressions into their act (high energy gospel music from Georgia).

one favorite was offering a free "tote bag" if you bought records...Little Roy Lewis could do 5 minutes on the differences between "tote bag" and other conveniences for carrying materials.


13 Feb 03 - 05:58 PM (#889821)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Claymore

A couple of others, which are a bit more pungent:

"So randy he'd screw a snake if someone held it straight"
"Smelled bad enough to knock a buzzard off a shit wagon"
"She could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch"
"She could suck the creme out of a Twinkie and not get crumbs on her lips"
"She could suck a golf ball through a garden hose"
"Such a bad shot he couldn't hit the inside of a barn with the doors closed"
"Sick enough to shit through a screen door and not touch wire"
"So ugly I wouldn't screw her with YOUR dick"
"Coyote ugly" (A woman so ugly, that if you woke up in the morning with her head lying on your arm, you would chew it off rather than pulling it out and chance waking her.)


13 Feb 03 - 06:05 PM (#889828)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Walking Eagle

"I've a mind to," as in I'm going to do something. "I've a mind to go to the mall today." "I've half a mind to," as in I might do something. "I've half a mind to work on my cross stitch."


13 Feb 03 - 07:11 PM (#889890)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Sam L

Friend of mine from Alabama gets Journey Pride--nervous before a trip.

Swarpin'. One grandmother talked about them that went around adrinkin', and aswarpin'. I asked my mother what swarpin' meant, and she did not know, had never thought to find out. That's a difference between generations, because if my mother had often said it, I would've made it my business to find out and aquire some expertise. My greatest fear is that it may be a really fun sin that could become a lost art, and I briefly tried to rouse a society for the preservation of Swarpin'. But it's hard to generate a lot of support without knowing exactly what it is--damn! That's the whole problem. As best I can tell, it seems to involve a swinging motion--which sounds full of wicked promise! Sorry to go on, but I get a little keyed up thinking about it. I also have a young seminary student looking into it--there may be a lost commandment or something like Thou shalt not swarp, which could make a big thesis thing for him. I tried to help him out, giving him the lead, but also hoped there might be some inadvertent clues in Hebrew or Latin, a how-to, helpful tips for the swarpin' that one shalt not do, some old diagrams, anything.
    Any strange wicked or wild thing y'all may know of, come upon behind the barn, in tall grass, through a window of a neighbors house--and especially if something was sort of swinging, let me know, it may have been some swarpin' going on there.      Fred


13 Feb 03 - 07:26 PM (#889908)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

My friend taught elementary school in Mississippi. One young boy came to her complaining that another boy was "mellin' him." Not understanding what he was saying, she shushed him up until she could ask someone what it meant. Meddling. as in quit meddling with me.

Also when I supervised college students at an Alabama university, one fella asked to be excused from the exam because he was traveling with the wrazzlin' team. (wrestling team) I was 28 years old and had 18 year old boys saying "yes ma'am" to me.

The son of my friend in South Carolina had to run laps in the gym for not saying "yes ma'am."

My grandmother used to say, "Save your pennies for a rainy day, and it's a gwine a rain someday."

Then there's "sweatin' like a whore in church."


13 Feb 03 - 09:33 PM (#889988)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: sharyn

My favorite: I've enjoyed about as much as I can stand (Texas)

And some variations:

Let me lie where Jesus flang me
Leave me lie where Jesus flang me

Also Rick Bragg, who was a mountain boy, says great things like "a cheeseburger 's big as God."


13 Feb 03 - 10:54 PM (#890035)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bev and Jerry

Seems to us that, if'n yore from de souf, there are only two sizes of thangs - little bitty and big ol'.

Bev and Jerry


13 Feb 03 - 11:13 PM (#890041)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Neighmond

he fell in the river and they skimmed "ugly" for three days!


14 Feb 03 - 08:01 AM (#890212)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Rapparee

Havin' gone an' got me a couple or four pieces of paper sayin' I got me an eddycashun, I shure don't know why in hell I write like this here. Usually don't talk like it, less'n I want to make a point or jist fool with folks. Perhaps it's because I find that "conventional" or "televsion" speech is so ubiquitous, or perhaps it's simply because I can. What fascinates me is that the metaphors, etc. contained herein (geez, I'm sorry about those two words!) disseminate so quickly around the country. It certainly seems as if an expression is created within the folk unconscious and appears all at once. I would puzzle more over it, only it don't mean any more'n a fart in a hurricane.


14 Feb 03 - 11:50 AM (#890359)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: chip a

My wife says "she's so ugly, she'd make a freight train take a dirt road!"
Also, old as dirt
broad as an axe handle
I done done it
it's already done and done
yaller janders (yellow jaundice) as in "his janders is yaller"


14 Feb 03 - 12:02 PM (#890363)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

See ya tomorrow God willin' and the creeks don't rise.

(or in Alabama -- unless the Rapture.)


14 Feb 03 - 12:27 PM (#890387)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Rapparee

Ugly enough to fright a haint off a thorn bush.
Ugly enough to haunt a nine room house.
Ugly enough to chase snakes.

Older'n God.

Jesus Christ and little fishes!


14 Feb 03 - 12:54 PM (#890410)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Kim C

Bev and Jerry, there's also teeniny and big-ass.


14 Feb 03 - 01:43 PM (#890439)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: wysiwyg

Wal, she ain't wrapped too tight, izzall.

~S~


14 Feb 03 - 01:50 PM (#890441)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,sapote jones

Theres this way of emphasis in southern louisianna,
       "I'm hungry, me!"    or "They left, them"


14 Feb 03 - 02:23 PM (#890461)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Tree

Heard these from a guitarist I used to jam with.

Countrier'n (kunt-tree-ern) cowshit

Busier than a cat covering shit on tile.


14 Feb 03 - 02:24 PM (#890464)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Ferrara

TNDARLN, my mom also said, "Well, I guess I'd better get back to my rat killin': to mean, "Got to get back to work."

Walking Eagle, you bet, use of vernacular expressions doesn't imply stupidity! In fact, the best expressions often come off the tongues of the smartest people.

Guest, Sapote jones, the Louisians expressions use French syntax as in "J'ai faim, moi!" Neat.

And another of my mom's expressions, I don't think of it as particularly southern, applies to not being too particular about something you're doing: "It'll never be seen from a galloping horse."

Mom was from Georgia.

Rita


14 Feb 03 - 02:28 PM (#890466)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Sorcha

Well, there ya is Miz Diz.


14 Feb 03 - 02:29 PM (#890467)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Ron Olesko

I've always been partial to - "what are you doing, loping your mule?" when someone is goofing off. Sounds worse than it actually is.


14 Feb 03 - 02:39 PM (#890478)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Ron Olesko

Although it is used in a different context as well.


14 Feb 03 - 02:46 PM (#890484)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

She ain't worth shootin'. (a worthless cow)

It's jest up the holler a bit.

Back 'ere.

If it's not worth doin' right, it's not worth doin' at all. (My mother would never say ain't.)

He's aggavatin' me. (My older brother would aggravate me.)

Time for her to freshen. (time for the cow to give birth and come to her milk)

My favorite around here -- There ought to be a Shepherdsville for people. (Shepherdsville is where you send all the worthless, unproductive animals to the slaughterhouse.)


14 Feb 03 - 02:50 PM (#890489)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

Puttin' on airs.

Stepped out of a bandbox. (dressed up)

In high cotton. (rich)

floozie (loose woman)


14 Feb 03 - 03:23 PM (#890514)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Q

Ah, yes, high cotton. I remember that one from my Georgia mother-in-law.
Floozie (floozy) is an odd one. H. L. Mencken (The American Language) considered it to be an American invented word. When Carl Sandburg's "Collected Poems" was printed in England, a glossary was added which included the word "floozy."
If you look in the Oxford English Dictionary, the preferred spelling is "floosie," whick strikes an American as funny; the word has been adopted by the English with their s instead of z.
The word first appeared in print in an article on white slavery, as floosie, so the OED could be right. But no one knows its origin.


14 Feb 03 - 04:33 PM (#890557)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

Where ya goin'? Out. (none of your business)

Where ya goin'? To see a man about a dog. (none of your business)

Where'd ya catch that fish? Farm pond. (none of your business)

How much did that cost? Dollar three eighty seven. (none of your business)

Can't have the biggest piece, don't want none.

Someone stop me...


14 Feb 03 - 07:39 PM (#890671)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Q

Hit don'(t) make no never mind. Common in Texas.


14 Feb 03 - 09:51 PM (#890732)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

"Wanna daince?"(would you like to dance?)

"She's just as sweet as she can be!"

"He's afflicted"(usually referring to one who's developmentally disabled or handicapped in some way)

"Oh, take an ol' cold 'tater'n wait!"(usually said to children who were begging to eat before dinner was ready. Then sort of morphed into meaning to possess one's self of patience)

"Shoot, the wood was stacked so poor you could throw a dog through anywheres"(I first ran across this phrase in Hucleberry Finn, but heard my great Uncle Willie use it in conversation years later.

"Hell if I had a dog as ugly as that baby I'd shave 'is ass an' make 'im walk backwards!"(cruel, but funny, nonetheless)

"Pretty is as pretty does"

"If he was mah dawg, Ah'd drown 'im!"(overheard in a laundromat years ago by a woman referring to her friend's no-account husband)


14 Feb 03 - 09:58 PM (#890737)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,DancingMom

"Ugly as a mud fence."
"Butt ugly."
"So crooked they gonna hafta screw 'im in the ground when he dies."
In addition to "fixin' to go to to work" there's "commence to workin'".
"The whole loblolly mess" (my mother-in-law, a wealth of funny Southern expressions)
My Virginia Grandma says, "Can you carry me to my Doctor's office?"
"Colder 'n a well-digger's butt in Alaska".
"'Bout yay high" (holding out a hand to indicate height).
"If I ain't purty enough, there's plenty of other places they can look".
Sharon


14 Feb 03 - 10:06 PM (#890742)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

all stove up (my grandmother said this referring to stiffness from arthritis)

meaner 'n a snake

just like a snake in the grass (sneaky, lowdown person)

hips like a chicken snake (slim)

slicker 'n a minna's (minnow's) dick

more than you can shake a stick at (a lot)

teched in the head (crazy)

I can't talk 'cause I have a lot of chicks out just now. (said by a man with teenagers -- your chickens come home to roost)

rode hard and put up wet (mistreated, or lived a hard life -- originally referring to a horse)


14 Feb 03 - 10:50 PM (#890765)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

It flew all over me. (I got mad when I heard what was said.)

as right as rain

come on in and set a spell

spell me while I take a break (take my place, work in my place)

In Alabama I heard a lot of Biblical references in daily language:
add a star to your crown (a compliment for a thankless or self-sacrificing job)
cast you bread on the water (do good deeds and you'll receive back blessings)
get thee behind me Satan (don't tempt me)
waitin' for the trumpets
the Rapture
cross the river Jurden (Jorden)

Today I often "run" to the store or downtown. As a child I would "tote" someone on my bicycle.

run with the big dogs

I eat supper instead of dinner. I have an icebox instead of a refrigerator.

As a 10-yr-old, after "spending the night" with a girlfriend (today they are called sleepovers) when my mom picked me up, I ALWAYS had to tell my friend's mother, "I had a nice time."

Hubby refers to all soft drinks (coca-cola, pepsi, etc.) as pop.


15 Feb 03 - 01:54 AM (#890848)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Kaleea

My grandparents grew up in Arkansas (their ancestors had come from Tennessee before that, & so on back east all the way to Ireland), then after being married, moved to the hills of eastern Oklahoma. They were simple country folks with the wisdom which only country folks have! Some people are ashamed of their simple roots, and get upset at the hint of terms such as "hillbilly" or "redneck" but I take no offense, as I know that my ancestors were hard working people who faced every possible hardship along the way to my generation, and our people may have been called those terms along the way, but I know the truth--we are people who know how to be strong, we know what morals are, and we also know that it is in ignorance that people use such terminology. I'm proud of my simple roots! I also remember much of the knowledge passed on to me about things such as herbs & roots & teas. My family still enjoys some mild kidding with each other about our speech patterns!   My Granny (who had her "snuff" which was absolutely not the same thing as Grandad's "chaw"--snuff was more lady like!) also used to say, "We in high cotton now" and "I'll swan" and "La-a-a-nd a goshen" as well as a few other interesting things such as:

He run faster'n a feller whut bumped intuh a bee hive.
It ain't meye-yun, it mus be yer'un.
Yew'unz otta be purdy hongry bout now.
Yew yungunz git owtta thet barn fore it fallz in on all y'all!

I still call the grocery cart a "buggy" and my mother will refer to a ladies room with 2 stalls as a "2 holer." Grandad would never say the word "outhouse" nor would he say where he was going. If he saw somebody in the family coming around the house on one side, he would go to the outhouse via the other side. There is not a person among us who did not have ancestors who used an outhouse somewhere along the way! When one is out "camping" it can be very important knowledge to know which leaves to use instead of corn cobs or the sears & roebuck & co catalogue! I just keep my peace when people who look down their noses at some of us develop a horrendous rash from the wrong leaves.


15 Feb 03 - 03:55 AM (#890864)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: darkriver

I'm surprised no one's yet mentioned tough titty (pronounced "tough tiddy"), meaning "tough luck".
I generally got the idea that no real sympathy was meant.


15 Feb 03 - 09:25 AM (#890944)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: harper

Ummm.......by the way,   what is a "holler?"    Seems that lots of my in-law's "kin" lived "cross the holler" or "down in the holler." I'm sort of assuming, in my northern language, that they lived in the valley???


15 Feb 03 - 10:06 AM (#890953)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: TNDARLN

Harper-
I'm going to try this one, although it's almost out of my personal experience: I think of valleys being wider, cut out by rivers, etc., as in "bottomland". If you live in a valley, you live on flat land.

A holler, OTH, has elevation. Mountains or hills close 'round. A house built in a holler probably has a steep yard, garden, etc. And you'd want to build your 'holer down the holler!

Sorcha- I had forgotten that one! Only it was "Pure O- D ugly" for us. Ferrara- I'm relieved actually to know Daddy didn't make up "ratkillin'".

Anyone here ever' accused of "messin and gommin"? You could get your hide tanned real fast for doing that--- or less even!

"Whar's yore brother? I'm goin' tan his hide for messin and gommin' up the porch again!"

"Mama, I ain't seen "hide ner hair" of 'im since supper-- "

"You better tell me the truth, Gal-"

"If I"m a-lyin', I'm a-dyin'!!!"

Gol - ly Bum!!!


15 Feb 03 - 10:49 AM (#890968)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Allan C.

"You see somthin'green?" - a way of asking "What the hell are you gawking at?"


15 Feb 03 - 02:09 PM (#891055)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Giac

Having swarped and been swarped many times, here's an idear about it--

'at youngun' sayussed me and ah swarped him upside the haid.

---

To someone who's bitchy:

Well, who licked the red offa yore candy?


---

I do believe that c'yarn comes from carrion. The most common expression using the word here is, "stinks like c'yarn in the road."

---

Don't have nuthin' to do with him, he acts plumb black guardish.

---

Didn't see one of my late mother's favorites. If I said I wished I had a particular unobtainable thing --

Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up the fastest.


15 Feb 03 - 09:57 PM (#891319)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu

My Missouri collection:

http://www2.truman.edu/~adavis/expressions.html

Best,

Adam


15 Feb 03 - 10:15 PM (#891329)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Tree

All of these remind me of a joke about such expressions and the misunderstanding that can result.


A mountain woman went to the doctor and was told to go home and come back in a couple of days with a specimen. When she got home she asked her husband, "What is a specimen?"

He replied. "Darn if I know. Go next door and ask Edith. She's a nurse".

The woman went next door and came back in about twenty minutes with her clothes all torn and with multiple cuts and bruises on her face and body.

What in the world happened?"asked her husband.

Darned if I know," she replies. "I asked Edith what a specimen was and she told me to go piss in a bottle. I told her to go fart in a jug and then all hell broke loose"


16 Feb 03 - 01:58 PM (#891639)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Rapparee

For someone who grew up in west-central Illinois, many of these expressions are ones I grew up with. For instance, we ate breakfast, dinner, and supper (and this caused all sorts of problems when I married someone who ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner!). We kept our food in an icebox (and yes, we had a true icebox in the basement -- didn't use it). Clothes were put through the wringer after they were washed, then hung up to dry (we didn't do laundry, of course, we did the wash). There were many, many of the expressions given in this thread in common use.

Perhaps it was because I grew up in a city on the banks of the Mississippi, twenty miles above Hannibal, MO, in Mark Twain country. Or it could be that in the '50s the area was pretty much bypassed by homogenization of language.

I can still go back, however, and hear my cousins talking about it raining like a cow pissin' on a flat rock, or someone so dumb that they'd milk a bull and drink it (YEEECH!).


16 Feb 03 - 02:25 PM (#891657)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Ferrara

Rapaire,

We had an ice box too (this was in Washington, DC in the early forties) and a washing machine with a wringer. And a "mangle" ironer for ironing the sheets.

I loved the ice man. He brought the ice up to the house in a pair of tongs, put it in a special metal box on the front porch. Seems to me he actually had a horse drawn wagon as well. If we asked nicely, he'd take an ice pick and hack off a long "icicle" for us to eat like a lollipop.

Also, for many more years, there were old rag men and other vendors who came around driving a horse and wagon. Once there was too much traffic in the streets, they used the alleys.

My country cousins still have much more colorful language than the homogenized stuff you hear in the cities and in the media. It's witty and fun to hear them, especially the exchanges of insults which get pretty creative.

Me, I just don't have the knack.

Rita


17 Feb 03 - 12:36 PM (#892148)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

Some grand ones here..but I think many of them are common expressions in mant places...here a few from Eastern Canada... Dumb as a bag of hammers. Lazy as Larry's dog, he gotta lay down to bark. Cold as a well diggers ass. Dim as cowshit. he ain't got what Paddy Shot At.
    In fact, I have never heard the last one outside of Nova Scotia. Has anyone else heard this. Does anyone know what it means. Thanks ..great thread


17 Feb 03 - 12:43 PM (#892153)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

I think that referring to all soft drinks as pop is almost Universal in Canada. Eastern canada still has breakfast, dinner and supper. Also, a party is often refered to as a "time". I like the following..couldn"t find shite in a bog.


17 Feb 03 - 01:14 PM (#892189)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Q

Raised in New Mexico, "pop" was used for all bottled soft drinks in the 1930s. I still say pop and icebox. My favorite pop, Delaware Punch, wasn't carbonated. Sigh! Long gone! Hide nor hair is widespread.
Cold as a well-diggers ass is universal in N. Am.
Shite is a spelling that escaped from Ireland and north of England. Sometimes heard in eastern Canada as noted by Guest, but is never caught on in the States.


17 Feb 03 - 03:18 PM (#892308)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Julia

From my Alabama/Kentucky grandmother . . .
She's been coming here since the cows ate up her little brother (She's been coming here a long time)
He's just as happy as if he had good sense.
That pie's good enough to make you slap your grandma!

My mother knew a girl who was looking for bellbottoms in a Kentucky department store in the 70s. When she asked the saleswoman where the flared pants were, the lady led her to some straight-legged pants. Confused, the girl repeated that she wanted flared pants. "Well," said the saleslady, pointing to the floral pattern, "These've got flares all over 'em!"


17 Feb 03 - 05:23 PM (#892450)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Merritt

RE: "Can't see it from my house. (Meaning, I don't care unless it affects me.)"

I worked construction in North and South Carolina, and it's amazing how often that line is used on a work site. Other phrases heard on construction sites:

"Shoot, that looks like it grew thar!" – in other words, the piece of crown mold or whatever was cut and installed just right.

"Goin' down the road talkin' to hisself." – As I recall, a comment on someone who's out of touch, or doesn't get something basic. Once the first line is stated, others would add to it, e.g., "Countin' fence posts".."winkin' at tail-lights"

"Measure twice, cut once." - good advice for woodworking from older carpenter when I was learning the trade.

"Put that last lick in your pocket." - for finish (or what they call "trim") work, you hold that last wack with the hammer, hit the nail with nail-set, fill the hole with putty, sand, paint, etc. That way you don't ding up the trim.

"Well, we must be livin' right." - When everything goes right, tongue-in-cheek pat on the back for the crew.

***************

"Nay'une" – pronounced "nigh-yoon" My wife (then galfriend) taught elementary school in rural North Carolina for a while and heard this word or phrase for many weeks before realizing via context that it was a squished version of "nary a one" as in "nary a one of them could speak Yankee worth a damn." Soon after beginning her job, her name changed from Mrs. Taylor to Miz Tay.

- Merritt


17 Feb 03 - 06:04 PM (#892480)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: open mike

here is a web site where you can translate anything into
one of several dialects--http://www.rinkworks.com/dialect/
see what you get when you enter www.mudcat.org
the red neck one might be quite interesting...


17 Feb 03 - 08:29 PM (#892583)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,McLeod

My mother's family is McLeod - my father is Robertson, so I have a double dose of Scot
The family has been in Florida since the 1700's (the McLeods came from Southern Georgia - the Robertsons from Kentucky)
My Aunt Ruth(McLeod) said "holp", as in "Can you holp me with this bucket"
I have heard older relatives say something was "riupar" for right up there; and "can you reach me that jar".
Daddy never cursed. His "that son of a pup" told us clearly what he thought.
Everyone in the family knows when its "fixin'" to rain, and can say
"Ah'mona" git to th' house.
My sister Bea laid one on me that I did not remember ever hearing. We were talking about time frame and she said "We'll be done eat by then". Talk about jaw drop!!!


17 Feb 03 - 09:10 PM (#892610)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,ballpienhammer

slicker'n pig snot!

uglier'n a mud fence!

slower'n a one legged octipus!

madder'n a sore ass duck in saltwater!

my favorite: idjit(idiot)

My Mom was Pa Dutch- she often told me to "redd up my room".


17 Feb 03 - 09:19 PM (#892613)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mr Happy

just bin reading another hread. there was 'go piss up a rope!' - a us expression.

does it mean there's a rope dangling down & you go & wee up it?

or do you climb up a rope & wee down it?

if you're a chap, you could probably manage the first option ok, but a girly would need to take care!

in the second example, you could break your neck trying to undo your fly & trying to hold onto the rope at the sametime, if you're a bloke.

if you're a girlie on the rope, you need to use you imagination!!


18 Feb 03 - 12:23 AM (#892698)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: darkriver

A linguist once told me that southerners prefer the expression "paper sack" to "paper bag." He said they also use "burlap bag." In other words, the northern 'sack' = southern 'bag' and vice-versa.

Would all you southern folk please confirm or deny? Would be nice to know if James Woodward was putting me on. Thanks.


18 Feb 03 - 12:35 AM (#892702)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Q

Always called it a burlap bag. West and western canada


18 Feb 03 - 12:54 PM (#892812)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: wysiwyg

So.... where did "gunny sack" come from then?

~S~


18 Feb 03 - 01:10 PM (#892829)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

From Central North Carolina

"Jeet?"...Did you eat
"Dem Fangs."...Those things
"Nary 'un."...Not a one
"Rat cheer."...Right here
"Chur, Cheer, Char."...Chair


18 Feb 03 - 01:34 PM (#892845)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

Darkriver, never thought about it, but I think you're right.

We "bag" our groceries, but in a paper sack. A burlap bag and a lady's handbag (purse) are about the only bags I know of.

I thought of more:

Where ya goin'? To water the bulls. (none of your business)

Where ya goin'? That's for me to know and you to find out. (none of your business)

Where ya goin'? Are ya writin' a book? If so, leave that chapter out. (none of your business)

I spotted them uptown carryin' on to beat the band.

spot on (hit the nail on the head)

I suspect "gunny sack" has something to do with animals, don't know for sure.


18 Feb 03 - 04:34 PM (#893013)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: TNDARLN

Not burlap bag, not gunny sack- tow sack. To tow thangs in, I reckon...


18 Feb 03 - 04:36 PM (#893015)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: MMario

nope - "tow" as in coarse linen; also used for coarsely woven cloth = burlap!


18 Feb 03 - 08:28 PM (#893201)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Dani


18 Feb 03 - 08:31 PM (#893205)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Dani

What I MEANT to say was...

I had a yankee friend when I lived in Charleston, and the useful expression "y'all" drove him crazy. He'd look someone in the eye and say, "A YAWL is a BOAT!" Just didn't get it.

I love that people here just order "tay", and expect that it'll be thick-sweet with sugar. And you can tell alot about a place that ASKS if you want is "sweet or unsweet" Pretty clear that they had to invent a word to deal with the way "those" people drink their tea!

Dani


18 Feb 03 - 10:00 PM (#893252)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Annie

You better pee or get off the pot! (Make up your mind.)

Oh, sugar!! (Sweeter version of "oh, s**t"!!)

That don't make no never mind no how. (Similar to Texas version but longer - from Georgia in 1969)

Dang!! (Amazed)

If it ain't one thing, it's another. (Exasperation)


18 Feb 03 - 10:33 PM (#893265)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: catspaw49

Hey Mary! What a thang to say to ol' Spaw! I dunno' whether ta shit or go blind.........I cain't imagin' you sayin' sech a thang...Woman, I think you'd likely eat shit an run rabbits!

As others have noted, a lot of these are more rural/redneck than distinctly southern, but at this point it would be tough to go back through and try to actually separate them. Country folk over most of the east at least still refer to the evening meal as supper for instance.

Well, I'm gonna' go get me some bakin' sody cuz I feel like I bin et by a bar an shit over a cliff.

Spaw


19 Feb 03 - 03:41 PM (#893692)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Served time in SC

Two from SC:

"Like white on rice," all over (usually in the sense of punishment - "You do that I'll be on you like white on rice.")

"Case quarter" twenty-five cents in quarter form, as opposed to two dimes and a nickel. No clue what the derivation is.

"Buggy" shopping cart. Somebody asked me to "fetch that buggy" and I looked all over for a baby carriage...


19 Feb 03 - 03:46 PM (#893701)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Served time in SC

Dang. Not only can I not count, I can't even post right. Hmmph.


20 Feb 03 - 08:00 AM (#894169)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Sandy Creek

From central North Carolina

"As jumpy as a frog lef in a hot skillet."

"He's about as wecome as a fart in a divers helmet."

What is pot licker?


20 Feb 03 - 08:29 AM (#894181)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Mary in Kentucky

What on earth are you doing?

I have no earthly idea.


20 Feb 03 - 08:47 AM (#894192)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: mike the knife

"Got more of (X) than Carter's got little liver pills..."
"Fixin' to git ready": Preparing to prepare. Maddening.
To be "shut" of something: Finished with.
"Ate up": Bothered, troubled
"Onlyest": only, singular


20 Feb 03 - 10:26 AM (#894260)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: wilco

I should have never started this thread. Now, I'm so self-conscious. I use these sayings everyday, and now I don't know what to say!!!


20 Feb 03 - 10:27 AM (#894261)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: MMario

I think a lot of these "southern" expressions may just be "americanisms" or perhaps "rural-isms"- because a heck of a lot ot 'em I'm familiar with from my childhood on Cape Cod.


20 Feb 03 - 12:25 PM (#894362)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bill D

man comes in from a rough day, trying to say he's shaken, weary and thoroughly tired of it all...

"I feel like I done been shot at an' missed an' shit at an' hit!"


20 Feb 03 - 03:19 PM (#894522)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: 53

yall


20 Feb 03 - 08:51 PM (#894775)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,eavesdropper

From mountains of NC/TN "Nothin's as purty as a hairy-assed woman."


20 Feb 03 - 09:57 PM (#894816)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Annie

Through the driver's window to the car hop: "I'll take a hot dog with chili and slaw and a A&W Rootbeer".

Got that in Cape Cod? (Have that in Cape Cod?)


20 Feb 03 - 10:32 PM (#894835)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Neighmond

Sandy Creek,

Pot Licker is the water after cooking veggies (Corn, carrots, collard grees, etc.) and you keep it over and use it to cook with, rather like a broth or baste.


Someone asked about a "Gunnie sack"-

When I was a little set-a-bout child grandma used gunniie cloth to cover bellies on chairs and sofas and that-
As I understand it, Gunnie cloth is a coarse cloth that is tighter thhan burlap but not by much

FWIW
Chaz


21 Feb 03 - 09:27 AM (#895093)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,eavesdropper

CORRECTION

From the mountains of NC/TN should read:

"Nothin's as purty as a big ol' hairy-assed woman."

                   ALSO

"Nervous as a whore in church."

"As obvious as a two-bit whore with a bag of quarters."

"Shooting squirrels." (Looking up ladie's dresses.)

"This place has got a hhhuuummm to it." (This place stinks.)

"This is more fun than goin' out with twins."


21 Feb 03 - 12:30 PM (#895243)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: KateG

From my grandfather, who was born on a farm in SW Arkansas in 1896:

"Livin' high on the hog" -- living well

"If it had been a snake, it would have bit me" -- when you can't find something that's in plain view.

His parents were unable to read and write (though his mom learned a bit in order to help the children with their school work). They were so committed to education that all 12 of their children, boys and girls alike, went to college, and at least four of the boys became doctors.


21 Feb 03 - 07:35 PM (#895553)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,FloridaNative

Darkriver

My memory tells me that my parents and older relatives used the terms "paper sack", "burlap sack", "feed sack"

I cannot recall hearing them use "bag" to refer to anything other than a lady's handbag


21 Feb 03 - 11:31 PM (#895650)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: adavis@truman.edu

A young professional woman from Missouri is flying business class, and as Missourians will do, turned to the woman in the seat next to her, smiled and said "So where y'all from?" And the neighbor looked her up and down, and answered in an icy Eastern tone "I'm from a place where we learn better than to end a sentence with a preposition."

The Missouri lady thought about that for a moment, smiled again, and said, "So where y'all from, BITCH?"


21 Feb 03 - 11:41 PM (#895657)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Annie

"I got a hankerin' to __________." (burning desire)


22 Feb 03 - 10:29 AM (#895817)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: EJ

From Central NC

Don't git so het up. (Heated up, upset)

Whatcha git fu'um?    (How much for them?)

Ya wuss'na dry poke.   (As iritating as dry sex)


22 Feb 03 - 08:09 PM (#896219)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: TNDARLN

In our local paper yesterday, a columnist-musician-retired politician guy used term "bollyfox"- said his Mother useta' say it a lot; and that the best definition he could give for it is "to consciously, but lackadaisically pursue the moment-by-moment interests that cross your mind [as long as it's not important]- best done on days given completely to it...

Anyone out there ever' heard tell of such?


23 Feb 03 - 08:10 PM (#896984)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: denise:^)

"I'm fuller'n a tick." -- my aunt (from Tennessee) says this all the time, and my mother thought she was referring to a biting bug, and not an old-time mattress, which had to be stuffed with straw (a straw-tick) or feathers (a feather-tick), and had to be full so that you could sleep on it comfortably...

My grandmother used to say, "I feel like I was called for and couldn't go," meaning, she felt as if she should already be dead, but couldn't go yet.

Denise:^)


24 Feb 03 - 11:51 AM (#897367)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Tommy

Earlier on, one of yous was talking about 'red up' meaning to 'clean up' etc. That's still used in a good lock of places (quite a few) in the north of Ireland (must a been those aul settlers).
There's a rake more (loads more) wee phrases but most of them come from Gaelic Irish and yous might not have them anymore in the southern states.
Some funny ones from english that yous might know is a word that they say in Tyrone, (but that i don't say just a few miles to the south) a great 'handlin' meaning 'an awful bother'.
Also, me granda when he was wee had a 'goesunder' for the toilet pot, as it went under the bed.

Rapaire: 'For somebody who grew up in west-central Illinois', you have a bit of an Irish nickname, highwayman.


24 Feb 03 - 03:29 PM (#897592)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Wordless Woman

You done tore your drawers now! (You're in trouble, deep!)


24 Feb 03 - 03:53 PM (#897614)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,eavesdropper

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.


24 Feb 03 - 03:55 PM (#897616)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: anais

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.


24 Feb 03 - 05:51 PM (#897708)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: wilco

"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.


24 Feb 03 - 09:26 PM (#897854)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,foureyes

"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"


25 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM (#898702)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Big Mick

"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


11 Sep 03 - 03:45 PM (#1017125)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,lovebug

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?


11 Sep 03 - 04:44 PM (#1017163)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

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.


12 Sep 03 - 09:52 PM (#1017938)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Fred (Beetle) Bailey

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.


12 Sep 03 - 10:19 PM (#1017948)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Bert

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.


12 Sep 03 - 10:40 PM (#1017958)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: LadyJean

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."


13 Sep 03 - 12:13 PM (#1018161)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: PoppaGator

"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


14 Sep 03 - 11:57 AM (#1018630)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Margo

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


29 Sep 05 - 11:35 PM (#1572628)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,kgj

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).


30 Sep 05 - 09:51 AM (#1572676)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GutBucketeer

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"


30 Sep 05 - 12:06 PM (#1572782)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: kendall

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"


30 Sep 05 - 12:13 PM (#1572790)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: DannyC

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.


01 Oct 05 - 01:36 AM (#1573174)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Tannywheeler

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


01 Oct 05 - 08:55 AM (#1573333)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman

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


02 Oct 05 - 02:06 AM (#1573897)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Gwenzilla

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


02 Oct 05 - 07:25 PM (#1574341)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Big Al Whittle

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


03 Oct 05 - 12:12 AM (#1574485)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Muskratpete

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.


03 Oct 05 - 12:34 AM (#1574494)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Muskratpete

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!"


03 Oct 05 - 09:36 AM (#1574523)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: DannyC

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


03 Oct 05 - 03:36 PM (#1574851)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

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


04 Oct 05 - 12:26 AM (#1575190)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: aussiebloke

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

"Dummer'n a bag of hammers"

cheers all

aussiebloke


04 Oct 05 - 01:00 AM (#1575202)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: JennyO

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


04 Oct 05 - 01:21 PM (#1575618)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: robomatic

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.


04 Oct 05 - 02:57 PM (#1575721)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: jeffp

Not the brightest crayola in the box.


04 Oct 05 - 06:32 PM (#1575917)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Muskratpete

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


04 Oct 05 - 08:14 PM (#1576020)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: kendall

Been workin' like a borrowed mule.


04 Oct 05 - 09:19 PM (#1576092)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

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


05 Oct 05 - 03:57 PM (#1576695)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

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".


29 Nov 05 - 07:40 AM (#1616240)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: DannyC

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!"


29 Nov 05 - 07:53 AM (#1616250)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Leadfingers

And this is as useless as a 200 th post


29 Nov 05 - 12:42 PM (#1616456)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Ebbie

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.


29 Nov 05 - 08:40 PM (#1616811)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Goose Gander

"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.


29 Nov 05 - 10:21 PM (#1616868)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Joe_F

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. :||


30 Nov 05 - 12:16 AM (#1616928)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

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


29 Dec 06 - 11:24 PM (#1921866)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: DannyC

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."


29 Dec 06 - 11:59 PM (#1921881)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Elettra

"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.


30 Dec 06 - 07:18 AM (#1922063)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,JTT

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.


31 Dec 06 - 04:22 AM (#1922927)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,JTT

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'.)


31 Dec 06 - 04:40 AM (#1922938)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

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


07 Jan 07 - 07:21 PM (#1929682)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST

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...)


07 Jan 07 - 08:01 PM (#1929731)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: katlaughing

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.:-)


07 Jan 07 - 08:31 PM (#1929778)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: John on the Sunset Coast

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.


08 Apr 07 - 10:19 PM (#2020233)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,At t'ere good ol


09 Apr 07 - 02:27 PM (#2020597)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Right Now I am

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


09 Apr 07 - 03:50 PM (#2020657)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: mrmoe

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


09 Apr 07 - 04:44 PM (#2020715)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Lonesome EJ

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.


09 Apr 07 - 11:14 PM (#2021037)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Jim

Has anyone mentioned,"Hey, what d'ya want for that fridge on your porch?"


10 Apr 07 - 12:46 AM (#2021102)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Lonesome EJ

Watch it Jim. Get the dog sicked on ya for that kinda comment.


10 Apr 07 - 05:22 PM (#2021683)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Guest

Anybody ever tattled on somebody..."Mama, Jim's not bein' haive!" (behaving). Serious accusation in my neck of the woods.


10 Apr 07 - 06:28 PM (#2021727)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Stringsinger

Here's a real Southern one.   "Anjie".   Yep "anjie".

Yore mama "anjie" daddy.

Frank Hamilton


10 Apr 07 - 07:49 PM (#2021769)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: SouthernCelt

My father had a phrase he'd use when describing a hunting trip. He'd say something like, "I went down that holler over behind so-and-so's house and found a good seat on a harrikin, but I didn't see nothing."

I never knew what a "harrikin" was (not even sure how you spell it) until I got old enough to go with my father hunting, then I found out it's a tree that's been blown over by the wind and has a big ball of roots and dirt sticking up that you can hide behind. If the tree's not too big in diameter, you can usually find a nice place to sit that's just about the same height as a chair seat. Some of the older locals in the area where I grew up still use the term.
SC


01 Mar 08 - 08:22 PM (#2276995)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,BevT

Heard more than once in north central NC...."My nose is running like a branch" referring to a runny nose being as bad as a creek(branch) running.


04 Aug 08 - 02:43 AM (#2404667)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,Amy

My mom (from Cecil County, Maryland) uses a couple and I'm not sure if they've been posted yet.
"Bless your pea-pickin' heart!"
"It's colder'n a witch's tit outside!"


04 Aug 08 - 10:16 AM (#2404846)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,goodnight gracie

It is encouraging to know that regional accents and expressions live on. My husband and I, a couple of Connecticut yankees, love the fact that our Maryland-born son regularly employs the expression "dang."

Gracie


04 Aug 08 - 02:33 PM (#2405075)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: PoppaGator

It had never occurred to me that the very common expression "colder than a witch's tit" might be "southern." I do not believe it is regional at all, but pretty universal once you get outside of "polite society."

I heard it plenty growing up in New Jersey, and as a college student in Indiana, as well as throughout my 35+-year residency in New Orleans, which is geographically "southern" but culturally quite a bit more cosmopolitan than that.

I think you'll hear that phrase in every region of the United States, used by just about anyone who is not reluctant to use language that some might consider crude or vulgar.


04 Aug 08 - 03:53 PM (#2405128)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: fat B****rd

Apparently from the late Slim Pickens "Good Bourbon, tight pussy and a warm place to shit"
What do I know, I'm from Cleethorpes.


05 Aug 08 - 01:37 PM (#2405845)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California. John Steinbeck wrote about the parents of a lot of the kids with whom I grew up in the forties and fifties. I heard a lot of southern and southwestern expressions daily. Some of my favorites:

An affirmative answer - "Jes lak that fly; I speck so."
Describing a miscreant - "Lower than a snake's belly in a wagon track."
Describing an imbecile - "He don't know shit from Shinola."
Bad aim - "He couldn't hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle."
Catastrophe - "Lightning struck the shithouse!"
Mock regret - "Don't that take the rag off the bush, though?"
(That one, apparently, has actual roots in cross country travel. One way of marking a trail was to tie a bit of cloth to a limb or twig. If someone wanted to throw you off the trail, they removed the marker).


05 Aug 08 - 02:33 PM (#2405890)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Art Thieme

How about, "The rag on the bush better be a red bandanna!!"

It's about camouflage garments.   ;-)
Art


05 Aug 08 - 02:37 PM (#2405894)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Art Thieme

"It's colder than a teacher's wit!!"

ART THIEME


05 Aug 08 - 02:39 PM (#2405896)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Art Thieme

Keep on the sunny side!---Carter Family

Art


05 Aug 08 - 02:43 PM (#2405899)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Art Thieme

"Pigs ate my roses!"

Sorry about the multiple posts. No sooner than I post one, and I think of another one.

Art


05 Aug 08 - 03:12 PM (#2405925)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Amos

IN her wonderful books about North Carolina called "The Mitford Series", Jan Karpok cites a number of local expressions, my favorite of which is "Well, I'll be et fer a tater!".


A


05 Aug 08 - 04:33 PM (#2405996)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Arkie

I like the informal approach to measurements:
a bit
a wee bit
a brave wee bit
a tad
a spate
a bait (bate)
a fur piece


05 Aug 08 - 04:38 PM (#2406006)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: dwditty

All y'all


05 Aug 08 - 05:02 PM (#2406022)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Becca72

I once heard my friend's Georgian husband say "I'ma fixin' to get ready to carry the dog to the vet". I wasn't sure what was gonna happen or how long it would take! :-)


05 Aug 08 - 05:07 PM (#2406026)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,RRS in Alabama


05 Aug 08 - 05:42 PM (#2406058)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,RRS in Alabama

A village in Alabama is named "Slapout", for a grocery store there which was often slap out of whatever you wanted.
"As cold as a nun's nook in Nome."
After getting reamed out by your mother for some infraction, my uncle would say: "and besides that, your feet don't match". Or "Guess you heard that, didn't you?".
Going to beat 3: (going to get some bootleg whiskey.)
Uncle also said: "Your nose is a-running and your feets is a-smelling."
"A cup and saucer short of a full set."
He's so ugly he'd back a buzzard out of a meat wagon.
I don't know whether to wind my watch or go blind.


05 Aug 08 - 06:15 PM (#2406077)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Arkie

RRS, you reminded me of another phrase I have heard all my life no matter where I have lived.

Slap Dab. "Slap dab in the middle".


05 Aug 08 - 06:43 PM (#2406086)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: Amos

Now, that's a real stem-winder, in't it?


A


05 Aug 08 - 08:04 PM (#2406132)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,JT

I live in a very rural small town in Kentucky. The phrases are very colorful. They are also adaptive I think linguists call it productive speech. Most of the phrases like "Colder than a well diggers ass." or one of my favorites "Sweating like a whore in church." are embedded deeply and change very little. On the other hand they other phrases are improvised on the spot to fit the implied situation. These phrases are funny but no doubt about it these people are very witty and observant. They have a flair for colorful speech.
Hidy (instead of howdy) when they answer the phone
fair to middlin meaning something or you are ok not real good not real bad. This phrase came from cotton sales that was a mid grade cotton. "How ya doin taday" response "fair to middlin."
"Tolerable" also means ok
"Kickin chicken" means strutting hard cocky
"High steppin" means goin fast or "haulin ass"
"3 sheets to the wind" means very drunk
"drunker than Cooty Brown(or Coooter Brown)" This saying means very drunk as well. Cooter Brown was a man that had kin on both sides fighting in the Civil War. He stayed drunk the entire war so he wouldn't have to fight in it. So this phrase comes straight from "The War of Northern Aggression" no joke it is referred to by this name by some folks.


06 Aug 08 - 11:18 AM (#2406588)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,RRS in Alabama

Here are some more:
My uncle Laurence ran a movie house in rural Walker and Jefferson Counties, coal mining country in west Alabama He put up "one sheets" advertising with a staple gun. One of the locals saw that thing in action, and said: "I love I had one of them things."

If he had brains he'd be dangerous.    If you put his brains in a peanut shell, they'd rattle around like a coconut in a boxcar.   If his brains wuz red paint, they wouldn't be enough to cover a gnat's ass.

Nervous as a bastard at a family reunion.


06 Aug 08 - 11:51 AM (#2406629)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

Colder'n - a whore's heart (or well digger's ass)(or a cast iron
          toilet seat)
Hotter'n - Kelsie's nuts (or a two dollar pistol)

Bad aim or eyesight: He couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat!

If brains wuz dynamite, you couldn't blow yer nose!

Meaning indeterminate: "Fixin" - as in, "I'm fixin to do (blank)."
Does it mean planning to do it, thinking about planning to do it, just thinking it over generally or....?

My dad used to refer to "shade tree mechanics," like the fellow a friend ran into in rural Georgia when his Mazda rotary engine gave up the ghost. He was towed into a little crossroads town by a local mechanic. When he looked under the hood, he threw up his hands and said, "Hell's fire, mister; I cain't fix this thang - it ain't got no pistons in it!"


06 Aug 08 - 02:34 PM (#2406808)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: GUEST,JT

Shade tree mechanics oooh yeah. If you are looking for a deal and are brave that's who you use. Shade tree refers to someone that works on cars in thier spare time. They may be employed as a mechanic or not but it is only part time for them.
a butt bustin is a spanking
butt whoopin is getting beat up in a fight or "scrap"
I declare means you are telling the truth or your surprised
I suwanee mean I swear
I don't mind to means you will do it no problem.
I worked in a Lab for a company that moved into Western Kentucky from Utah. That was a big misunderstanding for those people that moved in here from there. Someone would ask "Would someone get me a sample?" and the auditor (who collected samples) would respond " I don't mind to." It would register to the guys from Utah as I don't want to. lol
Hoggin is catching a catfish with your hands called noodling some places
Haint is a ghost
hog heaven is being very happy " I got a new truck and a pocket full of cash I'm in hog heaven."
a box is a guitar "I'll tell you what that boy can thump that box."
Thump in that last sentence means pick or play the guitar
Thump also means beat up "That dude got to sassing him and he straight up thumped him."
Sass or sassing means smart talking


06 Aug 08 - 03:04 PM (#2406851)
Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
From: PoppaGator

A co-worker from Oklahoma once told me a great expression from back home:

"Uglier than* a tree full of owls."

Oklahoma may or may not be "southern" ~ it can be classifeid as "southwestern" or "great plains" ~ but it sure is rural, which I believe qualifies it for this discussion.

If I posted this already, a year or more ago, please excuse me. I haven't re-read through the entire thread this time...

*actually pronounced "Uglier'n," not really "than"...

  • 13 Aug 08 - 10:04 PM (#2413090)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: Amos

    A mess of phrases from Nawth Carolina:

    "Will you ride to to town with me in the morning?"
    Answer: If I'm not too give out."

    No rest for the wicked.
    Answer: "And the righteous don't need none."

    "Hey!"

    "For a fact, ...." (meaning, "In fact")

    "We hightailed it up...."

    "I was bad to drink, myself"

    I rode the hair off that horse.

    God don't make junk.

    I don't know what all.

    I want to wear these shoes. They was give to me.

    He studied whether to keep it.

    .... whenever the notion struck.

    It was a treat better than....

    They wasn't nothin' in it to speak of.

    I'll be et for a tater

    That drawin' you do, hits mortal. Hit's from the lord.

    I can learn myself to read and write.

    He'd never given Joe a dadjing thing before.

    Hain't room enough t' cuss a cat without gittin' fur in y'r teeth.

    Feelin' rough as a cob

    washed into the neighbor's ha-ha

    [agitated; excited] He looked like he was sent for and couldn't go.

    If i wasn't one thing, it was two

    Lord he'p a monkey!


    15 Aug 08 - 03:50 AM (#2414323)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST,Larry

    "Cuter'n a speckled pup in a little red wagon."

    "Slicker'n greased owl shit."

    "He needed killin'." (Said by Texas sheriffs to prosecutors who needed background to detemine whether to file murder charges."

    "California Quickstep" term used by expatriate Southerners and Easterners in California for what in the South would be called "a case o' th' runs".

    "You kin have my gun when you pry it outa my cold, dead fingers."

    "Confabulation" Talk-fest.

    "Dimbulb" Someone who's not too smart.

    "Dimbulbs (R)" An informal writers' group in Texas.

    "Ain't th' brightest bulb in th' chandelier."

    "You'll think a ton of brick done fell on ya." John Wayne as "Rooster Cogburn".

    "Th' Shurf got me for drivin' one a them ol' drunk cars."

    "We done broke his plate and sawed his corner off the table." said of a late teenager whose parents decided it was time for him to be on his own.

    "Her watermelons hang low to the ground." Said of a very obese woman, walking away.

    "Like two pigs in the same sack." Same definition as 'watermelons'.

    "I'm about thought out, here." Gettin' close to bedtime.

    Larry


    15 Aug 08 - 01:25 PM (#2414770)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: PoppaGator

    "Ain't got room enough to change your mind."

    Nothing that remarkable about what the Texas sherriff told the DA ~ some folks needs killin'!


    15 Aug 08 - 07:55 PM (#2415064)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: DannyC

    'ere's a couple of 'em here


    15 Aug 08 - 08:01 PM (#2415067)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: DannyC

    Transplanted Somerset England musician - John Skelton - tells me of a neighbor in his Kentucky hollar proclaiming (about a 'wealthy' relation), "That woman has so much cash money, she could dry a wet mule over a wood fire."


    19 Dec 08 - 02:41 PM (#2520047)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST

    Dull as a froe (really dull)
    Fine as frog hair, split four ways and sanded (very fine)
    sharp as a tack (very smart)
    Uglier 'n sin (extremely ugly)
    Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (very nervous)
    Pant'n like a road lizard (breathing really fast)
    Barkin up the wrong tree (asking the wrong questions, or accusing the wrong person)
    Cute as a button (very cute, usually a baby)
    running around like a chicken with its head cut off (going from thing to thing without getting anything done)


    19 Dec 08 - 04:27 PM (#2520099)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: VirginiaTam

    Shit fire and save matches
    Don't know jackshit from applebutter


    19 Dec 08 - 05:05 PM (#2520132)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: Barbara

    Ain't worth sickum (not important enough to sic your dog on)
    Don't that just rot your socks? (incredulity)
    Just spittin' (light rain)

    Blessings,
    Barbara


    19 Dec 08 - 09:44 PM (#2520307)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: kendall

    Well, he like to have shit a well rope.


    04 Jan 09 - 05:21 AM (#2531021)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: VirginiaTam

    grab a sit down
    or
    have a sit down

    (Take a seat)


    04 Jan 09 - 02:50 PM (#2531402)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST,Debbie C

    I think I've lost my rabbit (or rabid) ass mind!


    04 Jan 09 - 02:59 PM (#2531411)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST,Debbie C

    Well now, if that don't beat a hen a rootin'!


    04 Jan 09 - 03:02 PM (#2531413)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST,Debbie C

    It's so cold, it would freeze the balls off a brass monkey!


    04 Jan 09 - 03:40 PM (#2531439)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: Bush-man

    I always liked...... "shinier n' a pewter dollar in a mudhole"


    06 Jan 09 - 10:45 PM (#2533687)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST,GUEST

    Here are two my grandmother (Northern Neck of Virginia) would say:

    "Smells like something crawled up inside you and died" (if someone let loose with a real stinker)

    "Fidgeting like you got an ant up your rear with a bed bug chasing it." (said of a hyperactive child, especially in church!)

    She also used an expression which sounded like "Jummin," as in "Jummin knows, I've tried to talk to him but he won't listen." As best I can tell it's short for "The gentleman knows" or maybe "God knows" but I've never heard it outside of the Tidewater area.

      Please remember to use a consistent name when you post. Messages with the "from" space blank, risk being deleted. "GUEST,guest" is not an acceptable user name.
      -Joe Offer-


    07 Jan 09 - 12:29 AM (#2533719)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: Janie

    To a fidgety child, What's wrong, you got a worm caught sideways?


    07 Jan 09 - 01:31 AM (#2533730)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: Lonesome EJ

    His eyes looked like two pee-holes in the snow.

    Had eyes like two bubbles in a pisspot.

    Couldn't pour piss out of a boot with the directions on the heel.

    Useless as the tits on a boar hog.

    Don't know shit from apple butter.

    Don't know shit from Shinola.

    My Mom always used the word "onery". Usually it meant lowdown, nasty. "Don't use such onery language!" I suppose it was some form of "ornery".


    07 Jan 09 - 05:35 AM (#2533835)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST,seth in Olympia

    My grandmother never knew of a place called Ha-y-e. She said " I never been to Ha-woy-a, and I sure hopin' to get there before I pass on" Thanks to her, I still say "icebox". The only other time I heard that pronunciation of "Hawaii" is in an old Jimmy Rodgers song.


    07 May 10 - 11:09 PM (#2902493)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST,cockalo

    My grandmother was a wealth of southern expressions. She would use the word "chunkin" which means to throw something. For example "Them boys are chunkin apples again."

    This next one is a two for one: working medicine" and "yesdiddy". When the nurse asked what medicine she had taken, my grandmother replied "I took some workin' medicine yes'diddy." Translation: I took a laxative yesterday.

    And when we were moving too slowly for her, my grandmother would say, "Y'all make haste!"


    07 May 10 - 11:45 PM (#2902502)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: Mike in Brunswick

    Said disapprovingly of someone who has adopted a superior air.
    "He's walkin' around like his poop don't stink."

    I don't know how widespread it is. I heard it from a woman from North Carolina.

    Mike


    23 Dec 10 - 10:27 AM (#3060025)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: GUEST,The South

    Grew up in the south. I have heard some of the things listed here, but for the most part it seems like you guys just thought up the most illiterate things you could think of, spelled it weird, and encourage people to say it slow. Only the oldest and most rural of people talk like that.


    23 Dec 10 - 12:49 PM (#3060114)
    Subject: RE: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
    From: Lonesome EJ

    Well now, Guest the South, I reckon you are probably correct. I heard my Grandparents, who were rural Kentuckians born before 1900, use lots of colorful expressions. These expressions were less common with my parents, and I suppose I hardly hear or use them nowadays. So, yeah, the old rural folks used more of this language than Southerners do today. I reckon you could say it's due to education and higher breeding, but I think it's got more to do with the pervasive force of television and other mass popular culture, which has given us all a more uniform and far less interesting way of speaking, in my opinion.

    You may see such a change as a positive trend. I however think we are losing something of our heritage, and I think this thread is a small attempt to preserve the way these folks spoke, and not an attempt to picture them as ignorant or backwards.