Thursday, January 24, 2008

Southern Fried Slang

Since U.S. Southerners are especially known for some colorful, unusual expressions, we've consulted with a few our editors who hail from south of the Mason-Dixon line for their favorite down-home witticisms.
Ain't that the berries!

1. Sly as a three-legged fox [Unusually clever, can get out of any situation.]
2. Jesus Christ on roller skates! [Expression of extreme frustration or surprise.]
3. Tetchy [touchy] as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs [Extremely nervous.]
4. Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine [Doesn't know what's going on, and doesn't care.]
5. In high cotton [Coming up in the world.]
6. In a coon's age [Occurring rarely or infrequently.]
7. Sun don't shine on the same dog's tail all the time. [The tables will turn; you'll get what you deserve someday.]
8. Well, shut my mouth! [I'm speechless, I don't know what to say.]
9. Well, butter my butt and call it a biscuit! [Same as 8.]
10. Even a blind hog finds acorns sometimes. [Everyone gets lucky sometimes.]
11. That's gracious plenty. [That's enough; you can stop any time.]
12. [We/they] get along like a house afire. [Referring to a tumultuous relationship.]
13. Well, bless your heart! [When used to actually mean "Fuck you."]

Have you got a favorite you want to share? Just don't go gettin' your gussie up about it!


Anonymous said...

Can't cuss a cat without getting fur in your mouth.

Means a very small room.

anny cook said...

I slept last night like a tree full of owls.

Rain came down like a Louisiana toad strangler.

Bless your pea pickin' heart!

Not enough room to swing a cat...

J L said...

Can't dance and it's too wet to plow (as in: 'may as well do it and get it over with').

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day ('even idiots make sense now and again')

Meaner than a bitin' sow in a bucket of swill.

He was so dumb he couldn't find his ass with both hands in a closet with the light on.

Aimlesswriter said...

My cousin, transplanted from NJ to Virginia, says you can say anything you want about a person if you end it with "bless his heart".
If dirt were dumb, he'd be an acre--bless his heart.
In NJ we just say fuck off. Much simpler dialog up here. But then, we move much faster up here so maybe we don't have time for a lot of words.
Great post. I love Thursday Thirteen! said...

Crazy as a June bug. Happy as a pig in shit. Stuffed as a tick. Yellow as a dog. Lord willin', and the crick don't rise. Y'all come back now, ya hear? said...

Oh, there's also "throwing a hissy fit," "having a conniption," and "I 'bout fell out of my chair."

Dara Edmondson said...

She ran faster than a scalded dog...
Madder than a striped (Pronounced stripe-id) snake.

Anonymous said...

aimless writer has one use of "bless his heart" right. It's usually an expression of pity that someone is so clueless. So, instead of it meaning "fuck you," if you say it directly to someone, it means something like, "Oh, what a stupid thing you just said. I feel sorry for you that you are such a complete idiot." It's like a verbal head pat.

Amy D (in Texas, via Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi)

ECPI Editors said...

[anny cook said...
I slept last night like a tree full of owls.]

But - owls are nocturnal, aren't they? So does this saying mean you did not sleep well?

Sigh, I'll never be a Southerner. I can't speak the language. But I was raised where it is perfectly proper to say "dasn't do" - as in, You dasn't do that.


Shayla Kersten said...

One of my dear departed pappy's favorite was "About as useless as tits on a boar hog."


Chris Redding said...

Busier than a one-armed paper hanger with crabs.

Cara Carnes said...

"I'm doing fine as frog's hair, and that's purty dern fine!"

LOL...It's so hard to leave those typos in there intentionally.

Anny Cook said...


Treeful of owls (wide open eyes) so I was awake all night.

Anny Cook said...

Busier than a three legged dog with one burned paw.

RK Sterling said...

Colder'n a witch's tit.

Colder'n a well digger's butt.

'Bout as helpful as tits on a bull.

Windier 'n an onion sack.
(Refers to someone who talks a lot)

Windier 'n a sack full 'o fartin' cats.
(Is the same as onion sack comment)

Dawn Montgomery said...

Mine are all related to Texas sayings...

"Cute as a bug's ear"

"dirtier than a pole cat" (pole cat means skunk)

My grandpa used to say "confused as a cow on astroturf"

"all swole up" lol, usually means really pissed or full of themselves...possibly both. Another variant is "bowed up" like a bow, strung too taught and ready to snap. usually what a kid does when he/she really wants to let someone have it.

"fixins" means food..."Fixin' to" means about to.

"galoot" a rascal

"gully-washer" lots of rain

"Hissy fit" what my son throws when he really wants a toy in the store.

my grandmother was fond of saying "ugly as homemade sin"

was a big fan of "dumb as a box of rocks" and "dumber than dirt"

"cute as a possum"

"rode hard and put up wet" means you look like crap

my boyfriend said something to his sister that had me rollin "I want you to jump when I say frog (or toad)"

"tend your business" was a popular one of my grandma. meant keep your nose where it belongs...

"tellin' how the cow ate the cabbage" I hated that one as a kid.

"chester drawers" what you put your socks in. I'm not making this UP. used to be chest of drawers. LOL.

"like a gnat in a hail storm" love that one.

"naked as a jay bird" never really got that one.

"beat with an ugly stick" not one of my favorites

"don't squat on your spurs" self explanatory LOL

of course there's the "pork chop around the neck" insult...

and my all TIME favorite saying:

"ridin' the gravy train with biscuit wheels." My grandma said that once and I think I laughed myself into exhaustion.

She never did understand why I thought her phrases were so funny. There are more, but this is a monster already. Thanks for the TT and walk down memory lane.

Anonymous said...

For a Texas girl living overseas, these comments were like comin' home!

Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. (It's crap, no matter how you dress it up.)

Six one way, half dozen the other. (It doesn't matter which action you take.)

Slicker'n a hair in a biscuit. (Not complementary - this is from a friend in South Texas.)

Raining cats and dogs.

I'm sure I'll think of more as soon as I post this@ said...

Cut it half in two. (Cut it in half.)

That's right nice. (Pronounced "rat nass," means it's fine.)

Put these up. (Put something away.)

They were raised up down South. (They were brought up south of the Mason-Dixon Line.)

Country as cornbread or country as polk salad. (A hillbilly.)

He needed killin'. (A valid defense in any court of law.)

Her tongue is so sharp she could slice you in half with it. (She's sarcastic.)

And don't forget Southern directions: Go down the road a piece ... I dunno ... a fer piece, 'til you get to where the old post office used to be, and turn right. Keep goin' 'til you get to Bobbi Jean's trailer and turn right again ...

Marie said...

A great big howdy to all the fellow Texans I see here. Here are some more contributions for y'all...

Y'all are a hoot. (You all are mighty amusing)

It'd be like putting lipstick on a pig. (No matter how you dress something up, ugly is ugly)

That dawg won't hunt (Your plan won't work)

Just give it a lick and a promise (Do a half-ass job with intentions of doing it better next time)

He's a Bud short of a six-pack

You can't shame a snake.

He's a good ole boy (Depending on your POV this could either mean, he's one of us, or he's an old-school redneck)

Hasta la bye-bye!

Dawn Montgomery said...

another one...

"haint" in some parts of Texas a "haint" is a spirit or a haunting. My great grandmother used to say it.

has someone already said "flat as a flitter?"

Anonymous said...

can someone tell me what "dern to ten" means? my moms from mississippi