Southern Sayings

Why say in one or two words what you can say in six or eight, right? The way we talk can often be colorful. That’s what makes us…us! Here are some of my favorite Southern sayings. Which ones you like the best? Which ones should I write about next? Let me know!

More Than You Can Chew

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s an old adage about not taking on more than you can handle. It is said to … Continue reading More Than You Can Chew

Between You, Me, and the Fence Post

Small towns are notorious for it. It can spread faster than a pat of butter on a hot biscuit. It can be funny or hurtful, … Continue reading Between You, Me, and the Fence Post

From Snoot to Tail: Here are all the idioms about pigs!

Pigs are popular in the South, both on our farms and on our plates. The poor vegetarian is hard pressed to find so much as … Continue reading From Snoot to Tail: Here are all the idioms about pigs!

Going to Hell in a Handbasket

It’s time we had a frank discussion about hell. You know … down there, the hot place, Hades. Anyone who’s ever sat through a Baptist … Continue reading Going to Hell in a Handbasket

Am I in Hell or is it just summertime?

It’s not the heat it’s the damned humidity! You hear that plenty down here in the South. And it’s true! Our close proximity to the … Continue reading Am I in Hell or is it just summertime?

The Devil’s Beating His Wife

Come late spring, early summer we in the South, at least here in Alabama, enter a strange weather period. It could be 90 degrees one … Continue reading The Devil’s Beating His Wife

Where is “yonder”?

The question of the day is just where is “yonder”? Or should the question be how far away is “yonder”? Or maybe it’s what the … Continue reading Where is “yonder”?

It’s a Mad, Mad South

For Mother’s Day, I wrote about what an ill-tempered child I was. Mama’s mantra to me during my growing-up years was “You’ve got to learn … Continue reading It’s a Mad, Mad South

Some days peanuts…

Some days an idea hits me. Ker-BLAAAP!!! I don’t know where it comes from. It just appears, all of a sudden like, in my mind. … Continue reading Some days peanuts…

The Turnip Truck

Turnips are dumb. They’re poor too. Bless their silly, impoverished hearts. You’ve heard it said before: I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. It’s … Continue reading The Turnip Truck

I’ve got a trick up my sleeve!

If I said to you “I’ve got a trick up my sleeve” you’d probably think I was trying to be sneaky. Maybe I have secret … Continue reading I’ve got a trick up my sleeve!

There’s more than one way to skin a cat

I keep a list. Written in pen on paper. Plus, I have a spreadsheet. Once I started collecting the Southern sayings, I couldn’t stop! My … Continue reading There’s more than one way to skin a cat

If you can’t say something nice…

Mama always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” That’s why after the tragic and senseless shooting in Parkland, Florida, … Continue reading If you can’t say something nice…

Pretty is as pretty does

Critical. Judgy. Fault-finding. Catty. All of these things are less than attractive parts of my personality. I see it. I know it. That’s why I’m … Continue reading Pretty is as pretty does

A Dozen Ways to Say “I Love You” — Southern Style

Wednesday is Valentine’s Day. It’s a time to profess your never ending love for your significant other. Or maybe you’re trying to woo that special … Continue reading A Dozen Ways to Say “I Love You” — Southern Style

If it was a snake…

I am notoriously absent-minded. I leave the lights on. I leave the oven on. I misplace things. I forget things. I’ve even been known to … Continue reading If it was a snake…

Up a creek without a pot, a window, or a dog

I love to use idioms in my everyday speech. It livens things up. Makes the things you say more interesting. Catches dull people off guard. … Continue reading Up a creek without a pot, a window, or a dog

Sick as a dog and other Southern sayings for when you feel like poo

A bout with a sinus infection, fever, bronchitis, and all the yuck that goes along with being sick has me thinking about Southern sayings again. … Continue reading Sick as a dog and other Southern sayings for when you feel like poo

Don’t beat a dead horse

Daisy Ann. That was the name of my horse. She was a bay — reddish-brown with shiny black feet, mane, and tail. She was giant. … Continue reading Don’t beat a dead horse

I haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays!

“Come here and let me hug your neck!” That’s what you’re are apt to hear in the south when you meet someone you haven’t seen … Continue reading I haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays!

I don’t give a tinker’s damn

Think with me back to third grade. I’m sitting in the fourth desk in the first row by the blackboard in Mrs. Hurst’s class at … Continue reading I don’t give a tinker’s damn

All the rage in Natchez

Did you ever wonder how an idiom comes into being? I’m fixing to tell you. I’ve always said that the fashionable, popular thing was “all … Continue reading All the rage in Natchez

Open up a can of whoop-ass

It’s Iron Bowl Saturday. For those of you who have been living under a rock (or in the great, frozen north) and don’t know what … Continue reading Open up a can of whoop-ass

You’re as dumb as a sack of hammers

When Sonny was in grammar school they taught him that “stupid” was a bad word. I agree. You absolutely should not walk up to someone … Continue reading You’re as dumb as a sack of hammers

I’m so hungry my stomach thinks my throat’s been cut

The big day is here. A time to gather with family and friends, break bread together, and count our many blessings. And maybe learn a … Continue reading I’m so hungry my stomach thinks my throat’s been cut

Busy as a one-armed paper hanger

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Christmas is hot on its heels. There is only one word to describe this time of year and that word is “busy.” … Continue reading Busy as a one-armed paper hanger

It came a frog strangler

More than 60 days. That’s how long it’s been since Alabama got any significant rain. I’ve tried dancing, and that effort was about as useless … Continue reading It came a frog strangler

The lies have it

The truth evades some people. No matter how much you want to, you just can’t believe a word that they say. Whether malicious or harmless, … Continue reading The lies have it

It’s hog killing weather

It’s been an unseasonably warm fall in Alabama. Here we are in late November, and the mercury has still been rising to nearly 80 every … Continue reading It’s hog killing weather

Pretty is as pretty does

In the south, we place a premium on “being sweet.” And it can be a real struggle as I’ve written about before. So since we … Continue reading Pretty is as pretty does

When the cat’s away…

So there I was, sitting on a bench in Central Park at dusk with Sonny. We were enjoying the sunset and talking about our day … Continue reading When the cat’s away…

Possum

The odds and ends

I’m halfway there. Halfway to 30 posts in 30 days. Halfway through #bloglikecrazy. We’ve looked at umpteen idioms over the past couple of weeks, and … Continue reading The odds and ends

You’ve got to dance with who brung you

Southerners love to cut a rug — that means to “dance” so much you wear holes in the rug. From buck dancing to the Virginia … Continue reading You’ve got to dance with who brung you

Dead as a doornail

“Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead.” That quote is from Tennessee Williams, the famous … Continue reading Dead as a doornail

Stand on a nickel…

He wore a white oxford shirt, frayed at the collar and cuffs. Long, bony wrists protruded from his sleeves. His hair was always a little … Continue reading Stand on a nickel…

Speak the truth and shame the devil

Southerners “believe more in the reality of Satan than in the reality of God.”* These words were written by Episcopal bishop of Arkansas Robert R. … Continue reading Speak the truth and shame the devil

We just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot!

If football is the religion of the South, then it’s only natural that we get a few proverbs from its playbook. Since it’s Saturday, here … Continue reading We just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot!

Trying to turn mutton into lamb

Today’s idiom involves etiquette which, in the south, is gospel. Our commandments not only include the big ten, but a litany of others ranging from … Continue reading Trying to turn mutton into lamb

The pot, the kettle, and the coffee

Personification. That’s what you call it when you assign human characteristics to inanimate objects. It’s also the root of two of my favorite idioms and … Continue reading The pot, the kettle, and the coffee

I don’t know whether to…

For more than a year, we’ve been knee-deep in election coverage. We’ve endured debate after debate after debate. The pundits have analyzed the pea turkey … Continue reading I don’t know whether to…

Every old crow thinks hers is blackest

Every old crow thinks hers is the blackest. This idiom is most commonly a statement of parental pride. Every parent thinks their child is the … Continue reading Every old crow thinks hers is blackest

Nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs

A cat will suck the very breath out of a baby and kill it. No, wait. If a cat jumps over a grave, the occupant … Continue reading Nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs

Too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash

I have idioms for my idioms. This thought occurred to me this morning while I was in the shower. That’s where I do my best … Continue reading Too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash

All the things you’re not supposed to say

Southerners won’t hesitate for a minute to comment on someone’s appearance. Yes, we know it’s rude. That’s why we’ll spare your feelings by talking about … Continue reading All the things you’re not supposed to say

If I tell you a chicken dips snuff…

Yardbirds are about as common in southern speech as they are on the Sunday dinner table, so just between us chickens, here are a few … Continue reading If I tell you a chicken dips snuff…

Piss on you from a high oak tree

Piss on you from a high oak tree. What a powerful way to express contempt. That’s why this idiom works it’s way into my conversation … Continue reading Piss on you from a high oak tree

Crooked as a barrel of black snakes

If you want to talk the idiomatic talk of a southerner, you must embrace the simile. Now in elementary school grammar we all learned that … Continue reading Crooked as a barrel of black snakes

It’s time to fish or cut bait

It’s time to fish or cut bait. That was my first thought when Javacia Harris Bowser, founder of See Jane Write, issued her annual #bloglikecrazy … Continue reading It’s time to fish or cut bait

As cold as floogie

It is as cold as floogie. At least that’s how Mama describes the weather we’ve had this winter — as cold as floogie. She’s used … Continue reading As cold as floogie