~~Sent in by USADEEPSOUTH readers~~
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Frosty Bear writes:
My absolute favorite Southern expression:
~~ "It's quieter than a mouse pissin' on cotton."
One that I heard the other day at work in regard to a mess in the store room:
~~ "Bubba, yo' mess out here is startin' to resemble a soup sandwich."
Charles F in New Orleans sent these expressions and said:
“Love the site. Here are a few more things to put in the gumbo. Hope they make you pass a smile.”
~~ I’m so southern I’m related to myself.
~~ Fixin- means you are about to do something (but often in an indeterminate period of time) like “I’m fixin to put some gas in my truck.” (Could be right now, could be 5 minutes, could be never.)
~~Pass by - counterintuitively means stopping somewhere. “On my way home, I’m goin’ to pass by your house.” Means I’ll stop at your house on my way home. I’m going to pass by the grocery, need anything while I’m there?
~~ Course to a south Louisiana Southerner, you don’t go to the store, you make groceries.
~~ In New Orleans, we have streets like Milan (pronounced M-eye-lan) and Calliope (cal-ee-ope), and Burgundy (Ber-Gun-Dee … accent on the 2nd syllable)
~~ When I lived in Seattle (Microsoft’s stronghold) I was constantly being teased because I would tell people I used Microsoft’s Windahs.
From Ellis and Marjorie K, now of Los Angeles.:
“Hi, we're a couple of octogenarians who grew up in Tennessee and Georgia. Here are several of our favorites.”
~~ "Eat'n high on the hog": Eating fancy indeed!
~~ "Dancing in high cotton": Things are mighty good
~~ "Mine out!": Be careful!
~~ "Gracious plenty": I've had enough, thank you.
David S. sent an entertaining list:
“If you already have these just ignore them, if you don't I'd be happier than a dead pig in the sunshine if you'd include them on your website.”
~~ Being very ill, or sore (as in your back) is referred to as being 'stove up'.
~~ Something being spoiled is said to be 'rernt'. (ruined)
~~ Being swollen is called being 'swole up'.
~~ If a storm was imminent we would say it was 'coming up a cloud.'
~~ There were two expressions that meant 'almost' -- they were, 'might nigh' and 'pert nere'.
~~ If something was about to happen shortly, we'd refer to the brief span of time as 'dreckly'- i.e. "I'm fixin' to head into town dreckly, y'all comin'?"
And from Jeff M:
~~ It's like two mules fighting over a turnip, nobody cares.
~~ He's picking fly sh*t out of pepper. (making a mountain out of a mole hill)
Christine McP writes:
“I did not read all of the pages of SouthernSpeak, so these might already be there. I just returned from spending three days in Birmingham, Alabama, with my Great Aunt Jo (age 83) and was reminded of these things she always says.”
~~ I swaney! (instead of I Swear!)
~~ Bless your pea-pickin' lil' heart!
Cathy G (MsKitty) sends these expressions, adding: “Thanks for your groovy site!”
~~ "Finer 'n Froghair" or "Fine as froghair.”
~~ "I'm go'a tell it now!" -- means unbelievable, or incredible. My dear old friend Luzetta Watson used this quite often in Arcadia, Louisiana.
~~ "Don't go gittin yer gussie up"-- means don't get all upset or excited.
~~ "Good enough to make you smack yer granny!" -- very very good.
Nick Y e-mails us:
“My grandparents, from West Virginia, have some colorful expressions I didn't see here and thought I would send them to you for consideration.”
~~ "I wouldn't spit in his ass if his guts was on far (fire)!" Meaning: I don't care much for him.
~~ "Don't go gittin above yer raisin'." Meaning: Don't act higher socially than you are.
~~ "Crooked as a dog's hind leg." Meaning: deceitful
~~ This might be a little too "risque" to include, but I thought I would send it anyway as my late grandmother used to say this when she was mad or frustrated: ~~ "Sh*t far (fire) and save the matches!"
From R. Byrd:
“I cannot tell you how delighted I was to come across your site of Southern expressions -- many I had never heard, many I had heard many times, having grown up in the South, in North Carolina. Here are a few I didn't see.”
- so dumb if your brains were turned to gas it wouldn't run a piss-ant's go-kart around the inside of a Cheerio
- more nevous than a long-tail cat in a room full of rockin' chairs
- they ain't got a pot to piss in (very poor)
- I'm older than I look, 'cause every time I did something wrong as a kid momma would knock me into next week
- 'I'll jerk a knot in you!' (said by parental units when I did something wrong)
- dumber than a bag of hammers
- just about half-smart
- got stuck behind the door when they were handin' out brains
- not the sharpest knife in the drawer, tool in the shed, etc.
- 'bout two years older than baseball (very old, of course)
- old as the hills on grandma's chest
- rode hard and put up wet (looking tired, in reference I think, to the leather in a saddle when it was not properly cared for)
Dr. Pepp from Texas sent these:
~~ Sober as a judge.
~~ (Referring to a bad child) "He could tear up an anvil."
~~ (Referring to wild children) "They were pulling the motor and the transmission."
~~ Calling someone "Miss Astor" means they think they are somebody.
~~ Beat with an ugly stick
~~ Petered out (means something played out)
~~ Kinda sickly - feeling poorly (not well)
~~ For all the tea in China (means you wouldn't do something for any amount of pay)
~~ Too pooped to pop
~~ It's so noisy I can't even hear myself think.
~~ Uglier than a mud fence
~~ Worn to a frazzle (What’s a frazzle?)
~~ Gulley washer (a lot of rain) ~~ It on a stick. (full of themselves; very proud)
~~ 3 sheets in the wind (very drunk)
~~ Grinning like a possum
~~ He's about as sharp as a marble.
~~ Doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground
~~ Too big for his britches (show off; obnoxious)
~~ Sitting there like a bump on a log (doing nothing)
~~ Not playing with a full deck (dumb)
Wendy in Hammond, Louisiana, writes:
Love your site! An elderly neighbor told me the other day:
~~ "Slow down, honey! You try to stir too many pots and you'll end up putting vinegar in the pudding and vanilla extract in the turnip greens.”
Read more USADS southern expression submissions from readers.
And here's more: Even More SouthMouth
Hey, don't miss this page of great expressions!
And here's another good one: Southern Speak by Beth Boswell Jacks
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Even More South Mouth II
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