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That Colorful Southern Talk!
~~Sent in by USADEEPSOUTH reader, JESSICA from GEORGIA~~

Welcome to Jessica's page of SouthMouth!
You send 'em; we'll post 'em.
There's no "language" more colorful.

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Jessica writes: "I was reading at USADS, and I thought of some colloquialisms I didn’t see there. Forgive me if they are there – I just missed them. By the way, I love the site! It’s very entertaining."

And here's her wonderful list:

I don’t even say, “fixing to.” I say “fit’n-na.” Some of the things I say, I’m not even sure how to spell.

Another one I hear used a lot is “like to.” “I like to slipped in that mud puddle.” I say that a lot and people always say, “Well, did you like it?” But it means 'nearly'.

Then there’s “grits ain’t groceries,” like “If I don’t love you, grits ain’t groceries.”

Also, nobody in my family says “video store.” We all say “movie place,” and so does just about everyone I can think of.

“Don’t go gettin’ a big head about it.”

I also saw “put nye” on the site. We say “purt near,” which means the same thing . . . fairly close, pretty near, nearly. It’s the same as “like to."

If we just make a noise, that means “I don’t know,” (mm-mn-mm) then we say “iunno.”

“Running around like a chicken with its head cut off” – A friend of ours really butchered this one once. She said, “I was running around like a chicken with its legs cut off.”

My uncle used to always say, “All that glitters is not gold.”

There seemed to be some disagreement about what pot liquor is. Pot liquor is what’s left over after you cook greens or peas WITH meat (salt pork, ham). And we usually just call it that if it’s from greens, whether there was any meat or not. It’s great to dip cornbread in.

“I’m gonna slap yo' face!”

“Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince Charming.”

“My Mama used-ta whip the stew outta me.”

When my Daddy married his first wife (at 15 years old), my Grandpa told him they had “a snowball’s chance in Hell” of making it work. He was right.

“It smells like somethin’ done crawled up in here and died!”

A dog of no particular breed is a “sooner” because it’d just as soon be one thing as another.

And, if you aren’t anywhere near too skinny, you’ve got “some meat on your bones.” Of course, if you’re too skinny, “That girl needs to get some meat on her bones.”

If we’re not doing something fast enough, my mama would tell us to “get the lead out.” And my sister, we always say, is “slow as pond water.” She’s never in a hurry about anything.

If you’re doing something well, you’re “tearin’ it up.”

When we get a chill, we say, “Someone just walked on my grave.”

If someone’s been gone a while, they’re “halfway to China by now.”

“Why’s she takin’ so long? I could be there-n-back in ten minutes!”

If it’s cold it’s “as cold as ice.”

If someone’s “hard up” they’re lacking something. “He was so hard up for money, he robbed his own mama!”

If we couldn’t find something, Mama would say, “Well, I know it didn’t grow legs and walk off!”

If you’re good at something, “You act like you’ve done that a time or two.”

I heard this one on the radio this morning: “You’re taking my picture” means you’re flashing someone your business and they’re letting you know so you can stop.

One more: “smack dab in the middle”



Send us your Southern expressions!
And read more USADS Southern expression submissions from readers.

Hey, don't miss this page of great expressions!

And here are several more:
What's in a (Southern) name? by Lonnye Sue Sims Pearson
Southern Speak by Beth Boswell Jacks
Writing Southren by Carl Wayne

More to come! Send your favorites to Ye Editor.

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