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My Favorite Southern Expressions
by Kendall from Louisiana

Hi - I’m from Louisiana, had LOTS of great aunts and uncles, and heard TONS of colloquialisms! Try some of these on for size:

Cold outside - “It’s colder’n a well digger’s ass in the Klondikes!” Or “colder’n a witch’s titty in a brass brassier!”

Hot - “It’s hot as blue blazes!” Or “it’s so hot Satan must be right around the corner!”

Something spectacular - (I love this one and certainly know how to use it, although I never really ‘got it’ – but my grandmother loved to say it!) - “Well, if that ain’t just the bee’s knees!”

Someone is crazy/nuts - “She’s crazy as all get out!”

Quit wasting time - “Hurry up, child, you’re wastin’ daylight!”

From my husband’s family in West Virginia (who are equally embarrassed but can’t laugh hard enough…) -
Granddad who’s had a kid on his lap too long - “Get off me, kid, yer wallerin my tom!”

Pants too tight - “Those pants are so tight I can see her religion!”

Straighten up! - “I’ll knock you into next week and kick your ass on Tuesday!” Or “you’d better straighten up and fly right.”

Not happy with a child - “Right now, I’d just as soon woop ya as hug ya.”

Fast – “That was faster than crap through a goose!”

Miserly - “He’s tighter than a gnat’s ass!”

A little - “Gimme just a scotch more.” - (not short o like in Scotch alcohol, a long o sound) Strong coffee - “That coffee’s stronger’n M’ssippi Mud!”

Stubborn – “Child, you are so stubborn, you could argya with a wall…and win.”

Dumb – “He’s about as dumb as a box of rocks.” And “she’s dumber’n a doorknob.” (Are doorknobs notoriously dumb?)

Not my first time - “Shug, this ain’t my first rodeo!”

Quit trying to take over - “Who’s pluckin’ this chicken, me or you?”

Bad driver - “Lawd, she couldn’t drive any worse ifn she was drunk with one eye shut!”

Someone is crazy – “You are too twisted for color TV!”

Something isn’t straight - “That picture’s more crooked than a Louisiana politician.”

Bad family tree/someone not so bright - “They only got the one branch, ya know.”

Caught someone in a lie - “Now, I’m sorry, but that dog just won’t hunt!” Or “your bucket’s leakin’ water.” Or “you’re tryin’ to carry water with no bucket.” Or “do I look like I was born yestirdy?”

See a tall person - “Look at that long tall drink of water.”

For someone who drinks light coffee - “So would you like a little coffee with your cream or do you like it unadulterated?”

Who is going? - “Is it just y’all or are all y’all goin’?” (Personally, I think you have to be from the South to understand this, because it does make sense!)

Nothing to do - “Well, they done rolled up the sidewalks anyway.”

Rain with sunshine - “The devil must be beatin’ his wife.”

Dancing - “Boy, you ought to see her cut a rug!” Or “c’mon, let’s throw down!” Or “let’s go jukin’ tonight!” Or “I can hear the juke joint thumpin’.”

Someone is late - “You couldn’t be later if you were the prom queen in June!” Or “she’ll be late to her own funeral!”

Answer to kids saying “I want, I want!” - “Yeah, well, people in Hell want ice water too.”

To someone who says IF too much - “Well, IF my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle!”

Time to leave/drink to go - “Gimme one for the ditch.”

To a child rolling his eyes - “You roll those eyes at me one more time and I’ll roll that head of yours!”

Spanking threat - “I’m gonna wear you out ‘til you can’t sit down!” (If those words were uttered, they were a promise, not an empty threat!)

Lies - “You lie like a rug.” Or “you lie and your feet stink.” Or “you know you go to Hell for lyin’ just like you do for stealin’!”

Can’t sing - “Can’t carry a tune in a bucket.” Or “couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle on it covered in glue.”

Something is strong - “That’s stronger than new rope.”

Haven’t seen someone in a long time /haven’t done something in a long time - “I haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays!” Or “I haven’t done that since God was a child.”

No children had names….you were always a form of food. - “Come here, Butterbean.” “Hi, Shug (or Shugah).” “How’s my dumpling feelin’?” “Well, if it ain’t little miss muffin.”

Coke - the name of ALL carbonated beverages - “Anyone want a Coke?” (People say yes.) “What kind you want? 7Up, Dr. Pepper, Orange….?”

Food - “Red beans on wash day!” - Red beans and rice every Monday.

Geaux, Tigers!


Read more submissions from readers.

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

And here are more:
Southern Speak by Beth Boswell Jacks
Jessica's Southern Talk Page
Writing Southren by Carl Wayne

More to come! Send your favorite Southern expressions to Ye Editor.

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