March 5, 2012

Talk Southern to Me, part 2

texas farmhouse
It’s been awhile since I blogged about southern sayings, so I decided today would be a fine time to share some old favorites and see if you have any good ones to add to the list. I collected and compiled these over the years, and credit several southern wordsmiths as sources. While I might not completely understand the proper usage for every single one of them, each makes me smile.
Some are simply expressions to describe a particular person or situation:
  • Crazier than a sh** house rat
  • Busier than a one-legged man at an a** kicking contest
  • He's only got one oar in the water (crazy?)
  • He could thread a sewing machine and it a runnin' (my personal favorite....don't we all know somebody this nervous and high strung?)
  • His bread ain't buttered on both sides
  • Useless as teats on the boar hog
  • Busy as stink
  • Old as Cooter Brown (variation Cootie Brown)
  • Pretty as a speckled pup
  • He’s as tight as Dick’s hatband (means he is cheap)
  • They was in high cotton, but they got moved to the hind teat (things were going well, but now they aren’t anymore)
  • He ain’t got a pot to pee in (very poor)
  • As slow as molasses in January
  • As cold as kraut
  • Brown as toast, brown as a biscuit, or brown as a hoecake (the few times in my life I’ve ever had a tan, I loved receiving this compliment)
  • As full as a tick, about to pop (when you’ve eaten too much)
  • Grinning like a possum eating a sweet tater
  • She looks like death warmed over (she isn’t looking well)
  • That girl’s just a fart in the wind

Others offer a word of advice:

  • If you're going to hoot with the owls, you've got to soar with the eagles
  • Hoe your own row
  • Many hands make light work
  • When cows start flying, you've just gotta shoot 'em (referring to a cow that constantly gets over or through a fence....also a new fave of mine!)
  • You'll lose a crop that way 
  • If you sleep with dogs, you'll wake up with fleas
  • Tell the truth and shame the devil
  • If you run with trash, you're gonna smell like it
  • Don’t mess and gom (as in “I’ve just cleaned the whole house so you better not mess and gom in there”)
  • No matter how thin you slice it, there’s two sides to everything
  • The best way to go fast is to go slow
  • Don’t sell your mule to buy a plow
  • If you don’t straighten up, I’ll jerk a knot in your tail

Still others just offer a random sentiment:

  • In for a dime, in for a dollar
  • It’s never cost what it’s worth (referring to alcoholic beverages…cracks me up!)
  • Some drive a Cadillac, some drive a Ford, some ride a donkey and swat it with a board, but they all get where they’re going eventually
This list is by no means complete, so feel free to add your favorite southern sayin’ in the comments! Happy Monday friend!


  1. He is strutting his okra (meaning he is puffed up)
    He is puffed up like a toad (meaning he is full of himself)
    All stove up (meaning you have aches and pains in the early morning when you first get up)

  2. She drove her ducks to a bad market meaning she didn't marry well.

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