79. Butter my butt and call me a biscuit (and other Colorful Expressions).

25 Feb

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Never do I feel more Southern than when I say something along the lines of “He was drunk as Cooter Brown” and someone responds with 1. A confused look or 2. “Who is Cooter Brown?”

Well, hell, I don’t know who Cooter Brown is. My guess would be someone who was frequently inebriated or “three sheets to the wind,” as we say.

As a Mississippi girl, I’ve been using colorful expressions since I was knee high to a grasshopper. This ain’t my first rodeo. I didn’t just fall off a turnip truck.

While I have sometimes been accused of acting too big for my britches, y’all best not say I’ve gotten above my raisings. Whoever thinks that doesn’t know shit from shinola. (No, I don’t actually know what shinola is, but if the two items were displayed before me, I’m sure I could make an educated guess.)

I hear y’all saying, “You kiss your mama with that mouth?”

All right then, moving on.

Some Southern expressions might lead one to believe that we are a violent people. For example: “I’ll knock you into the middle of next week,” “I’ll snatch you baldheaded,” or “I’ll slap you nekkid and hide your clothes.” The horror!!

Even some of our compliments sound threatening, such as when we encounter something “so good it makes you want to slap your mama.” Why?? Can’t we all just get along?

Southerners have countless expressions to describe a person’s shortcomings: “Useless as tits on a bull,” “Dumb as a box of rocks,” and “Ugly as homemade sin (I’m not sure how it compares to the store-bought kind).”

My favorite is used to describe someone (usually female) who’s not exactly aging gracefully: “Rode hard and put away wet.”

Of course, any rude comments can be negated with the addition of a sincere-sounding “bless her heart.”

If the array of casseroles and cakes at the family reunion makes you happier than a pig in slop, don’t go overboard or you’re liable to end up full as a tick on a hound dog. Oh, I know you want just one more slice of red velvet cake, but people in hell want ice water. (Unless they’re Southerners; they want sweet tea.)

When it’s hotter than blue blazes, let’s hope you have air conditioning (“Good lord willing and the creek don’t rise”) or you’ll be sweating like a whore in church.

All right, y’all, it’s audience participation time. What are your favorite expressions?

Don’t just sit there like a bump on a log! It’s on like a chicken bone!!

Photo credits: Shirts featuring sassy Southern sayings available from Sweeteashirts.com.

Cooter Brown’s sign by erjkprunczyk, Flickr Creative Commons

“Butter my butt” postcard and other fabulous letterpress items available at YeeHaw’s Etsy store.

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147 Responses to “79. Butter my butt and call me a biscuit (and other Colorful Expressions).”

  1. Marni February 25, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    For some reason all that comes to mind are breast references:

    Flat: Two fried eggs on a surfboard. (my fathers favorite joke to me at 13)

    Not flat:
    Tits on a stick.
    Lumber on the front porch. (usually preceeded with words like, ‘new’, ‘lots of’, or ‘lacking’)

    • girloutofdixie February 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

      One of ours was “she looks like a beanpole with no beans on it.” Which really doesn’t make much sense, but neither do most of the expressions…

      • Todd November 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

        When I left the door open my dad used to say to me “Boy! Were you raised in a barn?” and if I couldn’t find something that was laying right in front of me he’d say, “If it’d been a snake it’da bit ya!”

        • Kim Holloway November 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

          Funny, I used the “if it had been a snake” line just the other day!

      • Dorothy Taylor March 5, 2013 at 11:57 am #

        I just found your blog and must say I LOVE it! I am from SE Georgia, but was raised all over the US due to a military father. Except for a 2 year move to Colorado (husbands idea), I have lived here since I was 14 and I’ll soon be 49!

        As for sayings –
        1. Usless as tits on a boar hog.
        2. He/she’s so ugly they gotta sneak up on breakfas!t
        3. As nervous as a sore-tailed cat in a houseful of rockers!
        4. Confused as a blind dog in a meat house.
        5. Q- “What’s in the bag?” A- “Layovers to catch meddlers” or “Cat fur to make kitten britches” These 2 came from my grandfather.
        6. That dog won’t hunt! As in a story that is obviously a lie.
        7. Young’uns (children) wild as a Sh*t house mouse!
        8, You ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed are ya?
        9. Dumb as a stump and thick as a brick!
        10. Couldn’t fight his way out of wet paper bag.
        11. Couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

        I now have this blog stuck in my favorites!

        • Kim Holloway March 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

          Thank you, Dorothy! I’ve never heard “so ugly they gotta sneak up on breakfast.” HA! Love it. And I’ll bet your grandfather was quite a character! I might have to start using his “kitten britches” line. Hey, that would make a good band name!

        • Bonnie Sue June 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

          My daddy’s from Northern Florida (still in the South, by the grace of God!). He liked to say, “things so quiet ’round here y’all can here a mouse pissin’ on a piece of cotton”. I know my kin folk in southern Georgia (the great cotton State) would like that one.

    • Daisy's Mom June 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

      Sorry I can’t add any more as all the ones I know have been “taken.” I’m a transplanted Yankee living in North Carolina and some of these made me laugh so hard I almost pee’d my pants!
      Thanks!

      • Kim Holloway August 8, 2011 at 10:49 am #

        Glad you enjoyed the post! Hey, maybe I could get Depends to sponsor Stuff Southern People Like!

    • Michael A. Pass January 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      When she was surprised or disgusted, my Nanny used to always say “Well, I never in my life seen the beat!” (as in never seen anything that would beat that)

      • Kim Holloway January 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

        Thanks! That reminds me of “Don’t that beat all?”

  2. Joe February 25, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    This post made me laugh out loud or cackle like a hen perhaps. Love al lthe expressions that you used. My favorite source for southern sayings has got to be “Steel Magnolias” and like most people that I know, I’ve seen it so many times I can quote most of the diaglog. Thanks for the laugh.

    • girloutofdixie February 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

      I’m going to have to watch that again soon. I saw a high-school production of it a couple of years ago. I had to give myself a stern talking to beforehand (“They’re high school kids from Seattle. Yes, the accents will be terrible, but roll with it.”) It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected.

  3. Valerie Cash February 25, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    “He’s as useless as a screen door on a submarine”
    “She’s as lost as a ball in high weeds”
    “She’s crazier than a sprayed roach!”

    • Kim's favorite Sister February 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

      HA! Loves those Valerie!

      • Valerie Cash February 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

        I almost forgot this one:

        “she looks like she been beat with a wet squirrel”

        • girloutofdixie February 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

          “Beat with a wet squirrel”? Priceless!!

        • Ga girl June 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

          Love these, heard most of them my whole life. My great grandmother said about a bow legged man “he couldn’t hem a hog in a ditch!”, and “it’s colder than a well diggers butt!”. Also, “that’s like a hog A pecking and a hen a rooting!” And my personal all time favorite “your lips are as red as a foxes ass during poke berry season!”

          • Kim Holloway July 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

            Sounds like your great grandmother was quite a character!

  4. Jennie February 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I’d have to say that my favorites are:

    I went around my elbow to get to my thumb (used for describing how you could have taken a shortcut but took the long way instead)

    You may want horns but you’ll die bullheaded (still not sure what that means after 36 years of hearing it in my family but I love it all the same!)

    It’s the hit dog that hollars (kind of a more genteel way of saying “whoever smelt it dealt it”)

    Well, slap me silly and shave me naked

    • girloutofdixie February 27, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

      I have to say, I don’t get “you may want horns, but you’ll die bullheaded” either, but I like the way it sounds…

  5. ceceliafutch February 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    “I could spit nails!” (I grew up in Louisiana and this was a common expression when one was angry.)

    “That made about as much difference as a bull peeing in the ocean.”

    “I went around John’s barn to get there.” (No idea who John is, or that his barn has anything to do with anything.)

    I’m sure more will come to me now that I’m thinking about it. BTW, loved this post and love your blog! I understand everything your post. :-)

    • girloutofdixie February 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

      Thanks! Glad you like my blog!!

      I might have to start using the one about John’s barn (whoever he is).

  6. Sandy Thornton February 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    Here’s a few for ya, Kim:

    an unattractive female :
    “she could make a freight train take a dirt road”

    a complete and total idiot:
    “he don’t know his ass from a hole in the ground!”

    a very long period of time:
    “a coon’s age”

    a very hard rain:
    “like a cow pissing on a flat rock”

    run or move very fast:
    “took off like a scalded dog!”

    I must say that I think I have used all of the above at least once, and I definitely use the second and third ones ALOT! LOL

    • girloutofdixie February 27, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

      Oh, yes, I have heard you used the second and third ones many a time.

  7. Christina February 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    “Cold as a witch’s titty in a brass brassiere.”
    “Few bricks shy of a load.”
    “His cheese done slid right off his cracker.”
    “Like a duck on a June bug.”
    “Like white on rice.”
    “Well, I’ll swanee.”

  8. Christina February 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    And in general… Southerners either leave out as many syllables as possible or add as many extra as possible.

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:09 am #

      So true.

      I have read the phrase “I swanee” but I’ve never heard it said. How is that pronounced? Any idea what it means?

      • Karen B April 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

        I just found this blog and I love it. I am from Ga, spent the first 37 years in the deep south and now live in CA. When I first moved here, I couldn’t believe people had no sayings! so- I swanee is pronounced like the river and means “I declare”, or “I swear”
        One of my favorite southern sayings is “slap ate up with the dumbass” which means a very stupid person

      • missheather January 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

        It’s pronounced just like it reads, and it means the same as “I’ll be darned”.

        • John Barnes July 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

          Up north it’s “I swan” and it’s one of those Americanisms where because we have some accents that drop the r and some that don’t, gradually the r- and non-r forms come to mean slightlly different things; it seems to come from “I’d’ve sworn” or maybe the lower class “I sworn” (which is like I seen or I done, past participle substituted for past tense). The two better known dropped-r American verbs are cuss (from curse) and bust (from burst).

      • Butch C. July 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

        “I’ll swanee” is like “I’ll swan” (one all the older women in my family used….I’m 70). It’s a shortened version of, “I’ll swear on the bible”.

        • Jack October 16, 2013 at 9:50 am #

          My mother came from a very cultivated Kentucky family, and she used both variations her whole life, as did her mother. My son, her grandson, born in Mississippi, used to get so tickled when she said these!

      • Jim August 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

        It was popular with a certain set of girls in my high school days (SC 63 – 66), and was generally substituted for ‘I swear …’, which of course none of those velvet-tonged southern belles would ever be caught doin’

      • Anonymous February 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

        I’ll swear

      • Lesa February 22, 2013 at 2:26 am #

        “swaaa’neee” means I swear

        • Kim Holloway November 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

          Thanks for the clarification on “I swanee” y’all!!

  9. O. Francis Leonard February 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Well it seems like my wife is always “fixin” to do somethin’. Sometimes she says she’s “so hungry her stomach thinks her throat’s been cut.” My favorite, although it may not be that Southern, is “I’m busier than a three-legged cat trying to bury a turd on a frozen pond,” and you can substitute “a driveway.”

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:10 am #

      Oh, yes, I am always “fixin” to do something.

  10. mybeautifulbluehorse February 26, 2011 at 5:33 am #

    “Bless you, you sweet thing, you.” From one of my favorite Aunts, meaning you probably just did or said something kinda out in left field.

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:11 am #

      I love how she fit three “you”s into one sentence!

  11. Emmy February 26, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    Someone lacking intelligence …..too stupid to pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel.

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:12 am #

      That’s a good one.

  12. reneemason February 26, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    This is tough, but this may just be my favorite of all your blogs! I felt like my Mama just stopped by for a little celestial visit. Some of her favorites were, “Colder than a witch’s tit”, I’m busier than a one-legged dog with fleas, Well, shit fire and save matches”, and her personal favorite for my misdeeds, “You’ll soon be singing the “I’m Up Shit Creek Without a Paddle’ blues”!
    Also, every sentence had a required preface, “Well, I’ll tell you what”.

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:14 am #

      Well, ain’t you just the sweetest thang?? [blush]

      I never had the pleasure of meeting your mama, but somehow I can just hear her saying, “Well, I’ll tell you what.”

  13. perchance2knit February 26, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Yep. You could definitely tell ‘em apart:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinola

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:16 am #

      Oh, yes, you are correct.

  14. aj February 26, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    A few more from my family’s repertoire:

    “You are up the creek without a paddle”

    When someone is blocking one’s view — “move over; your daddy didn’t work in a glass factory”

    “he done tossed his cookies” = vomited

    “fit to be tied” = angry

    someone is always doing something “ass-backwards”

    I can hardly remember these kinds of sayings when I am living my daily life in Seattle, but the moment I arrive back in the South, they just start pouring out my mouth without giving it a thought :-)

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:17 am #

      I’ve always loved the phrase “ass-backwards” as well as the variation “bass-ackwards.”

      • Daisy's Mom June 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

        Or my family’s back-asswards.

  15. delightfuleccentric February 26, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    It kind of scares me that you could actually write complete paragraphs using only those sayings!!

    I always think of THE Dolly Parton in Straight Talk, with all her sassy one-liners. Oh, and the bachelor parties amongst a group of men I knew was always labled “Cooter Brown Weekend.”

    One of my favorites is the incredibly valid defense of, “He needed killin’.” For some people, that’s really a valid reason!

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:25 am #

      “Cooter Brown Weekend”? LOVE IT!!

      If Dick Wolf branches out and does Law and Order Atlanta, “he needed killin” would make a great argument for the defense.

  16. south of seattle February 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Girl, you are more fun than a basket full of puppies! And smart as a whip too! Remember a fox smells its own hole first and Red Velvet cake done right is better ‘n sex. And if your boyfriend gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, smack him upside the head. That outta learn ‘em. Keep ‘em coming!
    (That ” butter my butt and call me a biscuit, look who’s here!” is actually on my front door mat. ) Love reading you!

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:27 am #

      Aww…thanks!!

      Where does one acquire a “butter my butt” doormat?

  17. Implore Vida February 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Delightful, absolutely delightful – I feel like I’m sitting in my Grandma’s living room in Georgia listening to her “chew the fat.” I will say my favorite (which I did not hear from my Grandma) was when I was sitting in a room “for a spell” with a few older ladies and one ‘husband’. One lady, in particular, who looked much like Betty White, told her husband that he could find her sympathy in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. Honestly, you could not pick my jaw up off the floor with a shovel after hearing that one. I mean “I’ll be darned” if I didn’t think she would’ve said “take a long walk off a short pier” but nooooo – she pulled out the big guns.

    What a terrific post! Now, if you’ll excuse me – me and my mint julep are going to become better acquainted.

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:28 am #

      Thanks! Glad you liked the post.

      I love sassy older ladies. I intend to be one myself one of these days!

    • Butch C. July 8, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      My grandma, when happy about something, would say, “That’s better’n snuff…..an’ ain’t half as dusty.”

      My mother, when dropping and breaking a glass, jar, etc;, would say, “WELL SHIT!”…..then, under her breath, “If I must say such a thing.”

      “He’d walk a mile to tell a lie before he’d walk across the street to tell the truth”.

      “It’s hotter’n 400 hells”

      • Butch C. July 9, 2012 at 12:27 am #

        “She’s so ugly that, when she was born, the doctor spanked
        her mamma.”

        “I’m so broke that if Cadillacs were $1.00 apiece, all I could do is stand on the corner and say, “Boy! Cadillacs sure are cheap, ain’t they?”

        “Yer mouth’s writin’ checks that yer ass cain’t cash.” (You’re about to talk yourself into a good ass whuppin’.)

        “She’s got her cap set fer him.” (A girl has her eye on a boy)

        “They’re a’sparkin’.” (“making out” or “heavy petting” in my mother’s day)

        “She’s sweatin’ like a whore in church with a 2 dollar date, outside.”

        Hungrier than a bitch wolf.

        Hung like a mule.

        He’s as narrow (narr) ‘tween the eyes as a cutworm.

        • Butch C. July 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

          “Ugly’s just skin deep, but worthless goes all the way to the bone.”

          “I ain’t never got bit by a snake, but a couple of ‘em has made me hurt MYSELF”.

          “She sets a mighty fine table”……..(she’s a good cook)

          “He lives so fer back in the hills that he don’t get the Grand Ol’ Opry ’til Tuesday mornin’.

          “She’s sulled up like a ‘possum.” (pouting)

          “Then down the road he went, boogity boogity.”

          “He’d steal the nickels off’n a dead man’s eyes.”

          “I ain’t never went to bed with an ugly woman.
          But I’ve woke up with a whole bunch of ‘em.

          “I ain’t got no dog in this hunt.”….(none of my business)

          “I’m gonna start a boot factory in your ass.”

          • Kathy September 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

            “Pretty is as pretty does”
            “hair of a dog”
            “might could”
            “bless your (little) heart!”
            “fixin’ to”
            “supper”
            “uppity”
            “you can get it, you’re grown!” -mom
            “mama and daddy”
            “these ones”
            “hush your mouth”
            “like a bull in a china shop”
            “that could make a preacher cuss”
            “One fry short of a happy meal”
            “younguns”
            “Running around like a chicken with its head cut off”
            “when hell freezes over”
            “Don’t count your chickens before those eggs hatch”
            “don’t bite off more than you can chew”
            “barkin up the wrong tree”
            “he’s messin with the wrong daughter”
            “two peas in a pod”
            “hold your horses”
            “I do declare!”
            “once in a blue moon”
            “dead as a door nail”
            “gosh darnit!”
            “gussied up”
            “fiddle sticks!”
            “skedaddle”
            “snug as a bug (in a rug)”
            “sugar”
            “well, I’ll be!!”
            “yankee”
            “nutty as a squirrel turd”
            “i can whip somethin up, right quick!”
            “got up on the wrong side of the bed”
            “i haven’t seen her in a month of sundays!”
            “for heaven’s sake!!”
            “slow as christmas!”
            “you’ve lost your marbles!!”
            “playin possum”
            “slower than molasses”
            “look what the cat drug in”
            “cute as a button!”
            “squeaky clean”
            “light as a feather”
            “neck of the woods”
            “i love you a bushel and a peck”
            “fit as a fiddle!”
            “were you raised in a barn?”
            “birds of a feather flock together”
            “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”
            “misery loves company”
            “it’s hotter than a june bride on a feather bed!”

            • Kim Holloway October 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

              Wow! That’s quite a list! Thanks for sharing.

              • Beth Long November 9, 2012 at 7:06 am #

                Just found this blog – love it! Alabama native here. After reading through all the comments, here are a few that I don’t think have been mentioned:
                She doesn’t know if she’s washing or hanging out.
                He’s a bubble off plumb (my dad was a carpenter).
                The guilty dog barks
                I’m going to lay a blue egg (as in, I’m so mad/upset I’m going to)
                She had a cow with a rubber tail (have no idea where my grandmother got this, but it implies that somone was VERY upset).

  18. Jeff February 26, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    When I was a teenager and told my Great-Grandmother that I was going on a four-day camping trip with two of my buddies she dropped this nugget: “One boy is one boy, two boys is half a boy, and three boys ain’t no boy at all”. I didn’t understand what she meant until after the trip.

    • girloutofdixie February 28, 2011 at 12:30 am #

      Hmm…I don’t get it. I hope you will just tell me, seeing as I’d hate to have to go camping to figure out the answer.

      • Anonymous March 2, 2011 at 2:36 am #

        Most don’t at first. It just refers to the “pack mentality” of teenage boys and how they seem to get dumber as the numbers increase. Actually, I’m not sure it’s restricted to teenagers…”Hold my beer and watch this!”.

        • Tiffany March 8, 2013 at 7:45 am #

          HAHA! I love this one!!!

  19. prayersfromthepeanutgallery February 28, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    there’s more than one way to skin a cat
    you’ll drive your d#$% in the dirt
    how’s yo’ mama’n’em?
    so and so is a ‘character’
    apples don’t fall far from the tree
    sh**ttn’ and gettn
    your cruisin for a bruisin and achin’ for a breakin
    drunk as a skunk
    hot as hades
    you’re too pretty to talk like that
    nuttier than a fruitcake
    crazier than a bed-bug
    wilin’ out (i honestly don’t understand the origin of this one, but it usually pertains to a teenager that is getting too wild and won’t settle down) which reminds me…
    sewing your oats
    stubborn as an ox
    slow as Christmas
    old as Methuselah
    sweet as pie

    Oh, I could just go on and on. Fun post!

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      I always wondered about “slow as Christmas.” How could a holiday be considered “slow”?

      • prayersfromthepeanutgallery March 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

        ‘Caus you have to wait all year for it. I tell my kids to hurry up and get ready, they’re moving slow as Christmas.

        • girloutofdixie March 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

          I reckon this expression is more effective in the early months of the year. You probably wouldn’t use it on, say, December 24th at 11:00 p.m. :-)

  20. prayersfromthepeanutgallery February 28, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    sorry, thought of some more

    don’t get your panties in a wad (someone might have said that one)
    keep your hat on
    cool your jets
    simmer down
    slow your roll
    runnin like a bat out of hell
    mad as a hornet
    mean as a snake
    hold your horses
    beat the tar out of (insert name)
    happy as a lark
    naked as a jaybird
    pull in that bottom lip or someone’s gonna come and step on it (in other words, quit pouting.)
    ok i’ll stop now.

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

      A little old lady once described my driving: “like a bat out of torment.”

  21. victoriasfolly February 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Just discovered your blog and was immediately drawn to this posting. As an Alabama girl living in France, I totally related laughing out loud the whole time. My husband, who is English, was giggling just as much.

    Here’s a few my family have been saying for years,

    “It’s hotter than the hinges of hell”,

    “Shit out of luck”, or if in polite company, “SOL”

    “Ya gonna get a lickin’ if you don’t watch it!”

    Or if raining really hard, “It’s a real gully washer”

    And when tired, “I’m just plain tuckered out”.

    Thanks for the belly-laugh!

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

      I’m so glad you found my blog. I love sharing memories of home with other Southern ex-pats!

  22. anon February 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    high as a Georgia pine

    enough to puke a dog off a gut wagon – my mamaw used that to describe something gross

    Oh, and there’s a restaurant in Johnson City, TN called Cootie Brown’s. Not sure if he’s related to Cooter haha.

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

      If I’m ever in Johnson City, I’ll have to stop by Cootie Brown’s. Love it!

  23. victoriasfolly March 1, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    OK…here’s another I just remembered, from my dad (and particularly my mother), “If you don’t behave yourself, I’m gonna jerk a knot in your tail”. Not sure how that would really work, and they rarely did take the peach switch after us.

    After sharing your post on my FB, my cousin came back with these:
    Angela Bracewell Clardy: my newest Southern slangs are “cooter cutters” and” if she were anymore of a bitch, she’d have puppies”.

    I’ve no idea what cooter cutters are, but I could sure use that last one from time to time.

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

      Love the bitch line. The term “cooter cutters” refers to too-tight jeans, which produce the dreaded “camel toe.”

      • stephaniedrury June 18, 2011 at 11:11 am #

        My Mama Ruth always said “Act like you got some raisin’!” when you forgot your manners! Reminded me of “gone back on your raisin’.”
        And…COOTER CUTTERS hahahahaaha!

        • Kim Holloway June 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

          I also like “getting above your raisin’.”

  24. Tori Nelson March 1, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Haha! This is just what I needed. Thanks to Renee Mason for helping me find your blog. As a Tennessee girl, I heard my share of Southern Speak. My mother-in-law still calls me a “Ring Tail Tooter” which I’ve yet to understand, and I’ve been told I’ve “Gone back on your raisin” (acted like you’ve come from something else) more than a time or two. Yikes!
    Thanks for this hilarious walk down memory lane :)

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

      I’m so glad you found my blog and thanks to Renee for spreading the word!! Welcome!!

    • stephaniedrury June 18, 2011 at 11:10 am #

      My Mama Ruth always said “Act like you got some raisin’!” when you forgot your manners! Reminded me of “gone back on your raisin’.”

  25. sweetpea0944 March 1, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Just between you, me, and the fence post,
    Rain’in cats n dogs
    Ain’t got sense God gave a goose,
    Hasn’t got sense to get in out of the rain,
    Can’t see through muddy water,
    Fine as hen’s teeth,
    Right as rain,
    Useless as tits on a boar hog,
    Fine as frog’s hair,

    Thanks for the laughs! Now you got my wheels a’turnin!

    • girloutofdixie March 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

      Yes, now that I live in Seattle, it’s fair to say that I haven’t got sense to get in out of the rain…

  26. cupofkris March 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Oh You have to add my personal favorite….

    Crazier than a Shit House Rat.

    Funny part about that is when my family and I did a visit to my Grandmothers I saw a rat run out from the Out house and then it all made sense, haha!

    • Kim Holloway March 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      LOL! Love that you saw the phrase in action!

  27. ken March 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    I’m an old Canadian retired trucker ..i picked up a couple— slicker than snot on a door knob, slick as owl Sh_t, ….catch me up….Ya only get as much freedon as ya work for.

  28. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen March 30, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Not very nice, but my FIL says “She’s so stupid she couldn’t stick her hand up her ass if she had five hands and four asses”
    I can hear my grandmother saying just about all of these and I have to admit I use quite a few myself.
    I love your blog. Grew up in AR and now live in Wyoming, miss the southern sayings and southern hospitality. I get some funny looks from folks here when I say some of these expressions they’ve never heard.

    • Kim Holloway April 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

      Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying a little flavor of the South while you’re far from home.

  29. Dany June 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Sorry these are somewhat vulgar, but they all come from my now 90 year old grandmother who is the sweetest woman on Earth!

    Built like a brick shithouse (well endowed)

    Happy as a sheep shittin’ on a shingle (don’t know what that means…just always heard it)

    Rich as four foot up a bull’s ass (wealth or regarding food, usually ultra sweet desserts)

    • Kim Holloway June 14, 2011 at 10:20 am #

      Your grandmother sure does have a “potty” mouth! :-)

  30. stephaniedrury June 18, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    HAHA my parents always referenced Cooter Brown and I never even asked! I just kinda inferred he was some anonymous character. My favorite southern expression has always been “He’s too lazy to pull a greasy string out of a cat’s ass.”

    • Kim Holloway June 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

      Hmm. Too lazy? Maybe he was too dignified? :-)

  31. J Vlcek December 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Shinola is shoe wax. I expect it could be formed to look like fecal matter.

  32. keith January 9, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    A bad shooter (either gun or basketball ) _ couldn’t hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle.

  33. Ashley March 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    My mom told me when she was little and roadhogs would speed past her father he would always say “Go on ahead, Hell ain’t half full”.

    Thanks for this treasury of new phrases by the way. As a native and lifetime Georgian, I figured I’d heard them all; I’m glad to discover how wrong I was!

    • Kim Holloway March 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      Hi Ashley, that’s a good one! Glad I could share some phrases you hadn’t heard. And thanks to readers for introducing me to “new” ones, too.

  34. artisangroup March 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    This is my favorite blog in the world! My dad told me about it today! Awesome!

    • Kim Holloway March 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Thanks! Glad you like it.

  35. Mike March 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Two I remember that haven’t been mentioned yet:

    “Couldn’t find her ass with both hands.”
    …disparaging someone who lost something even though it’s out in the open.

    Really REALLY gotta go:
    “I gotta piss like a racehouse”

    ..and the alternative for those who’ve heard the normal version too many times…

    “I gotta race like a pisshorse”

    • Kim Holloway March 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      Yep, I definitely remember those (except for the alternate version). Thanks for sharing!

  36. Anonymous April 6, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    How about
    When folks are really making “allot to do about nothing” we called it “pole volting over a mouse turd”. When you weren’t going to be available “for a spell” your were going to be “out of pocket”

    • Kim Holloway April 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      Wow, I haven’t heard “out of pocket” in many a moon. Thanks for the reminder. love the “pole vaulting” line.

      • Anonymous April 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

        Some from my mama:

        Wish in one hand, want in the other and see which one gets full first.

        Well, people in hades want ice water, too. (Whenever we were wanting something.)

        You can’t swing a dead cant without (fill in the blank)

        And my brothers always uses the word pretney or pretly. (I was fixin to do that pretney.)

        That child is spoiled to a stink!

        My mama has about a million. I love our colorful way of saying things.

        • Kim Holloway June 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

          Those are great! Thanks for sharing! I’ve always liked “you can’t swing a dead cat without…” Haven’t heard that one in a while.

      • Anonymous June 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

        Not sure if this one has been said yet – good blog btw!!

        He’s tighter than two coats o’ paint!

  37. Dianne Wing April 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on While you were sleeping and commented:
    As a Georgia girl I can fully appreciate this girl out of Dixie…

    • Kim Holloway June 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks for sharing my post, Dianne!

  38. Brent May 24, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    I made one up the other day while trying to brush my 2-1/2 year old son’s teeth: “Brushing your teeth is like trying to butter a monkey!” That of course set off a giggling fit, making it even more impossible to brush his teeth.

    • Kim Holloway June 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      I like it! Although why one might feel the need to butter a monkey is perhaps best left unexplained.

  39. Elisabeth June 18, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    Love this post! Some of my favorites not mentioned:
    - to describe a child who can’t keep still – “like a worm in hot ashes”
    - a really fun day or special experience like going to the fair or the zoo – “had a big time”
    - describing a long baby – “the good lord tucked so much under”
    - for a person who doesn’t appreciate southern food or custom – “he just don’t know what’s good!”
    - describing a well dressed man – “he looks sharp”
    - my Memaw never thought about anything, she “studied on it”
    - if you’re in a precarious situation – “Law, I’ve never been in such a shape.”

  40. Chris Allen (@allen_chris77) July 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    We Allens are so thick up there (plentiful in number in a geographic location) that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one of them.

  41. Nick July 18, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Guy I knew from OK when I lived in AZ used to say “It’s drier than a popcorn fart.”

  42. Anonymous August 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    After a troubled conversation.
    He made as much sense as a bush.
    That would be a George, I guess.

  43. Amanda September 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Regarding someone who’s always confused – He doesn’t know if he should scratch his watch or wind his ass

    Regarding a situation that is too late to reverse (typically when someone has told a secret) – Well, the horse is out of the barn, so…

    Self-explanatory:

    He fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down

    Someone hit him in the face with the ugly stick

    He doesn’t have the brains god gave cabbage

    Happier than a pig in shit

    Cussin’ a blue streak

    Pants so tight you need paint thinner to get ‘em off (usually in reference to Rockies Jeans in the 90s)

    • Amanda September 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      I forgot – Beat (whoever) like a red-headed stepchild

      • Amanda September 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

        And I forgot –

        When one feels that business dealings are unfair or you’re being told 1/2 truths – Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining

  44. Tiffany March 8, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    My mama told me the other day that her daddy used to say “tighter than bark on a tree” referring to someone that was extra cheap. I wish more than anything I could have known my grandpa – he sounds like such a character!

    • Kim Holloway March 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Love it!

  45. Logan June 21, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    LOLOLOL omg I LOVED “people in hell want ice water” thats so funny I really can’t. It reminds me of an expression my grandfather used for people he didn’t like “I wouldn’t give them water in the desert” ;) lol

  46. Robert Dwillis July 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    A couple i remember are, ..
    She’s so ugly shed have to sneak up on a dipper to get a drink of water ( festus hagin ), & buck teeth so bad, could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence.. or, concerning breast size, dad would say to my sister, ive seen bigger lumps in oatmeal, … or fell out of an ugly tree and hit every limb on the way down…

  47. DeWaltCat August 8, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    A couple new ones from my mom and dad:
    “I was busier than a one-armed paper hanger” (Dad was a wallpaper hanger and painter.)
    “It was toad strangler.” (a heavy rain)

    • Kim Holloway September 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      I’ve always liked the one about the paper hanger! Thanks for sharing.

  48. Anonymous August 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.
    Nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs.
    As much fun as 2 county fairs & a goat ropin’.
    Fine as frog hairs & fittin’ as a fiddle.
    Built like brick shit house. As in a good looking woman.
    Hurry up. You are burnin’ daylight.
    Also thought of Uncle Pat’s favorite “Smells like a bunch of Yankee Whores headed south” but am not sure that is appropriate.

  49. Anonymous September 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    As a child, I remember being told (by my father, from southern Mississippi) I was “as much fun as a barrel of monkeys” and that my parents had “picked me off the monkey tree”.

    WRT “you may want horns, but you’ll die bullheaded”, I think the “want” is in the sense of “lack” — You may not have horns (like a bull), but you’re as stubborn as one and will be all your life.

    • Anonymous September 24, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

      my customer in deep Mississippi would say “Even a’ blind hawg can git an’ acorn ever’ once in awhile”

  50. Kim October 1, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    “I’m so broke, if train rides cost a nickel, I couldn’t buy the echo.” from a friend in Ky. So weak couldn’t fight his way out of wet paper bag. So inept – couldn’t grab his butt with both hands. Even a blind squirrel find a nut every now and then. Not the “brightest bulb on the porch” “sharpest knife in the drawer”.

  51. margie thornton October 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    My husband says…her hearing is so good she can hear a mouse fart!

  52. Douglas December 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    I was born and raised in Tennessee and I was truly blessed to have a crude family who used many of these sayings every day. I ’bout fell out when I read about the ‘cooter cutters’. Around here, you can still occasionally hear “stuborn as Sam Sigler’s bull”—whoever Sam Sigler was.One I ain’t read here is “Larrupin’”, said of very good food.
    Lost as a spook, So many lawyers in hell, their feet are hangin’ out the windows.
    Concerning skin tight jeans, “If she farts in them britches, she’ll blow her shoes off”
    A difficult task is “like puttin’ bullfrogs in a wheelbarrow”, a rambunctious kid is “wilder’n a canebrake jackass”
    Southernese is becoming an endangered species, as the South becomes more yankified every day. It’s nice to know that a lot of folks who’ve left the South—and God only knows why—still remember and cling to their colorful roots.

  53. Anonymous January 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    When you’re disadvantaged or losing bad…. “feeling like a one legged man at an ass kicking contest”

  54. Amy-Jo January 8, 2014 at 5:29 am #

    Wayyyyyy!!! South Georgia girl here

    As useless as a one leg man in an ass kickin contest

    Your so crazy like a bull out the gate

    You look like ten miles of bad road

    • Douglas January 12, 2014 at 7:33 am #

      A little side-stepping from phrases or expressions, does anyone remember Dragonflies being called “Snakedoctors”, and Praying Mantises were “Devil Horses”? Let’s revive and maintain all the old Southernisms.

    • Douglas January 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      Meaner’n a bobcat with hemorrhoids, He’s so mean, he could hunt bears with a switch.

  55. Douglas January 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Well I’ll be dipped in shit and rolled in cracker crumbs! Crazy as a road lizard, Well spank my ass and call be darlin’

  56. Douglas January 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Ugly as a mud fence, and she’s so ugly, the tide wouldn’t take her out.
    And around here, “ass-backwards” is morphed into “Bass-ackerds”

  57. Rick February 11, 2014 at 2:20 am #

    Things I heard living in Texas all my 61 years:

    tighter than Dick’s hat band

    tighter than a fat lady’s sock

    busier than a one-legged man in a butt kickin’ contest

    busier than a one-armed paper hanger

    quicker than a cat coverin’ up shit on the railroad tracks

    Well I’ll declare (said when a person marveled at something)

    drier than a popcorn fart

    My grandmother frequently said, “Well I’ll swan” (sometimes used swanee) – remembering this one is what started my search that led to this site.

    useless as tits on bore hog

    he was so poor he couldn’t pay attention

    uglier than a mud hen

    faster than a chicken on june bug

    quieter than a church house mouse

  58. tiff March 25, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    I love this blog! Made me laugh! A few from my childhood (in TEXAS!) :)

    my aunt would always say instead of bulls****
    “ohhh bullhockey!!”

    if someone says what if
    “if if was a 5th we’d all be drunk”

    usually to a kid when they say i wish i had this or wish we had that
    “you can wish in one hand and s**t in the other. which one do you think will fill up faster?”

  59. Ed December 16, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    I’ve heard most of those expressions and certainly can’t think of one to add so I will settle for shedding some light.
    Shinola was a type of shoe black or polish used by “shoe shine boys” in the 20′s, 30′s and 40′s. It was rather inexpensive so it was widely used. Anyone who wore black dress shoes could tell you about shinola.

  60. Jiminy January 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    How about my grandma always sayin’ looks like you’re reachin round yore ass to git to yore elbow, when I worked harder at something than the task required.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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