I just finished reading Susan Vaught’s Footer Davis
Might Be Probably is Crazy, and I think it’s gooder’n grits.
Even though I live about as far away from the Mississippi as I can get and still be in the continental United States, I have connections to the South and all its charm… and expressions.
Footer knows that when people in Bugtussle, Mississippi, tell her, “Well, bless your heart,” for all the kind-sounding words, the meaning is not good:
“People who don’t live in Mississippi think ‘bless your heart’ means something nice, but it really means they think you’re too stupid to bother trying to explain things to you, or that you’re too crazy to help.”
So to celebrate the release of Footer Davis
Might Be Probably is Crazy, here is a list of Southern sayings that I’m just crazy about.
First, some definitions:
(Y’all knew that already, didn’t you?)
All y’all- more than a few of you
All y’all should read this book!
Straighten out that picture frame. It’s all catawampus.
Forty ‘leven- a lot
She must have forty ‘leven young’uns running around that house.
Knee-baby- the second to the youngest child
Jesse is the baby of the family, and Jake is the knee-baby.
Blivit- A blivit is when you have ten pounds of manure in a five pound sack.
Southerners have some great expressions. Some are about hunger:
I’m so hungry my stomach done thinks my throat’s been cut.
I’m so hungry I could eat the north bound end of a south bound polecat.
Or, if you’re no longer hungry, you could say, “I’m as full as a tick.”
Weather is a common topic.
If it’s raining hard, it’s a frog-strangler.
Or if it’s not, you could say, “It’s so dry the trees are bribing the dogs.”
There are expressions for surprise…
Well, butter my buns and call me a biscuit!
… and for trouble:
Come here! R-A-T rat NOW!
I’ma gonna tan your britches.
I’m gonna tack your hide to the woodshed.
I’ll knock you so hard you’ll see tomorrow.
Southerners have great ways to describe all kinds of people.
They’re too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash.
He’s as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
He’s grinnin’ like a possum eatin’ sweet taters.
He’s happier’n a dead pig in the sunshine.
I’m as fine as frog’s hair, split four ways.
He’s just as happy as if he had good sense.
Madder’n a wet hen in a tote sack.
Some folks’d grumble if you hung ‘em with a new rope.
He ain’t afraid of hard work. He’d crawl right up next to it and go to sleep.
I’m so busy I don’t know if I found a rope or lost my horse.
(Okay, that one might be more Texas than Mississippi.)
I feel like I’d been chewed up and spit out.
Those of *ahem* lesser intelligence:
He’s as dumb as a bucket of rocks.
He’s as dumb as a box of hair.
He’s dumber’n a bag of hammers.
And, bless his heart, if he’s not attractive, Southerners aren’t shy about saying so:
He looks like he’d been beat by the ugly stick.
Looks like he fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
He looks like ten miles of bad road.
He looks like he’s been rode hard and put away wet.
His face’d knock a buzzard off a gut wagon.
Finally, some Southern advice:
Be sure to try your best, because can’t never could.
But, if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.
What are some of your favorite Southern expressions? Comment below, and you may win a copy of Footer Davis
Might Be Probably Is Crazy!
Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.
Don’t forget, to enter the drawing for a free copy of FOOTER DAVIS
MIGHT BE PROBABLY IS CRAZY, please comment on any post this week!