Friday, September 7, 2007


I just have to follow up a post about Southern Accents with one about Southern Sayings. My friend Robin emailed me one that even I, born and raised in Georgia, have never heard: I'm going to stomp a mud hole in your ass and then walk it dry. Apparently I'm not red-neck enough!

Rob's Dad has a saying that describes a mediocre job: "Good enough for Government work." There is great disdain among my parents generation for beauracracy.

A classic Rob phrase: "Trailer Park trash people looked at her and said: Man, he married down." And also: "He/She is wasting air." He is NOT a people person.... so he says this one frequently.

My grandmother: "Pretty is as pretty does."

"The Good Lord willing and the Creek don't rise" -- I'll be there if nothing comes up. And Creek refers not to a body of water, but to the Native American tribe that lived in south Georgia when the colonist arrived almost 300 years ago.

A whole string of sayings that describe stupidity:
"Dumber than a bag of hammers."
"Not the brightest bulb on the string."
"One brick shy of a load."
"If brains were dynamite, you wouldn't have enough to blow your nose!"
"A few sandwiches shy of a picnic."

One heard among the Great Depression generation: "We didn't have a pot to pee in."

I guess so in southern: "I reckon."

Some sayings appear to appear in other cultures too: "That's about as useless as tits on a bull." (Thanks for that info Tracey).

To finish it off, a Georgia grammer rule: Ya'll is plural. It is actually a contraction of: You all. How are ya'll doing? means: How is everyone in your family. All of you. We can always tell if we are reading something written by a Yankee pretending to be a southerner if one character says to another: How ya'll doing? That is incorrect use of the term ya'll. No southerner would ask ONE person how "ya'll" doing. We'd say: You doing all right? See.... we're not as dumb as we sound. We have grammar rules. You probably can't tell that from reading MY blog... but they do exist.


kirsty said...

I nearly wet myself every time Dr Phil says some "old boy is dumber than a box o' rocks". Haven't heard the bag of hammers one. We do the sandwich/picnic and "I reckon".
A Dumb As... that I heard and loved a couple of days ago was "Can't believe he beat 1 million other sperm"

Ms Asterisk said...

Of course you Southerners have grammar rules! As do Aussies when it comes to slang...a fact completely disregarded by the bright gals of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8* when they came to Sydney and had to interview locals using Aussie slang. When one used the term "cactus" in the following way, "Don't be cactus! You guys are all cactuses", it was positively excrutiating.

To say something is "cactus" is to imply it is broken, beyond hope e.g "I tried to start the car, but I think it's cactus".

I love all your Southern sayings!

(*I was watching it purely for research reasons, really!!)

tracey petersen said...

In our house we use and modify this phrase frequently:
That is the crappiest car in crapland.
That is the ugliest man in ugly town.
I went to stupid land and asked to meet the stupidest person and they told me it was you
etc, etc.
It is a competition to come up with these sayings.
Parenting - the appropriate way!

Rob said...

"Life is short and death is sure" --My Grandmother-- Translation: Don't sweat the small stuff.

"I'd buy her groceries." and "I'd drink her bath water." --High School Friend-- Translation: She looks like a nice wholesome girl that I would like to get to know better on an emotional level.

Actual transcript of high school conversations had with above friend....
Rob: So Andy, what do you think of Girl X?
Andy: She's an ugly, stuck-up, bi#@h. I can't stand to even see her.
Rob: So you would do her?
Andy: Oh Yeah!

"He/She fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down." --Who Knows--

bluemountainsmary said...

From father in law - he/she is as ugly as a hatful of monkeys arseholes - (revoltiing and crude but makes me laugh)
As Kirsty says - I reckon - is used a lot here
Stupid/dumb - not the sharpest tool in the tool box
Had enought to eat - as full as a fat girls sock
Bugger political correctness!!!

Stomper Girl said...

Australina-isms for mad: they have a few kangaroos loose in their top paddock or some possums in their attic. If they're dumb they are a stubbie short of a sixpack (this is to do with beer of course). Also I've heard someone described as being uglier than a bucket of frogs. But I like Rob's 'ugly tree' better.

I love Kirsty's sperm example, I will be using that one.

Fairlie said...

I have no idea if it is particular to Australia or not, but one of my favourite sayings is: "I'm as busy as a one-legged monkey in an arse-kicking contest."

Sussanah said...

My husband is partial to the old saying she has "a face like a dropped pie"
And I don't know if it is an australianism but we use "better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick" all the time, as in trepsonse to such question as, "How was the movie?"

Rob said...

Fairlie, we have the same saying but we say man instead of monkey.

My last entry until my next entry.

"Went to bed at 2 with a 10 woke up at 10 with a 2." --Many a guy after one too many beers and too few options left at the bar-- Lesson: Past a certain hour its better to drink until you pass out rather than to trust your "beer goggles".

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