Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday Thoughts ~ Southern Sayings

The South is known for its rich heritage of traditions, customs, music and cuisine. What is often overlooked is the language that is unique to the area.
Below are a few terms and sayings with a brief explanation.

Bless your heart ~ this can have a positive and negative meaning. It can be used to confer a blessing on or sympathy for someone going through a hard time, or it can have a sarcastic meaning and precede an insult.
Bubba ~ was slang for brother, but became a derogatory term for one that is not very bright.
Buggy ~ people in the rest of the country have shopping carts when they go to the grocery or discount store. In the South, you have a buggy.
That dog don’t hunt in these woods ~ that is not acceptable behavior here.
Put me wise to ~ informed me, gave me the inside scoop, or alerted me to something.
Honey please ~ in the rest of the country this would be expressed as give me break.
You’re crawfishing ~ means your backing up, being wishy washy, and going back on your word.
I got dirt to scratch and eggs to lay ~ not now I have things to do.
The boy ain’t right ~ person referred to is goofy.
Light bread ~ this refers to loaf bread as opposed to corn bread.
Over yonder ~ can refer to the other side of the room or a mile down the road.
Either fish or cut bait ~ get serious or keep playing around.
In a coon’s age ~ been a long time.
Grinnin like a possum ~ a smug expression or smirk.
Playing possum ~ playing dead, faking it.
Walkin in high cotton ~ being prosperous and happy.
Layin there like a bump on a log ~ being lazy.
Fixin to ~ about to do something.
Aim to ~ planning to do something.
Dinner ~ is the noon meal or lunch.
Supper ~ is the evening meal.
Lunch ~ is a meal you carry in a paper bag to work or school.
Who’s his people ~ means who is his family.
In the country ~ means in a rural area.
So and So passed ~ usually said with head down and quiet voice meaning someone has died.
Older than dirt ~ refers to a very old person.
Cookin with grease ~ making progress.
Sunday go to meetin clothes ~ church or dress clothes.
Go cut me a switch ~ get a small and thin limb from bush or tree, to be used for punishment.
Cold enough to hang meat ~ in the summer it means that a/c is set to high, in the winter it means the heat is set to low.
If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch ~ if you can’t keep up get out of the race or activity.
Nekkid ~ refers to being unclothed and up to something mischievous. 


  1. Loved this! I'm a yank, but I have a close friend in the deep south and we often laugh over the differences in some of our word choices. I remember when we were discussing vacations once and she told me that people in the south go to the 'beach' but people in the north go to the 'shore.' Just one example. I never thought about it before, but she was right! Fun post, Heaven. :)

  2. Priceless! I come from Southern stock and would only amend that "That boy ain't right." can also be employed as a bemused tone by fathers whose sons have done something Mama don't approve of. It doesn't mean they frown on or disapprove of the boy's behavior. It is intended as more of an acknowledgment to cool Mama down.

  3. Fun post. My husband's people are from Texas, so I've heard some of these, but others were new to me.