A Southern Saying for Every Occasion
It seems that people in the South have an expression for everything, and usually more than one. If you are from another part of the country or from another country altogether, I hope you enjoy my collection of Southern sayings.
“Bless Your Heart” -Almost everyone knows Southern women drop this phrase constantly. But it might not mean what you think it means. In reality, the phrase has little to do with religion and more to do with a passive-aggressive way to call you an idiot. Depending on your inflection, saying “bless your heart” can sting worse than any insult.
Barking up the wrong tree.- you are wrong
Caught with your pants down.- surprised and unprepared
Don’t count your chickens until they hatch.
Either fish or cut bait.-work or make way for those who will
Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.-everyone gets lucky sometimes
Go to bed with the chickens. -in bed early
“He’s as drunk as Cooter Brown.”- Cooter Brown is an infamous character in Southern lore. Legend tells that he lived on the Mason-Dixon line — the border between the North and South — during the Civil War. To avoid the draft on either side, Cooter decided to stay drunk throughout the entire war, making him ineligible for battle. Inebriated Southerners have measured their drunkenness by him ever since.
“He thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.” – On farms (not just in the South) roosters usually crow when the sun rises. Their vociferous habit wakes up the house, signaling time to work. An extremely cocky rooster might think the sun rises simply because he crows. Similarly, an extremely cocky man might think the same when he speaks — and also that everyone should listen to him.
He’s so dumb he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel.
He’s as windy as a sack full of farts. -Used for someone who is known for lying.
He doesn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. -Someone who is dirt poor.
He’s so full of sh^t his eyes are brown.
He’s about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.
He didn’t know whether to sh^t or go blind so he winked his right eye and farted. -Someone who is easily confused, or dim-witted.
If you don’t stop that crying, I’ll give you something to cry about! -Usually resulted in a spanking, making us cry more
“I’m finer than frog hair split four ways.” – Southerners mostly use this phrase to answer, “How are you?” Even those below the Mason-Dixon know frogs don’t have hair, and the irony means to highlight just how dandy you feel.
I’m sweatin’ like a whore in church.
I’m shakin’ like a hound-dog trying to sh^t a peach pit.
I’m busier than a 2-dollar whore on nickel night.
It’s hotter than a billy goat’s ass in a pepper patch.
It’s colder than a witch’s tit.
Like a bump on a log. -lazy and doing nothing
“She’s as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.” – When a pig dies, presumably in a sty outside, the sun dries out its skin. This effect pulls the pig’s lips back to reveal a toothy “grin,” making it look happy even though it’s dead. This phrase describes a person who’s blissfully ignorant of reality.
“She was madder than a wet hen.”- Hens sometimes enter a phase of “broodiness” — they’ll stop at nothing to incubate their eggs and get agitated when farmers try to collect them. Farmers used to dunk hens in cold water to “break” their broodiness.
She was busier than a cat burying’ sh^t on a marble floor.
She has her nose so high in the air she could drown in a rainstorm. -For people who are very conceited.
She could start an argument in an empty house.
She was so buck-toothed she could eat corn through a picket fence.
She was busy as a cat on a hot tin roof.
She was busier than a one-armed monkey with two peckers.
Two shakes of a sheep’s tail. -done quickly
“That’s about as useful as tits on a bull.” – If this needs explaining… Bless your heart.
“That thing is all catawampus.” – Catawampus adj: askew, awry, cater-cornered. Many don’t really know how it evolved, though. They speculate it’s a colloquial perversion of “cater-corner.” Variations include: catawampous, cattywampus, catty wonkus. The South isn’t really big on details.
Well, shut my mouth. -shocked and speechless
“We’re living in high cotton.”- Cotton has long been a key crop to the South’s economy, so every harvest farmers pray for tall bushes loaded with white fluffy balls in their fields. Tall cotton bushes are easier to pick and yield higher returns. If you’re living “in high cotton,” it means you’re feeling particularly successful or wealthy.
“You look rode hard and put up wet.”- No, this isn’t Southern sexual innuendo. The phrase refers to a key step in horse grooming — when a horse runs fast, it works up a sweat, especially under the saddle. A good rider knows to walk the horse around so it can dry off before going back to the stable. A horse will look sick and tired if you forget this step, much like a person who misses sleep or drinks too much.