Mark Twain once wrote, “Southerners talk music.” It’s true, we do have a pretty unique way of speaking down here. Whether it’s certain words we use, their pronunciations, or even our colorful expressions. If you’re not from here, it can almost seem like another language.
I thought it would be fun to share a few of our expressions in this post. Now, I don’t mind admitting I’ve used all of them at least once, and a couple of them almost everyday.
Y’all – The plural of you. It’s always plural. I’ve read so many novels where it was used in the singular form, and the first thing that always comes to my mind is, “You can tell that author isn’t from around here.”
example: “Y’all stay and eat supper with us tonight.”
Fixing – For Southerners, it doesn’t just mean to repair an object, but it also means you’re about to do something. Usually pronounced by dropping the ‘g’. If you ever visit the South, I can promise you’ll hear ‘fixing’ used in this way at least once.
example: “I’m fixin’ to go to town. Can I bring you back anything?”
That dog don’t hunt. – Another way of saying, “I don’t believe you.” It can also mean an idea or plan that won’t work or is impossible to do.
example: “He tried to give me some excuse about the cat eating his homework. I told him, that dog don’t hunt.”
Gully washer – A lot of rain.
example: “It came a gully washer yesterday, and the pond is just about overflowing now.”
Give me some sugar. – Not really sugar, but a kiss.
example: “Why don’t you come over here and give me some sugar?”
Pot Liquor – Nothing alcoholic, but instead it’s the juice leftover in a pot after cooking greens, beans, or peas. My grandaddy loved eating pot liquor and cornbread anytime my grandmother cooked turnips.
example: “There’s nothing I love better than pot liquor in a bowl with cornbread.”
Hissy fit – A temper tantrum.
example: “Every time Luann doesn’t get her way, she throws a big old hissy fit.”
Flying duck fit – A temper tantrum or hissy fit. Also sometimes called a duck fit or even a dying duck fit.
example: “I don’t care if you do throw a flying duck fit right here in the store, you’re not getting a new toy, Junior.”
He/she’s got the same britches to get glad in – Usually used in reference to someone that’s angry or throwing a temper tantrum. My grandma used this one a lot when my older cousins were growing up.
example: “I don’t care if Johnny Ray doesn’t like it, he’s got the same britches to get glad in.”
Water haul – A pointless trip. I’ve heard my grandma say this one quite a bit.
example: “The store’s closed. I guess we came to town on a water haul.”
Colder than a well digger’s ass – Very cold. My mom uses this one a lot if it’s cool outside, in fact, just this morning when we went out to do chores.
example: “I swear, it was colder than a well digger’s ass when I woke up this morning.”
To Kingdom come and back – It’s usually used when referring to someone that’s wearing revealing clothing. Also sometimes the word ‘again’ is added onto the end of the phrase.
example: “Did you see that skirt Luann was wearing at church? You could see all the way to kingdom come and back again.”
Rescue Squad – It can, of course, mean a public service organization that rescues people, but here it usually means the ambulance that paramedics drive. I don’t know how common this one is everywhere else in the South, but it’s very common in the town I grew up in.
example: “That siren we just heard was a rescue squad going by.”
Uglier than homemade sin. – Someone or something that is very ugly. Believe me, you never want to be described in this way.
example: “I met Luann’s boyfriend yesterday. I swear, that boy is uglier than homemade sin.”
Can’t never could. – Basically it means that negativity gets you nowhere. The words ‘do nothing’ are also sometimes added on the end.
Betty: I can’t read this whole book in a day.
Luann: Can’t never could do nothing.
There are so many, I’m definitely going to have to do another post one day soon : ) Hope y’all will enjoy reading this as much as I have writing it.