Saturday, June 30, 2007

Southern Charm

I love living in the South, but I never really appreciated it until I moved away. While away, I missed a lot of things about southern living, but I think, more than anything, I missed the expressions.

My grandmother had some marvelous sayings, but when I was younger, I didn't really pay attention to them. Now that she's gone, I wish so much that I'd written them down.

Here are some of the ones I remember:

"I've got a bone in my leg." No, I never understood why she said this, but she said it a lot.

"My get up and go has done got up and went." The older I get, the more I understand this one.

"Sugar foot, molasses and sassafras tea." This was my grandmother's favorite way to curse.

My husband is pure southern, but grew up in Tennessee. They have different sayings there. Here's some of his:

"Well, I'll swan." I have no idea what this is, and I keep waiting for him to do it.

"You don't know beans from apple butter." No, he'd never dare say that to me!

When he was a child, his mother used to say, "Jim, I've never seen your equal." For years, Jim thought she said eagle; he said he looked everywhere for that eagle.

My favorites? Well, funnily enough, I don't really pay attention to saying them. I do know I say:

"Well, bless your heart." But what true southerner doesn't?

"Heavens to Betsy." Have no idea what this means, but used to say it all the time. I don't even know anyone named Betsy.

So, what about you? What are your favorite southern sayings? Do you know their origins or are you like me and you just grew up with them?

7 comments:

JoAnn said...

My grandmother used to say "Lord, I look like who shot Lizzie" when she looked in the mirror. I always heard "Lord, I look like Two-shot Lizzie." And in my little girl mind, that was an Annie Oakley type! And I could never figure out why my elderly, gray-haired grandmother thought she looked like a character from a Wild West Show!

Christy said...

Too funny, JoAnn. I've never heard that one.

Carla Swafford said...

Quite often as a teenager, my mom use to say to me, "A hundred wild horses can't pull me off you." As you can tell, she's threatening me with a "whipping."

Not too many years ago, I hear my step-father say "Dumber than a box of rocks." That was new to me, and I thought it hilarious. Since then I've been told that's an old one.

Mom was/is particular about pronunciation, (which was rough on me since I stuttered as a child. Of course, that didn't slow me down. I still talked a hundred miles an hour -- another one -- LOL!) and the only time I heard her cuss was when she said, "It's colder than a witch's t*ttie." I would always giggle.

Now my mom's dad would walk with me to the store and say "We're going to get a dope." He was hard of hearing and slurred his words. I thought he mispronounced "coke."

As you know, all Alabamians call sodas "cokes," no matter if they're a Pepsi or a Mountain Dew.

I probably say different ones all the time and never think anything of it.

Carla Swafford said...

BTW, Dope was for a Cola. When he was a young kid (early 1900's), Cokes had cocaine in them -- thus "Cokes." And people would act dopey after drinking them.

Deborah Matthews said...

Never heard the Lizzie one.

And after saying Bless his/her heart, you say something bad about the person. (g)

One I thought just last week after a hot summer day--Sweating like a stuck pig, which I assume has something to do with butchering pigs.

MaryF said...

actually, the most amusing one was when I asked a gentleman how he was and he replied, "Like a hair on a biscuit!"

Still haven't figured out if he meant he was well or life really sucked.

But, I still use that saying now and then.

Venita said...

Stumbled upon your blog looking for more Southern Sayings! My grandma used to always say, "Keep yer shorts on!" That's one of my favorites. She'd also yell at us for running through her kitchen "like a bat outta hell." :)