Some Say It Southern

Came across this great sign the other day. As a transplant to the South I’m still learning to translate some of the sayings, and man is there a bunch! Often things are stated with quite a fiery passion and other times just good ol’ southern charm. So, in an effort to understand better, I recently came across a great piece written by another “Yankee” transplant to the South. Thought I’d share a snippet of hers and some more Southern sayings, below. I hope you enjoy and maybe get a giggle or two! 

“Translating Southern Sayings”

by- Copyright ©2015 Stephanie Henkel

As a transplanted Yankee living in the South, I am often surprised and amazed by the colorful Southern things I hear. Of course, there are the good old standbys we all know and love, like “y’all” and “down yonder.” But the richness of Southern speech goes far beyond one or two-word expressions and there’s a Southern expression for every occasion.

While their images and colloquialisms tickle the funny bone, Southern expressions usually convey exactly what the speaker intended. No one can mistake the intent and meaning of “I’m going to jerk a knot in your tail!” On the other hand, there are some Southernisms that it might take a Yankee like me years to figure out without a translator.

Whether you are from another part of the country or from another country altogether, I hope you enjoy this collection of Southern sayings.

Southern Expressions We Couldn’t Do Without:

  • Y’all.
  • All y’all.
  • Down yonder.
  • Bless your pea-pickin’ little heart!
  • Kiss my go-to-hell.
  • I wouldn’t walk across the street to piss on him if he was on fire.
  • If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay under the porch.
  • Why so sad? Did Chevrolet stop makin’ trucks?
  • Deep in the South where sushi is still called bait.
  • He’s about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
  • That sticks in your throat like a hair in a biscuit.
  • You’re so fulla s**t your eyes are brown.
  • He was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs.
  • He couldn’t carry a tune if he had a bucket with a lid on it.”

What is a saying that might be more common to your part of the country or world that others would find interesting, funny or hard to understand? Share in the comments!


Filed under humor, nature-photography

25 responses to “Some Say It Southern

  1. I love this. I was in Atlanta a few months ago and I was thrilled hearing y’all. I love them pecans too ,

  2. Sørk

    I just about squirted coffee out my nose at the sushi one. XD

  3. Depending on where you are from in the north, you may know some of these terms: you get a drink from the bubbler. you tie your hair back with an elastic. you go on a packy run when you are low on booze and wicked is an awesome way to describe most anything.

  4. I know all about how to speak southern I watch NCIS New Orleans 🙂

  5. Where I come from, when you went to the fish and chip shop and asked for scallops you got a battered potato cake. Where I live they are called (surprisingly!) potato cakes and scallops are actually scallops as in the sea food. There’s a luncheon meat known as devon or fritz or polony depending on which state you are in (I think it’s bolony to you). Another one is what you go swimming in … bathers where I grew up, togs or cossie where I live. Funny how we all apparently speak the same language. Last one that marks me as a foreigner is how I say castle so it rhymes with parcel. Not castle so it almost rhymes with hassle!

  6. Hilarious! XD I haven’t heard all of those (I live in the South), but they were very entertaining. The one about the long-tailed cat in the room full of rocking chairs made my inner cat lady really happy. 😀 Loved reading this! 🙂
    To add, I’ve heard this one a few times: “If it’d been a snake, it’d have bit ya!” I lose things a lot, and usually, whatever I lost was right there next to me the whole time. And I’m very glad it wasn’t a snake. XD

  7. Definitely southern… Love it. 😀

  8. Living Depressed

    I am a southern girl. I definitely wish I could provide this breakdown to some of my clients at work. My southern draw doesn’t always translate, This post among others is why I am really enjoying reading your blog!

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