Conversation while cooking dinner:
My man: “What do we have to put on this squash?”
Youngest: “Put a little seasoning salt and…”
My man: “and O-r-l?”
My man: “Yes, O-r-l.”
Me: “Yes, oil. Go.out.and.put.my.squash.on.the.grill. Please”
This before dinner conversation got me thinking about Southern pronunciations and praises. Sometimes in the South, you need a translator. We do have a mouthful of sayings that only Southerners understand. But, Southerners also know that sometimes it is the only way to get your point across. If you hear, “bless your heart”, it’s probably delivered with a little edge and followed by a shake of a head and a smile. If someone is completely lost and things don’t look good, for him to understand, we say “He’s lost as a goose in a hailstorm.” If you just heard your momma come home and you haven’t finished cleaning your room, she will definitely be “madder than a wet hen.”
So here are Ten Southern Phrases I couldn’t live without:
Fixin’ To: This one is as Southern as it gets. We use this when we are going to do something. I’m fixin’ to go to the store. She’s fixin’ to make sweet tea.
Over Yonder: When Darby was little, she asked my momma “where is yonder?”. We use this as a distance marker. She is over yonder. It’s over yonder by the wheat field. If we want to emphasize the length, we add a word, “way over yonder.” And don’t worry, when the Roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
I reckon: Let’s see. This one can mean a lot of different things: I guess, I suppose, I might, I think. I reckon’ we’ll be going to the lake this Saturday.
She’s as pretty as a Peach: Peaches are a southern thing. We like them juicy and sweet. This phrase is one of our highest compliments. Now in our family, this phrase means a little something different because of the movie Lonesome Dove. My daddy begged each of us to name our daughters Peach. We all knew we could find a better role model for our girls, really any name would be better. ;0)
Full as a Tick: If you’ve ever been sitting on a porch in July petting a dog, you have a visual to go with this one. Southerners know what full ticks look like. This phrase means you have enjoyed a dinner at Granny’s house; grilled steaks, black-eyed peas, fresh corn, and angel food cake. I’m full as a tick just dreaming about it.
If the Creek don’t rise: Let me translate. Unless something out of our control happens, we will be there. Y’all, my brother’s family really can’t get to places if the creek rises. So we will see you at the wedding if the creek don’t rise.
Hold your horses: Wait. Stop. Don’t say another word. If you hear this, slow down.
He’s as funny as all get out: Not sure why we add “all get out” to words but we do, so don’t judge. I was scared as all get out. The weather was as bad as all get out. “All get out” is a big deal y’all.
Heavens to Betsy: Who’s Betsy? Why is she in heaven? We use this is any situation that we don’t have an explanation for. Heavens to Betsy, I can’t believe you came to visit.
Goodness Gravy: We hold gravy up there with Jesus and our Mommas. When we use goodness gravy, we just can’t believe we did that or even worse, you did something. Well, goodness gravy, I can’t believe you ran out of gas.
Dinner was wonderful by the way. The fresh squash was great with seasoning salt and a little o-r-l, or oi-l or oil. However, you pronounce it.
Go make Thursday amazing y’all!