Howdy y'all! (okay is that a bit much?!?!?)
I'm feeling especially Southern today. I cooked up a bit ol' pot of ham hocks and greens and baked a Johnny cake last night and that's what I'm having for lunch today. Yum! But really, this dish couldn't get more Southern unless I had black-eyed peas, fried okra, grits and chicken. But that would be too fancy for lunch y'all... That's Sunday dinner right there!
I was talking to a co-worker and let slip my most often used Southern saying - "I'm just saying is all" at which point said co-worker looked me straight in the eye and said, "what the heck does that mean anyway?" *ahem* So as I tried to explain the intricacies and nuances of the Southern, I had the wonderful idea that I should post translations for all y'all on the blog. That way if ever confronted with a confusing "Southern-ism" you won't sound like the hopeless Yanks you all are!
Here goes: (feel free to send me any additions you might have)
"I'm just saying is all" - the preceding statement was the God's honest truth.
She really shouldn't be wearing those skin tight pants. I'm just saying is all.
"As easy as sliding off a greasy log backward" - pretty damn easy.
Riding a bike is as easy as sliding off a greasy log backwards.*
"Busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly time" - very, very busy. Great visual too.
With all these new deals coming in, Jane is as busy as a stump tailed cow in fly time.
"Do go on" - you must be kidding.
Sam: I'm the best lover in the world!
Jane: Do go on.
"Don't let the tail wag the dog" - show them who's boss.
Remember your lawyer works for you, don't let the tail wag the dog.
"Either fish or cut bait" - do it or don't just make up your mind. I also like "shit or get off the pot" - but I think I heard that here in California.
Pretty self-explanatory. Most often used when talking about relationships, ie: if you want to get married - tell your partner to fish or cut bait. That's a propose or I'm leaving kind of thing. Highly inadvisable.
"Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then" - everyone gets lucky sometimes.
Words of wisdom to a friend going through a spell of bad luck. Those would be the kind of people you tell that if they didn't have bad luck they'd have no luck at all.
"Every dog should have a few fleas" - no one is perfect.
Usually implies that it's okay that you are not perfect.
"Get the short end of the stick" - left out or slighted.
A negative thing. Sort of like "she's a sandwich short of a picnic" or "a playing card short of a deck". Y'all know.
"Go whole hog" - go for it all.
If you're going to do it, go whole hog. Coincidentally TheBoy says "go balls out" which I think is clever.
"Gone back on your raising" - deny heritage or think you're above where you're from.
Billy's done moved up north and gone back on his raising. There ain't nothing wrong with being from Miscogee!
"I do declare" - means anything, but usually nothing.
Thank you Scarlet!
"In high cotton" - coming up in the world or the good life.
We bought a house with a pool and 80 acres. We're walking high cotton now! Beware though, being "in high cotton" generally leads to "going back on your raising".
"In a coon's age" - it's been awhile.
I haven't seen Sam in a coon's age. I personally like "in a month of Sundays" better. But that's just me.
"Pull a plank off the wall" - celebrate.
My mother always said "tie one on" but it's the same thing. PARTY! Although I have had many hours of fun trying to picture where this saying came from...
"Sight for sore eyes" - good to see you.
Damn Jim, you sure are a sight for sore eyes.
"Too big for your britches" - too much pride.
My mother used to say this to me when I was being a smart ass kid. Getting "too big for your britches" can also lead to "going above your raising".
"Well, shut my mouth" - I am speechless!
Seriously, shocking news in my family generally involves a chorus of "Well shut my mouth" and "I do declare". And if someone did something bad you'll hear, "that just ain't right. I'm just saying is all."
*Unless you are me.