Southern Sayings

Southern sayings are those wonderful similes, metaphors, or other expressions that are use on a regular basis during conversations in The South. We don't even bat an eye when they are used. It's second nature to know how to properly respond to these sayings. Whether you are travelling to the south or just wanting to brush up on your southern vernacular, these jewels will guide you through some of the most common conversations. But before engaging in a conversation with a true southerner, PLEASE read, understand, and practice these sayings. Improper usage could result in bodily harm as some have the totally opposite meaning depending on the context in which it is used! Before long we hope to have some sound bites of how each saying is used to help you better understand conversational southern. Enjoy!



Southern Saying: Like a chicken with your head cut off
Translation: Confusion
Usage: That boy was running around like a chicken with his head cut off!


Southern Saying: Butter my biscuit
Translation: Isn't that something!
Usage: Well butter my biscuit!


Southern Saying: Speckled pup in a red wagon
Translation: Reference to being cute or precious.
Usage: That baby's cuter than a speckled pup in a red wagon.


Southern Saying: Two goats in a pepper patch.
Translation: That's some hot stuff.
Usage: It's hotter out here than two goats in a pepper patch.


Southern Saying: Snowball's chance in hell.
Translation: Not a very likely occurrence.
Usage: You ain't got a snow ball's chance in hell of gittin' that girl.


Southern Saying: Argue with a fence post.
Translation: Stubborness
Usage: That woman would argue with a fence post.


Southern Saying: Rode hard and put up wet.
Translation: Looking rough
Usage: Man, you look like you been rode hard and put up wet.


Southern Saying: Heebie jeebies
Translation: A condition similar to the chills.
Usage: That fellow gives me the heebie jeebies.


Southern Saying: Light in the loafers.
Translation: gay
Usage: Leroy, that fellow light in the loafers to you?


Southern Saying: Three sheets to the wind.
Translation: Drunk
Usage: Betty Lou is three sheets to the wind.


Southern Saying: Short end of the stick.
Translation: Treated in an ill manner
Usage: We got the short end of the stick on that deal.


Southern Saying: Half cocked.
Translation: Lacking all the facts.
Usage: That fellow went off half cocked.


Southern Saying: Skint
Translation: Very versatile term meaning to remove hide, drunk, or to beat up.
Usage: I skint his hair back.


Southern Saying: Above your raisin'
Translation: Acting as a snob acts.
Usage: Little Miss Priss is shore above her raisin'.


Southern Saying: Ruffled her feathers.
Translation: Upsetting
Usage: I really ruffled her feathers.


Southern Saying: Chewin' the fat
Translation: Talking up a storm or uh talking about nothing in particular.
Usage: We was just a chewin' the fat.


Southern Saying: Like a stuck hog.
Translation: Screaming or squealing in pain.
Usage: Bo hit is finger with that mall and hollered like a stuck hog.


Southern Saying: I declare.
Translation: I did not know that or that is surprising or it can merely be used when there is really nothing else to say.
Usage: I declare!


Southern Saying: In a coon's age.
Translation: A really long time.
Usage: I ain't seen nothin' like that in a coon's age.


Southern Saying: Bump on a log.
Translation: Refers to one being unknowing.
Usage: He was just sittin' there like a bump on a log.


Southern Saying: Mouth overloaded his butt
Translation: That individual cannot back up what they are saying with actions.
Usage: Boy, you're lettin' your mouth overload your butt.


Southern Saying: Countin' your chickens
Translation: The very risky act of assuming the outcome.
Usage: She's countin' her chickens before the eggs hatch.


Southern Saying: Bitten' off more than you can chew.
Translation: Taken on more than one can handle.
Usage: I really think this time I've bitten off more than I can chew!


Southern Saying: Caught with my pants down.
Translation: That individual was taken by surprise or was totally unprepared.
Usage: She caught me with my pants down.


Southern Saying: Like white on rice.
Translation: Southern symbolism at it's finest. Reference to traits or characteristics that cannot be separated two things that always go together. (Other colored rice is not eaten in the south except by those tryin' to live above their raisin'.)
Usage: She was all over him like white on rice.


Southern Saying: Barking up the wrong tree.
Translation: A situation to avoid at all costs. Indicates you may be about to have your hair skint back.
Usage: You're barkin' up the wrong tree now boy.


Southern Saying: Meat on that bone
Translation: There is still more to go - as in not complete.
Usage: There's still meat on that bone.


Southern Saying: Can't see the forest for the trees.
Translation: Unable to see the big picture.
Usage: Boy, you can't see the forest for the trees.


Southern Saying: Like water off a ducks back
Translation: Reference to the certainty of some event occuring or the ease at which it occurred.
Usage: It was like water off a duck's back.


Southern Saying: Shut my mouth
Translation: An expression of speechlessness. No, we can't keep our mouths shut and this is how we tell you.
Usage: Well shut my mouth!


Southern Saying: Two peas in a pod
Translation: Suited for each other or identical.
Usage: They like two peas in a pod ain't they?