Have you heard these sayings? Then you live in the south

The people in the South have always had an interesting way of turning a phrase. These are some I remember.  Can you think of more?


  • He fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
  • Living high off the hog.
  • If things get any better, I may have to hire someone to help me enjoy it.:
  • That’s gooder’n grits.
  • She could start an argument in an empty house
  • He’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine.
  • I feel like I’ve been rode hard and hung up to dry
  • She has her nose so high in the air she could drown in a rainstorm
  • She was madder than a wet hen
  • She was so buck-toothed she could eat corn through a picket fence
  • She was busy as a cat on a hot tin roof
  • She ain’t worth the salt in her bread.
  • He’s drunk as Cooter Brown.
  • He’s so dumb he couldn’t find water if he fell out a boat.
  • He’s so skinny he’d have to stand up twice to cast a shadow.
  • He’s crooked’er than a $3 bill.
  • What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?
  • If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts we’d all have a Merry Christmas
  • They’re livin’ in high cotton.
  • My ‘Get up and go’ done got up and went

Do you know more Southern sayings?

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

230 Responses to Have you heard these sayings? Then you live in the south

  1. Living in high cotton

  2. If the Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise

    • Carolyn Thornblom Hierholzer says:

      This is my favorite! I’ve been out of Dixie (sadly) a long time, but I always use it! We actually do have a creek on our farm, which makes it all the more enjoyable to say!

    • Patsy says:

      The comment about the Creek is not meant for the water literally it was the Creek Nation as in the Native Indians.

  3. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

  4. Betty CoxBetty Cox says:

    ” Get outta here”

  5. I thought it was “rode hard and put up wet”. Not dry. Guess im not as southern as I thought. May be a good thing after reading some of these Ive never heard before

  6. You’re right Barbara it is “Rode Hard & Put Up Wet”. Maybe whoever wrote this isn’t Southern after all 🙂

  7. Jim GalvinJim Galvin says:

    Happier than a dead pig in the sunshine

  8. Even a blind pig will find an acorn every once in a while.

  9. “I’m fixin’ to” and “I’ll carry you over there in my car.”

  10. Lower than a snake’s belly

  11. Good night in the morning….

  12. Ken BellKen Bell says:

    “That went over like a pregnant pole vaulter.”

  13. Colder than a well diggers ass in Utah

  14. Grinning like a mule eating briars.

  15. Madder than a wet setting hen.

  16. These are all great! I never knew we had so many unique sayings. Keep them coming.

  17. Busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.Busier than a one armed paper hanger.

  18. Snow been there 3 days it’s laying for more

  19. Chicken today and feathers tomorrow! Finer than frogs hair and I’m going to beat you naked and hide your clothes!

  20. Don CorleyDon Corley says:

    Make hay while the sun shines

  21. We are not Spring Chicken’s anymore !!!!!!

  22. Finer than frog’s hair split in the middle

  23. If The Good Lords willing and the creek dont rise.

  24. Shaun says:

    That’s screwed up like a soup sandwich.
    I’m broker than a hen’s tooth.
    It’s untelling.

  25. As nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

  26. Watch pot never boils.

  27. Can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear

  28. He’s so skinny, he has to jump around in the shower just to get wet.

  29. He’s so ugly, his mamma had to tie a pork chop around his neck just to get the dogs to play with him. (That one is ugly, Debra Wallace.)

  30. From my father in law-Im so nervous I could thread a sewing machine with it running wide open. I’m so hungry I could eat the north end of a southbound mule. My husband when asked how he’s doing will reply fair to middlin.

  31. She’s grinnin’ like a Cheshire Cat!

  32. Mark DavisMark Davis says:

    Moma would say you will be eatin of the mantel when your daddy get home.

  33. That scared my mule! – meaning you were scared enough to run off.
    I don’t hold no cotton to him! – meaning I don’t like him.
    He ain’t no count – meaning he isn’t trustworthy
    Well, shut my mouth! – meaning you are speechless.

  34. Laura Roberson says:

    That dog won’t hunt. Finer than frog’s hair. Git on outta hear.

  35. Hotter than a firecracker on 4th of July.

  36. Melba Clark says:

    Grinning like a possum!

  37. Bless her heart. Help em lord.

  38. cant unscramble, scrambled eggs. / cant make chicken salad out of chicken shit/ slicker than greased owl shit…

  39. I’m fixin’ to. Over yonder. And my favorite, references to Cooter Brown, such as “drunker than Cooter Brown,” “tireder than Cooter Brown,” etc. I never have found out who Cooter Brown was, but he must have been quite a character.

    • Cooter Brown was an individual who lived during the War Between The States. The phrase came about because both the Confederate Army and the Union Army would not allow you to enlist and they would not draft you either, if you were drunk. So Cooter Brown stayed drunk between 1861 and 1865.

  40. He’s so skinny he had to tie a knot in his,legs to make knees

  41. Sam HarrisSam Harris says:

    He’s (She’s) so buck-toothed, he (she) could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence.

  42. You can lead a horse to water, but you cant make him drink.

  43. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

  44. Too many cooks spoil the pot.

  45. Dizzier than a termite in a yo-yo.

  46. Happier than a hog in mud!

  47. Scarcer than hens teeth.
    Like a a blind dog in a meat house.
    Lawd have mercy.
    Somebody musta beat you with and ugly stick.
    Wee doggy.
    Drunker than Cooter Brown.
    As the crow flies, bout two miles.
    Stinks like a pole-cat.
    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
    Giddy up little pony.
    Lookie over yonder.

    Yonder is still one of my favorite words! I say it all the time. Drives Jerry crazy!

  48. Useless as tits on a boar hog

  49. Crazier than a hound dog in heat

  50. Meaner than a two headed snake

  51. Dumber than a box of rocks

  52. Uglier than homemade sin

  53. Cuter than a speckled pup! Meaning they are adorable !

  54. John brownit shoot a monkey

  55. John brownit shoot a monkey

  56. Dumb as a bag of hammers

  57. Colder than a well digger’s toes

  58. Finer than frog hair. Finer than snuff but not half as dusty.

  59. Donna says:

    Scoot over!

    I gotta pee like a Tennessee Strutter!

    My brother from another mother!

    I swanee!

    Mercy me!

  60. Rick Breedlove says:

    It’s coming up a cloud!

  61. Erica says:

    I’m gonna jerk a knot in your tail.

    I’m oughta box your ears.

  62. “It’s a coming up a cloud”. There is bad weather forecast.

  63. I’m “dry as a chip”. (I’m thirsty).

  64. Sweating like a whore in church. Is a frogs a$$ water tight? Does a bear $h!+ in the woods?

  65. Well I’ll be Sam Hill.

  66. Deborah Taylor says:

    Another one is a response to the question “How are you?” My reply is, “Finer than snuff, and not half as dusty.”

  67. Deborah Taylor says:

    And my Granny’s favorite, ” I’m gonna commence to doin’ . . .(something)”

  68. Well I’ll be John Brown!!

  69. George Dunn says:

    My Dad use to say the only difference between a Yankee and a D— Yankee was the D— Yankee never went home.

  70. “Come give me some sugar, Darlin’!”

  71. Shirley Harvey says:

    If I had knowed you was a comin’, I’d have baked a cake.
    Y’all come !
    Come here and hug my neck.
    I’m fixin’ to do it.

  72. David ViceDavid Vice says:

    Dumber than a sack of rocks, nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs, grinning like a Cheshire Cat, happy as pig in slop, meaner than the devil himself, ugly as homemade sin. That’ s just a few I remember the “old folks” sayin’.

  73. Bless my buttons

  74. pretty as a speckled pup under a red wagon. ugly as a mud fence. cold as a well diggers

  75. brenda says:

    Don’t make me have a come apart!

    Bottom side upperds

  76. Evelyn Tuck says:

    So bow-legged, he couldn’t stop a pig in a ditch.

  77. Mary Patty says:

    If wishes were horses beggars could ride.

  78. Jo Sullivan says:

    At this rate, it’ll take us 40-11(forty-eleven) Forevers to Git there!

  79. Jo Sullivan says:

    When observing someone else working diligently on a project, my now deceased East Texas neighbor would always yell out on her morning walks, “Now don’t you go n be startin’ no good habits!”

  80. Gary ToddGary Todd says:

    yes and others like it in lamar county texas cause my folks moved there from lauderdale alabama

  81. “She would argue with a fence post”. “Shut the door, your letting the flies out.” “You kiss your mama with that filthy mouth?”
    “That nut didn’t fall far from the family tree”.
    “Pretty is as pretty does”.
    ….and on and on there are hundreds of them. LOL

  82. Bj WadeBj Wade says:

    i like this one…”if i felt any better, i’d have to take a pill”

  83. Tim HoodTim Hood says:

    Hush your mouth…it’s gonna only hurt…for a minute!

  84. Beauty is a beauty does…..I’ve had worse than that on my eye……He was raised tired and born lazy. I know lots more too! It’s great being born, raised, and growing old in the South!

  85. Tim HoodTim Hood says:

    Boy! I will beat you all the way to sunday! Put that out and come eat your dinner! It’s gettin’ cold!…I didn’t cook all day so you could just hang outand smoke that shit all day! “But mama,this is the real deal right here,man!

  86. Tim HoodTim Hood says:

    Close that door! We can’t air condition Alabama!

  87. She’s so ugly we have to tie a pork chop around her neck to get the dog to play with her.

  88. Tim HoodTim Hood says:

    “You kids”…”go play in the hiway!”

  89. Prettier than a speckled pup lying in the sunshine

  90. You always have to come back up the road you went down.

  91. Goodness Gracious, Sakes Alive.

  92. Tim HoodTim Hood says:

    Getin there and take a bath,we’re goin’ to the foot washin’

  93. Danny PaulDanny Paul says:

    Someone said “Wait for me”. Me and someone else said at the same time “Come on!”

  94. Tim HoodTim Hood says:

    You have done smoked yourself “retarded”…”now give me that and get yourwhite ass in the house, before your daddy gets home,boy”

  95. ” I’m going to tie a knot in your tail.”

  96. You can’t see any further than the end of your nose.

  97. You ain’t got the sense God gave a goose.

  98. Tim HoodTim Hood says:

    I can do this allday…..”now look @chee, you’re as high as a giraffe’s ass!”

  99. That child doesn’t believe water is wet or lard is greasy !

  100. He was born ugly and relapsed !

  101. That child is so ugly they made him National poster child for birth control ! LOL

  102. Ron sez;: My grandma’s sister was fond of observing that So-and-So was “all hat and no cattle.”

  103. What goes around comes around! So ugly ..she would stop an eight day clock! Hotter than 400! Colder than a witches t**tie in a tin brasiere. Down in the mouth. Was you raised in a barn?

  104. Did your Mama drop you on your head when you were a baby?

  105. Some would get deleted! Ha!

  106. Always remember the people in your life you pass while going up the ladder of success because you will have to come down the ladder and meet these same people! My grandmother always said ,”There has never been a bird that flew so high that didn’t have to come down to earth and eat some gravel (in his craw) to be able to live !

  107. I just didn’t fall off a turnip truck,you reap what you sow,eats like a goat

  108. If you are waiting on me you are backing up

  109. I’m gonna jerk a knot in your tail.

  110. Carolyn Thornblom Hierholzer says:

    Naked as a jay bird. (Never quite understood it!)

  111. You ain’t got the sense God gave a goat.

  112. Kim ChapzzKim Chapzz says:

    Colder than a well digger’s butt in January.

  113. Kim ChapzzKim Chapzz says:

    Busier than a one armed paper hanger. Nervous as a cat in a room full of rockin chairs. You kids don’t have the sense God gave a billy goat.

  114. Kim ChapzzKim Chapzz says:

    Ugly as homemade soap (interchangeable with sin, which never made any sense to me).

  115. Well Bless all y’all ‘s hearts, you’re coming up with all the ones I remember. Plus – I smell peaches, someone’s coming with a hole in their britches. Never did get that one.

  116. Hugh says:

    As we were leaving, a friend’s mother would say
    ” Don’t kill any dead snakes or wade in any dry branches!”

  117. That boy ain’t had no raisins!

  118. That boy ain’t right bright!
    Sho nuff?

  119. Bobby KingBobby King says:

    …..”yo’ mouth.”

  120. My people always used the word “kyerse “? Maybe from the word curious, used to describe someone odd , difficult, contrary. Anyone else know this one?

  121. Gary Johnson says:

    That dog won’t hunt. He won’t even tree.
    The house is anagogging from us. Not sure of the spelling but it means at an angle from.

  122. He’s so lazy he wouldn’t work in a pie factory sampling pies!

  123. Put his brain in a bird & it’ll fly backards!!

  124. I’m fixin to crack a winder, it’s hot in here!

  125. “She’s always late; she’ll be late to her own funeral!”

  126. Kay Garriott says:

    A few of my favorites….
    Crazier than a run over dog.
    A little bubble off plumb.
    Lackin a few bricks of having a full load.
    Useless as tits on a boar hog.

  127. Max CareyMax Carey says:

    He ain’t ugly, he just don’t favor anybody.

  128. a says:

    He could talk a dog off a meat wagon. That there cow went yonder way. If Ida knowed yall were comin Ida put out the dog. We best make a pallet if yall are country stayin

  129. It just goes to show you, there’s always something! No matter where you go, there you are. She’s so ugly she’d stop a charging elephant at 10 paces. She’d scare a haint up a thorn bush. She’d make a freight train take a dirt road. She’d have to sneak up on a glass of water to get a drink. I could go on……

  130. Bless yall’s heart; don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya…., there are so many!

  131. Liz SlayLiz Slay says:

    He’s drunk as a skunk

  132. Tommy MayTommy May says:

    “Bless your heart.”

  133. A whistling woman and a crowing hen..never comes to no good end. Anything worth doing. .is worth doing right. He has more money than he has sense.

  134. Mark NeillMark Neill says:

    better than it needs to be!!

  135. Marsha Patterson says:

    Chicken one day, feathers the next.
    That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
    So poor, you can’t even pay attention.

  136. Nanny said, ” you have to pass and repass with folks.”

  137. She’s sweeter than a Georgia peach!

  138. If I were any better you’d need two of me.

  139. It’s “Living high ON the hog” not “Living high OFF the hog.”

  140. I always heard “high ON the hog” instead of “high OFF the hog”.

  141. dad and mom those mentioned as well as many others like “Y’all come back now, ya hear”?

  142. Peggy OttPeggy Ott says:

    the best part of you run down yo mommas leg

  143. They were behind the door when the brains were passed out.

  144. My nanny would say “skin a rabbit” when undressing us. “Lord willing the crick don’t rise”

  145. Yall come go with us….Well I,ll be John Brown

  146. Actually I am from excel Alabama where Cooter Brown , everyone knows him and he stays drunk , lol . Always though they where talking about him till I moved out of town

  147. She had a HISSIE fit! Or is it hissy fit?

  148. Laura says:

    “How’s your mama ‘n’ them?”
    “I’m fixin’ to make groceries” (go grocery shopping)
    “He/she made ____ (insert number for age here) today!”

  149. Shut the door! Was you raised in a barn?

  150. Dad use to say “he ran faster than a Scalded Ape”

  151. Dagnabbit maw that’s almost to Slapout

  152. I’m gonna have to cut all hole in the assend of my d drawers to keep the nats out of my face

  153. Yeah bless your heart really means she’s ugly as 40 miles of Alabama dirt road

  154. I’m going to the store y’all want a coke “Yeah” what kind

  155. Paw asks his mentally challenged son howcome you didn’t come to go today Son says a Beaver bit my nipple off. True

  156. A woman getting to missing 2 kids that belonged to someone else she hollard out where are you youngens at we are under the house she ssays y’all ain’t smoking are you nom wes just screwin OK you better not be smoking

  157. You better not kill ifen your not gonna clean it and eat it

  158. Yes I have. My grandmother all ways said my stars and garters. Do tell. You don’t say.

  159. Faye RichFaye Rich says:

    I’m ‘finer than frog hair’. ‘ poorer than Job’s turkey’ ‘enough to feed Cox’s army’

  160. He’s so stubborn he would argue with a sign post and throw rocks at it for not arguing back

  161. But she’s sweet as she can be. Meaning she’s a little slow witted

  162. Come what may, Taint nothin,Easycome easy go.

  163. All these would drive a code talker nutz, make one heck of a code.

  164. Tougher than a 2 dollar steak! you got that all cattywompus! His biscuits ain’t quite done. His elevator don’t go all the way up to the top floor. Even a blind hog roots an acorn every now & then. Pretty as a speckled pup in a little red wagon sitting under the Christmas tree. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes! My granny would say ” I got to go make a branch”. (you know what that meant) and she’d say, “why are you lookly so poorly, is your granny time on you?” (you know what that means too) She was a great one for the Golden Rule too! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you! Shut the door, was you raised in a barn? Take off your hat in the house! She’s nosier than a bloodhound on a trail. Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite!

  165. All of these sayings are great, my grandma used to say “Early to bed, early to rise. Makes a man healhty, weathly and wise.” Have a Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. SMB

  166. Bill Tate says:

    Dead ‘ern pork!
    his face’d stop an eight day clock
    he’s so black his momma had ta roll ‘im in flour’n make ‘im toot t’know which end t’put th’diaper on.
    she had pimples all o’er more than anyplace else
    when he’uz born th’midwife throwed out th’baby and kept th’afterbirth

  167. Chuck Harper says:

    Yankee Dime (meaning a “kiss”)

  168. Russell says:

    He is dumb as a rock
    He is as worthless as a sack of switches
    Laziness will kill you (grandmother’s favorite)
    He was running aroumd like chicken with his head cut off
    She was a nervous wreck
    Won’t you just just listen to those ladies, its like a group of cackling hens!
    If I’d a knowed then what I know now (often used to express a sign of regret)
    It’s hotter than three hells in here
    He’s got a nose like a bloodhound!
    I’d swanny (I would swear)
    I ain’t never (who would have imagined)
    The road to heaven was paid with good intentions
    He ain’t worth nuthin
    She would’nt know the truth if she fell in it.
    Her tongue wags 90 miles an hour (a gossip)
    That’s about all I could recollect my grandmother saying. Audrey Mae Davis-Ham was born 1901 and grew up in Livingston, Alabama with family from around Bailey, Mississippi. She taught me true southern manners and the definition of a Southern Lady and that men should aspire to be Southern Gentlemen. She passed away when I was 12 but her memory of catch phrases and storytelling remain. I’ve known to share a “tall-tell” or two myself.

  169. Linda Chambless says:

    He is so dumb he don’t know big wood from brush. What goes over the devil’s back slides right back under his belly. Every old dog has his day. That boy may be smart but he ain’t got a lick of horse sense. We can’t pour dishwater out the back door without pouring it on that boys head.(Guess you can tellmy family had a bunch of girls).Lord give me patience.

  170. Linda Chambless says:

    My mama used to ask us if we were raised in a barn when we came in and left the door standing open. One day my brother told her she should know because she raised us. Boy did he get his rear torn up. Lived in Nama my whole life,southern born. What a place to grow up. ROLL TIDE

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