Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Favorite Sayings, 2

Thank you all for your delightful sayings.  I adore regionalisms, and I don't care what region.  

My parents are (GASP!) Yankees, and my dad's family uses a lot of expressions which I've never thought of as particularly Southern: "Couldn't find his behind in the dark with both hands and a flashlight", for example.  "Slower than molasses in January."  "Tough row to hoe."

Dr. S (who is from rural southwest Ohio) once said, in lab meeting, to his very famous boss, "Well, Titania, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again."

But, actually from the South: "All a' y'all" has always been one of my favorites.  This is a peculiarly Southern thing.  Where I grew up, "Y'all are welcome to come to the party" was a particularly non-pressing invitation given out of courtesy, but "All a' y'all should come by on Saturday night, we're having a party" meant "I really truly want each and every one of you to show up." 

I have heard, but never used "Lower than a snake's belly", and I adore "Doesn't have the sense God gave a chigger." (Chiggers are revolting little bugs, found in high grass in high summer, which burrow into your legs and then die.  No, I don't know why.)

Y'all come back, now!


  1. Lisa C.10:46 AM

    i was born in the Northeast (true Yank) and my mother's favorite was "slower than molasses in January" which didn't compute to me until I got older (and lived elsewhere!) She also loved "close the door, we don't live in a barn!"

  2. From Dr. S's Alabama-born coworker: "Hotter'n two rats makin' it in a wool sock." Except I believe the original was ruder.

  3. In German, we have the blind squirrel thing with a blind chicken finding a grain every now and then (and I actually said that to my boss the other day, but not in a lab meeting). One of the sad things of living abroad is that you forget those expressions -- they come back when I hear my family or friends talk, but by myself I often don't remember them...


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