I live in Cincy but sort of moved to the South when I started to write the Consignment Shop Mysteries. I had to suddenly start thinking and living like my characters. I guess I’m a bit of a method writer like there are method actors where they live the part to get into the part.
I had to acquire the taste for sweet tea, I do love fried okra so that was already in place but I no longer carry Chapstick in the back pocket of my jeans but have instead learned to wear lipstick every-single-day-of-my-life-no-matter-what-and-no-matter-where-I'm-going.
My thick wool sweaters have been relegated to the back of my closet and I’ve made room for light cottony cardigans. I have a front porch so I put a rocking chair on it and as far as my speech goes my family thinks I’m crazy as a June bug.
Some of the Southern sayings I’ve tired out with limitedsuccess here in Ohio are…
Oh! Bless your heart..." My kids think this is sort of adorable but actually this expression is commonly used when Southerners need an excuse for speaking ill of someone. Example- "She's as ugly as a mud fence, bless her heart." Even though the line was an insult it is made better by showing that you, in a way, feel sorry for the person.
And of course there’s Well Butter my butt and call me a biscuit. The fam thought I’d hit the vodka when I tried this one.
She looked like she’d been ridden hard and put away wet. I’ve used this one a lot all my life. That’s what I get from living so close to the Kentucky border.
He could sell a Popsicle to a lady wearing white gloves. Meaning the individual is so good at persuasion that he or she could talk his or her way into anything. The sales lady at Macy’s ran when I tried this one.
You can't get blood from a turnip. Meaning you can't get something from someone who doesn't have it. My accountant got this one right off the bat.
Madder than a wet hen and He's like a bull in a china shop and Cute as a bug’s ear. I’ve used these for years too so the fam didn’t blink an eye when I started working them into the conversation.
We were just sittin' around chewin' the fat. The kids told me I needed more veggies and fruit and forget the fat
Don't count your chickens before they hatch. I used this one on my next door neighbor and she was tickled pink she’d be
She was all over him like white on rice. I used this one on my other next door neighbor and she smacked her husband upside the head. Guess it hit a little too close to home.
You can't see the forest for the trees. Is another one I’ve used tons but my new favorite is Easy as sliding off a greasy log backwards.
So, next time you find yourself sittin' around chewin' the fat and sippin' on some sweet tea think about your favorite sayings Southern or otherwise and let me know here what it is and I’ll work it into Demise in Denim, book four of the Consignment Shop mysteries.
Go whole hog today and have yourself a mighty fine time.