Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I do declare...


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 limited
success 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
getting fresh eggs

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.

Hugs, Duffy  

33 comments:

Book Dragon said...

nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Duffy, when I moved to Texas, I started "collecting" the sayings I'd never heard before as I grew up in western NY. A few of my faves: "Well, slap me naked and sell my clothes." And "I didn't fall off the stupid truck." And "as cold as a brass commode in the shade of a glacier." I used many of these sayings in my Yellow Rose mysteries because I felt as though I'd learned a foreign language!

Melanie Backus said...

Duffy, I love your post! I have lived in Texas my whole life so I have definitely heard many sayings. Of course, I use a few myself!

Bless Your Heart is probably my most used.
I Don't Know Him From Adam's House Cat
The Apple Doesn't Fall far from The Tree
I Am Cold As A Frog

I could go on and on!

mauback55 at gmail dot com

mary kennedy said...

Love this blog, Duffy!! I've lived in Nashville and North Carolina so hearing these sayings was nostalgia time for me..

Duffy Brown said...

Oh, honey, I have used this here saying in my Consignment Shop mysteries a few times now. You have a good day now, ya’ hear.

Duffy Brown said...

Oh my, Leann, these sayings do take the cake. I thank you kindly for sharing this fine morning. We are like two peas in a pod.

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Melanie. Well now you do live a far piece from me and Texas is a mighty fine place to be, if you ask me. Thank you kindly for sharing your sayings, they are fine as frog’s hair, they truly are.

Duffy Brown said...

Howdy, Mary honey. It sure enough is fine hearing from you like this. We need to be getting together to chew the fat. I sure do miss you. You have a mighty fine day now, ya’ hear.

EllenSeltz said...

My grandmothers from Georgia and Alabama had a slew of sayings like this. If someone was very very sick, they were "hangin' on the drop edge of yonder." Which is completely different than being "like to die" - that just means you were embarrassed.
If it looks like rain, it is "comin' up a cloud". If it looks like a big storm, it is "comin' up a baaaad cloud."
Behavior that is vulgar or shameful, is "common as pig tracks". And a foolish person "ha'nt got the sense God gave him."
And you never ask someone to give you a ride or take you somewhere. It's carry. "Could you carry me to church on Wednesday?"

lavendersbluegreen said...

Oh my GOSH Duffy, I loved this post. I myself moved to Tennessee for a number of years and have family allover the South from Florida to Texas to North and South Carolina to Tennessee and more... So a girlfriend who was crossing the country to move there in 2007 as I was moving back here to Seattle just recently came home and we had the funniest conversation about just these colloquialisms.... here are some of my faves! I'm gonna pray for her. More likely said as Ima gonna praya fer hurah. She's so skinny she's gonna fall through her butt and hang herself. Which I have also said to someone as in your so skinny... Ima fixin to xxx. Then there is y'all vs all y'all. I was just telling some friends who were fixin to leave the restaurant we were at and one was walking the other home and returning and I said to her that I'd see y'all later and she was confused because she thought I meant both of them... I tried to explain ;)

Duffy Brown said...

Well now hi there Ellen. It sure is good to be hearing from you. He doesn’t have the sense that God gave little green apples is one of my favorite saying and I use it in the series all the time. Just added Like to die to my list as I didn’t have that one. I thank you kindly for stopping on by.

Duffy Brown said...

Hi. Lavender! Well now I sure am pleased to be hearing from you. You are sweet as pecan pie at Thanksgiving to be stopping by. I truly understand about needing to explain some of our more colorful sayings from time to time. Keep in touch now, ya’ hear. Hugs

Maggie Sefton said...

I've heard these expressions all my life, Duffy. :) I'm a Virginian and grew up in Northern Virginia---Arlington---a stone's throw across the Potomac.. But my mother and family were born and grew up in Southern Virginia so they used a lot of those wonderful old sayings and I always got to visit with my aunt and uncle near Richmond every summer. And you're always getting together with the neighbors and friends. While I was still married I lived in West Texas for 2 years and that's where I heard "fine as frog hair" for the first time. Young grocery store employee pushing my grocery cart with two small plastic bags to my car---God forbid you should have to carry your own bags---and he asked how I was that day. I said "Fine, thank you. How are you?" "I'm as fiiiiiiiiiine as frog hair, ma'am." Well, I like to tell you I grabbed that grocery ticket lickity split and scribbled down that great line of dialogue. I swear I'm gonna give it to my character Jayleen. Dialogue has to ring true coming out of a character's mouth. I just LOVE Texans. Daughter Serena has been in Houston for years---Med School, residency, NASA. So I get to visit regularly and just soak in all those Texas sayings. :) Gotta love it.

Duffy Brown said...

Oh Maggie, honey, I get your meaning. On occasion I call up my daughter and have her talk Southern to me so I can be getting my brain to function in that particular way. I love to visit Savannah to see the sights but most of all to hear the talk. Nothing nicer than Southern ladies chatting over a fine lunch of tomato sandwiches.

Annette said...

"I had to acquire the taste of sweet tea." You're kidding! Right!

Duffy Brown said...

Why hi there, honey. Sweet tea is indeed the fifth food-group right? The acquiring part was convincing all my Yankee friends of that fact.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Well, butter MY butt and call me a biscuit, I thought I'd fall off my chair laughing, Dufffy! Thanks for another great post.

XO

MJ

Lynda Turpin said...

Awesome post! I am SO into regional sayings. I actually keep a notebook with saying that I hear. Probably the one I used the most when I was in computer support was "S/HE'S DUMBER THAN DIRT". One I've never had a chance to use, but love is "BETTER GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS, 'CAUSE YOUR BUTT IS MINE". Here are some others that I've heard (or used). Some of them are very commonly used and some are less well-known:
What can I do ya for?
Slippery as a greased pig
Don't have a hissy fit
Don't get yer knickers in a knot
I'm so poor, I can't afford to pay attention
Lost as last year's Easter egg
No sense, no feeling
Kiss my go-to-hell
Poor as a church mouse
He don't have a pot to piss in
That dog won't hunt
Lower than a snakes belly
Useful as a steering wheel on a mule
He's so dumb, he could throw himself on the ground and miss
The porch light's on but no one's home
Who put a burr in your saddle?
If his lips is movin', he's lying
I'll knock you into the middle of next week
Hotter than blue blazes
Smooth as a hot knife through butter
He looks like 10 miles of bad road
So hungry my belly thinks my throat's been cut
That rain was a frog washer (or gully washer)
She looks like she was hit with an ugly stick (or fell out of an ugly tree or off an ugly truck)
I'm fit as a fiddle
Well shut my mouth

Anonymous said...

Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

Duffy Brown said...

You do go on, Mary Jane.

Duffy Brown said...

Sweet Lord above, these are downright amazing. I’m saving them this very minute and be assured I will indeed put "BETTER GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS, 'CAUSE YOUR BUTT IS MINE in Demise in Denim. Bless you.

Duffy Brown said...

Oh, I do love this. I’m adding it to the list and it’s goin’ in the book.

Carrie P said...

I moved from New Hampshire, you know one of those icy cold states up in the right hand corner of the map, to South Carolina. the 1st thing I learned, cussing is not considered a second language in the south and is highly frowned upon. 2nd. men NEVER wear tank tops out shopping or out to eat, even if it's 110 degrees out. 3rd thing I learned and this was a BIG one, Never EVER-ever-ever say "You lost the war, get over it." To a southerner. :)

Duffy Brown said...

Oh, Carrie, honey those are big things indeed. The unfortunate Northern Aggression is not taken lightly and manners do count.

Grandma Cootie said...

Sometimes I think Northern Indiana must be closer to the South than it is to Chicago, because I have used many of those expressions my entire life. Got some strange looks when I moved to California, but oh well.

And a method writer - love that!

Duffy Brown said...

HI, Grandma Cootie. I live in Cincy and feel the same way. Right across that river is KY and so full of Southern talk…and sweet tea and grits. :-)

Maggie Sefton said...

Can't help but reply another time, Duffy. :) People just don't know how GOOD fresh homegrown red tomatoes are with mayonaise on a slice of bread. Lord have mercy!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Duffy,

I really have enjoyed your Consignment Shop series. I am originally from Ohio, but have lived in Alabama 3/4 of my life so far. The expression I remember best of a Alabama born co-worker was that she took an airplane bath...washed just the nose, the wings, & the tail. She also would refer to anything that was very wet as juicy wet. I look forward to the release of Demise in Denim.

Vicki said...

And then there is one of my favorites that two of my sisters have used in regards to their children. "We had a come to Jesus moment." Meaning they put the fear of God, or at any rate their mother, into their children while setting them straight.

And don't forget - faster than a chicken on a june bug. (I don't think that one has been mentioned.)

Duffy Brown said...

HI, Vicki! Yes, come to Jesus meeting. I’ve used it in the books. Love it! Says so much in such few words. LOL

Jane Reads said...

Hey there, Duffy! How you been doin' today? I shore did enjoy this here article you wrote. I have another 'n fer ya.

I remember hearin' my grandpa tellin' about goin' to a restaurant. After he finished his meal, he asked the waitress, "What was behind the door?" What he meant was, what's fer dessert. She must not've been from around those parts, 'cause she went 'n looked behind the door.

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Jane. That is keey-slappin’ funny! I never head that expression before. Sounds like grandpa was right spry guy and slicker than snot on a doorknob. :-)
Hugs, Duffy

Georgette Tarnow said...

Dad lived his whole life in Chicago but often, when asked how he was, he would say, "Fair to middlin.'" And then he'd be asked if he was from Texas!

My fav when asked if I'm going to do a certain thing or go to a certain place -- instead of a simple yes -- "God willin' and the creek don't rise."