20 Expressions That Only Make Sense in the South
Do your Yankee friends from over Yonder get madder than a wet hen trying to figure out your deep south slang? We're helping our Northern neighbors by breaking down the best Southern expressions; show them our list and they'll be walking in high cotton in no time!
This means something is messed up, crooked, or off-center.
You need to straighten that picture frame because it looks all catawampus.
- Over Yonder
"Over yonder" means "not here." This is just one of those beloved but befuddling phrases we all use even though it's wildly inaccurate and doesn't refer to any finite amount of distance. Yonder can be across the room or across state lines. Good luck trying to figure that one out.
Honey, can you bring me my phone? I left it over yonder.
If you think "coke" means Coca-Cola, you are wrong. Down here, we call all sodas 'cokes.' You can come to my house and I'll be like, "You want a coke?" If you say yes, I'll ask you what kind. This drives my Yankee friends CRAZY. Mountain Dew is not Coke, they'll scowl. I don't make the rules, dude. Y'all just smile and say thank you or I'll give you TAB.
I'm fixin' to go to the store; y'all better let me know what kind of cokes you want.
- Fixin' To
If I'm 'fixin' to' do something, I'm about to do it. Stating that you are 'fixin' to' do a task is to imply that you plan to complete said task in the immediate future.
Don't put your red shirt in the washer 'cause I'm fixin' to do a load of whites.
- Yay Big
Here's another infuriatingly vague measurement for y'all! You use this phrase when you're trying to describe the size of an object; this is an idiom that's usually accompanied by a hand gesture. You use your hands to show the size of the object you're describing and say that it's 'yay big.' True, you could just say it was 'this big' or 'about this size,' but why would you do that when you can say 'yay big' and troll some Yankees in the process?
I'm looking for a new curtain rod for a window that's about yay big.
- Walking in High Cotton
When you're walking in high cotton, you're on top of the world. Everything is awesome, and everything is a-ok.
When Bama won their 25th SEC Championship, everyone in Tuscaloosa was walking in high cotton.
- High on the Hog
This is another phrase that people find hilarious and confusing. The idiom sounds like Lindsay Lohan at a pig rodeo or what happens to you if you huff bacon grease, but that's not the case. If you're 'high on the hog,' you have money. This is a phrase that originated back in the day, when us poor folks could only afford cheap cuts of pork--the cuts that came from the legs, belly, etc. Rich people were the only ones who could buy the cuts from higher up on the pig, so when you're 'high on the hog,' you're able to eat better, to spend more money.
I finally got to go to OvenBird in Birmingham Tuesday, and let me tell y'all, I felt like I was high on the hog all night!
- The Devil Is Beating His Wife
People say this when it's raining but the sun is still out. As a kid, this confused the ever-loving you-know-what out of me. Like, he's the Devil. Why would he even HAVE a wife? Wouldn't he be too busy stoking the fires of eternal despair to, you know, commit to the bonds of matrimony? And what awful person was like, Hey, this is a strange weather phenomenon; what better way to describe it than with a joke about domestic violence! NOT COOL.
Look out the window over yonder; the devil is beating his wife.
If a Southerner says tea, she ain't talking about a cup of Earl Grey. She's talking about iced sweet tea, the house wine of the South. TEA is, by default, sweetened iced tea. Everything else is an anomaly. I was in Louisville once and ordered tea and the server brought me a cup of hot Lipton tea. I was like, WHAT EVEN IS THIS GARBAGE I AM NOT IN ESSEX I AM IN THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE DERBY AND DAISY BUCHANAN WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ZELDA FITZGERALD DO Y'ALL NOT HAVE ANY TEA UP IN HERE? Look, I'm serious about my tea. Stop judging me.
Honey, pick up another gallon of Milo's tea at the store. And pick up a gallon of unsweetened tea, too.
- Knee High to a Grasshopper
This is a phrase that we use to talk about the time when a person was a child. To know someone when he was 'knee high to a grasshopper' is to have known him since he was very young.
I've been a Bama fan since I was knee high to a grasshopper.
- Chunk It
This phrase isn't exclusive to Waffle House, y'all. If you chunk something, you're throwing it away.
After losing to Bama for the second year in a row, a teary-eyed Gus Malzahn looked at his 'State of Auburn' t-shirt and said to himself, "CHUNK IT."
- All Get Out
You can use this phrase instead of saying 'very.' You can be tired as all get out, mad as all get out, hungry as all get out, etc., whatnot, and whathaveyou.
Ohio State fans are dumb as all get out.
- Bless Your Heart/God Love Her
SHADE. You can basically insult someone ten ways to Sunday and follow your barrage of insults with these phrases to still appear a sweetheart. We Southern ladies aren't mean--to your face. LOL.
God love her; she really thought LSU could beat us this year. And she thinks that those god-awful colors look good on her. She looks like a bourbon and corndog dumpster fire; bless her heart.
- Month of Sundays
This means "a long time." When I was a child, I thought it literally meant 28-31 weeks because I was dumb.
I haven't seen her at the gym in a month of Sundays.
- That Dog Won't Hunt
This means something is pretty much useless--the idea behind the phrase is that a hunting dog that won't, you know, hunt isn't good for much of anything.
I try to drag myself to the gym, but when it comes to me and exercise... that dog won't hunt.
- Hell and Half of Georgia
Oh man, my mom says this all the time and it makes me lose it. If you've ever spent all day trying to find a particular toy or item, and you've driven from store to store to store, congratulations! You've driven "all over hell and half of Georgia!"
Traffic in Birmingham was a nightmare so I took some backroads and ended up driving all over hell and half of Georgia before I got to I-65.
- Finer than Frog Hair
Do frogs even have hair? We Southerners are weird. I'm sorry. This phrase means that something is very fine or very narrow--just like the "hair" on a frog.
This mascara is a miracle worker, because my natural lashes are finer than frog hair.
- No Account
You use this phrase to describe a bad person or someone who is lacking in skill.
As a person, Guz Malzahn is great, but as a coach? He ain't no account.
- As Dumb as a Bag of Hammers
If you had a bag filled with hammers, how many brain cells would be in said bag? None, right?
As a QB, Jeremy Johnson is as dumb as a bag of hammers.
- Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit
If you took this phrase literally, you would have a lawsuit on your hands. This is just one of those idioms we fall back on when we're conveying shock or surprise. You could also say "Shut the front door!" Just do what you feel.
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit! Auburn's playing in the Birmingham Bowl!