Sometimes when you visit the South, it seems as though you need a translator. This is because there are quite a few southern sayings that people from the South choose to use. Most of which others have never heard before.
If you are from the South yourself, you know that sometimes, using these sayings is the best way to get your point across effectively. At least in the South.
There are several different Southern sayings to learn when visiting the South. In fact, many of them are based on whatever mood the person using them is in.
When a Southerner is Angry
Southerners have a unique flair for dismissing anger by making it sound ridiculous to lose your cool. As a result, the expressions they use to describe someone who is angry may not make sense to someone who hasn’t heard them before.
Once you know these sayings, not only can you avoid asking for a translation, you can use them yourself to add a little levity when someone else is bringing things down.
- His knickers are in a knot.
- They are pitching a hissy fit.
- He’s pitching a hissy fit with a tail on it (a little angrier.)
- She’s got a burr in her saddle.
- She has a duck fit (Worse than a hissy fit.)
- She has a dying duck fit (The worst of them all.)
Southern Sayings About Vain People
Southerners are masters at insulting people in a way that either sounds like a compliment or will make you chuckle. If you ever hear someone from the south say one of the statements below about someone, they’re letting you know that person thinks a little too highly of themselves.
- He’s so stuck up he’d drown in a rainstorm.
- She has her nose so high in the air she could drown in a rainstorm.
- He’s stuck up higher than a light-pole.
- He thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.
When Southerners are Happy
True to form, Southerners rely on a lot of similes when discussing happiness. To make sure you know exactly how happy something makes them, they relate their feelings to lots of situations that you should understand are blissful.
- Happier than an old Blue laying on the porch chewing on a big old catfish head.
- He’s as happy as if he had good sense.
- Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.
- Well that just dills my pickle.
- Grinning like a possum eating a sweet tater.
Other Fun Southern Sayings
You’ve likely heard some of the sayings in the list below. These are some of the most common and colorful sayings used in the south.
- Well bless your heart: When someone says this to you, it’s the very polite southern way of telling you that you’ve done something dumb or terrible.
- Let’s go down yonder: The southern way of asking you to go somewhere.
- If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay under the porch: You’re not getting any sympathy here if you’re struggling so just step aside and stay out of the way.
- She’s about as useful as a screen door on a submarine: We can’t count on her for anything.
- That sticks in your throat like a hair in a biscuit: What you say when something is really hard to take or bear.
- He was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs: This one’s a pretty obvious, but colorful way of explaining how nervous someone is about something.
- She couldn’t carry a tune if she had a bucket with a lid on it: She’s a terrible singer.
- She’s busier than a cat covering crap on a marble floor: She’s really active.
- Busier than a moth in a mitten: Same as above.
- Running like a chicken with its head cut off: Dashing around frantically and lacking focus or direction.
- He squeezes a quarter so tight the eagle screams: He’s stingy.
- He’s about as useful as a steering wheel on mute: He’s no help.
There are several Southern sayings out there that would probably confuse you if you heard them for the first time. Some of them are funny, some of them are endearing but all of them are important to those from the South.