Days Gone By - stories from the past

FUNNY FRIDAY: Do you remember these funny sayings? Do you know more?

Our ancestors often had unique ways of turning a phrase. Have you ever heard these old sayings?


saying you can't lose

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Here are some more.

Good Lord willing and the crick {creek} don’t rise.” Usually expressed when agreeing to do something.

I hear you cluckin’ and I know your nest ain’t fur {far}.” Meaning: I understand or at least almost do.

Do you remember when you couldn’t do any work or task on Sunday? You will find in Cahaba Valley Church minutes that people who worked on Sunday were brought up in the Church Conferences for chastisement.

I remember hemming a dress on Sunday and my grandmother told me that because it was Sunday that “I should take all the stitches out with my nose.” That really made me think…how would I ever be able to take them out with my nose..it made me stop hemming the dress.

Another time I was whistling and she didn’t think that was ladylike so she gave me the following quote.

Whistling chickens and crowing hens….all will come to some bad end.”chicken running

Here are some more sayings from Rachelle Ray emailed me.

The “root hog or die”, I’ve always heard as “root hog or die poor” and papa used that one as in “you get in there and DIG for what you get or you do without”. 

Another one was “mad as a wet settin’ hen!”, which is kinda self-explanatory. 

Eatin’ high on the hog referred to the choice cuts which wealthier folks enjoyed (hams, ribs, loins, etc) while most folks made do with pigs feet, bacon, jowls, etc. 

There was also “drunk as Cooter Brown”.  Now, who “Cooter” was and exactly WHY he enjoyed such a high state of inebriation is anybody’s’ guess.

Do you know others?

Vinegar of the Four Thieves  -many people swear by this potent natural remedy for many illnesses – Would you like to know Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for Vinegar of the Four Thieves or how to make Ox Tail Soup? Discover this recipe as well as many household tips from the past in  Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past

See all books by Donna R Causey

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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242 comments

  1. More comments from my forebears from Alabama:

    He has no more courage than a snake has hips.
    Only fools’ names and faces are seen in public places.
    A woman throws out by the spoonful what her husband earns by the shovelful.

  2. There wasn’t anything funny about “God Willing and the Creek don’t rise” in the original the thought was: if the circumstances favor us we will do thus and so, but if God wasn’t willing and the Indians (creek) staged an uprising then the summer would be long and hot and we might suffer before it’s over.
    Creek was the proper way of referring to the Creek tribe, it wasn’t necessary to add an S to Creek since Creek was the whole tribe. This saying then, comes from the area where the Creek were to be found. They were not a large tribe, but they were fierce. I have a good friend and cousin who is part Creek, they lived in and around the southeast, with the Sauk, Fox, Cherokee and hundreds of other small tribes they participated in the “Long Walk” to Oklahoma.

  3. Laura Williams

    I heard livin’ high on the hog all of the time growing up 🙂

  4. Cathy Collins Sanders

    I read that ‘the crick don’t rise’ was actually ‘if the Creek’ don’t rise, referring to the Creek Indian Wars.

    1. Cathy you are correct. Creeks don’t rise refers to rising up in misbehavior by the Indians who first inhabited the area.

  5. Karla Calhoun

    My mom used to say I know its a grunt when she didn’t believe or agree with something. Ever heard of that one?

  6. Gerri Mooney Ballard

    Love these sayings; have heard them all my life. Picture makes me homesick for the mountains back when…..

  7. Claudia Swift

    I always heard it as “a whistling GIRL and a crowing hen…..” My granddaddy also used to say that this or that person was “grinnin’ like a jackass eatin’ briars”……and complained of people with large appetites that they could “eat up hell and drink Jordan dry.”

    1. Vertie Feagin

      Whistling girls and crowing hens will always come to a no good end !!! That’s what my grand parents would say !!

    2. Mama used to say “You ain’t just a whistling Dixie” meaning that it you were telling the truth

    3. My grandmother always said, ” a whistling woman and a crowing hen are fit for the devil, but not for men”.

  8. Russel Stewart

    “Finer’n frog hair.”
    “Fine as snuff and not half as dusty.”

  9. Granny used to say, He/she’s “as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers.”

  10. Good- old sayings- My grandpa would say when ready to go home, “Better head back over to needmore.” He had a bunch of good ones. I found this interesting-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooter_Brown

  11. One of my favorites is “fixing” as in “I’m fixing to carry y’all to town to get some cokes!”

    1. Another way to be “fixin'” us … “I’ fixin’ to get ready to go to town”. (or whatever).

  12. Faith Serafin

    My pawpaw used to say, “grinning like a jackass chewing briers” meaning someone was smiling real hard or maybe looking as delightful as a mule chewing briers could be. LOL

  13. Nan Hamby Duke

    I still hear and say some of these!

  14. Teresa Plaster

    You know the saying Lord will and creek don’t rise dates back to Indian uprising against the settlers. Meaning if the good Lord let’s me get back and the Creek Indians aren’t rising up. Thought you would like to know!

    1. Jane Patterson JansenvanRensburg

      Thanks for posting. Never knew that.

  15. David Brewer

    “from the stump out” Usually said of something that was ” made from scratch”.

  16. Susan Robertson Suits

    I say “useless as teats on a bull” in reference to someone who “wouldn’t hit a lick at a snake”

    1. Charles Cates

      My dad used to say “useless as teats on a boar hog” meaning something wouldn’t work in a certain situation

  17. Joshua Bailey

    My grandma still says “he was like 40 going north” and “just cause the cat gave birth in the oven don’t make her kittens biscuits”

  18. Sandra Booker

    I am not dumb did not fall off a turnip truck!!

    1. Greg Creech

      I always heard, “he’s dumber somebody that just fell off a turnip truck.” Or, “did you just fall off the turnip truck?”

  19. John Cockrell

    The way I heard it is “The Good Lord willing & The Creeks don’t rise” referring to the Creek Indians and The massacre at Ft. Mims.

    1. Carolyn Koeneke

      That’s interesting. The phrase…”The good Lord willin’ and the crick don’t rise…means I’ll do the thing mentioned unless unforseen circumstances keep me from it. The old saying is much more colorful!

    2. Connie Fanchier Pierson

      Lived in Alabama most all my life and have never heard anyone pronounce Creek, “crick”. I’m 56 years old, my grandmother (still living) is 97. We say Creek.

    3. John Cockrell

      The only time that I have heard the word crick used is when someone from the north is trying to make fun of someone from the south.

    4. Greg Creech

      I’m with Carolyn Koeneke: It means I’ll do the aforementioned thing unless unforseen circumstances prevents it. Always heard it used in that context and never any other. As for hearing people say “crick” instead of “creek”, I’m almost 68 and only heard it a few times. When I was really young, some of the real old-timers would say it.

    5. Kenneth H. Haughton

      @ Greg Creech; I heard some old timers say crick for creek; my paternal grand parents…both born and reared from Flint, Michigan..they lived in Edgewater, Fla. for 70 years and had stopped saying crick probably after they were almost 90…I’m getting there with a little luck; and never ever would say crick except if I got a catch in my neck…

    6. Paula Jane Summitt

      Yes. Creek Indians. Uprising

    7. Finally! Someone got it right. It refers to the Creek Indians & how a bit dangerous it could be with them in the area, always uncertain.

      Thanks folks. Andy Cooper, Sagle, Idaho

  20. Nancy Tosh

    Still use some of these sayings.

  21. Wayne Kilgore

    Wish it was still like that.

  22. They’re not sayings, rather words, but my grandfather used “hope” for help and “kiver” for cover. As in, I’ll hope kiver you up.

    1. My understanding was that “holp” was the past tense of “help.” It can be found in some of Chaucer’s writings and The Bible, so was valid at one time.

  23. Mark Ray Tosh

    Can’t bear that with a heifer stick. Heifer sticks were used to swat the cow up the loading ramp, made for hitting.

  24. Mark Ray Tosh

    You might get the ham but I will he a pork chop, you will know I was in the contest, fight.

  25. Donald Wheeles

    Sure do remember. Do not believe they were referring to Creek Indians, as I lived in the southern part of Ohio, and heard the same.

  26. Heard a good one just this morning.” It is as hot as a rooster in a chicken house with fresh hens.”

  27. Ann Q. Vise

    Tight as Dicks hat band

  28. Ann Q. Vise

    Poor as Jobs turkey

  29. Russel Stewart

    “Turn that light on off.”

    “Happy as a possum in a persimmon tree.”

    “Dumb as a 2 dollar mule.”

    “That boy’s so cock eyed he could look out the front door and count the chickens in the backyard.”

  30. Ann Q. Vise

    Hard as a ten penny nail

  31. I got one: My mom use to say ” ypur ass is grass and I’m a riding lawnmower!”

  32. Buffalo Dave Rudabah

    ” … she is the most lonesome girl I saw ! “

  33. Michele Bates

    Thats funny!
    I got one: my Mom use to say “your ass is grass and I’m a riding lawnmower!”

  34. I heard one the other day He don’t know if he’s hanging the wash or getting it in

  35. Carolyn Koeneke

    Looking for a hidden nest of eggs! Maybe a settin’ hen.

  36. I always heard ‘you look lower than a worm’s belly in a wagon rut,’ meaning a person was sad.

    Another was ‘knee high to a grasshopper,’ meaning short person usually a child.

    ‘I ain’t seen you in a month of Sundays,’ meaning it’s been a long time or ‘Since Buck was a calf,’ meaning a long time too.

    1. or “…since Hector was a pup.”

  37. Slayton Rice

    A lot of them sayings what and just southern people it was all the people back in the old days

  38. Karen Reid Stafford

    It will all come out in the wash my granny was always saying .

  39. Karen Reid Stafford

    He would not work in a pie factory .

  40. David Darty

    Useless as tits on a boar hog……

  41. I am more inclined to think that the phrase “the creeks don’t rise” refer to those things with water in them that tend to over run their banks and wash out roads and bridges in rural areas. When I was in elementary school in Alabama, (early 60’s) the buses that ran the routes back into areas with gravel roads (which I lived on) would be dismissed early when it began to rain heavily. However, I do admit that although I often heard the phrase, I never even thought to question it’s origin!

  42. Billy Allen

    If I tell you a chicken dips snuff you can look under its wings and find a can . Means you don’t lie. Hard headed as a lighter knot.

  43. Shirley Guthrie

    Useless as tits on a bore hog

  44. Adam Ensign

    “Crazy as a Bessie bug” …Not sure what a Bessie bug is..but it sounds pretty crazy.

  45. Larry Dillard

    Now this speaks volumns to me. I was born too late.

  46. “Sittin’ in high cotton” most of the time had an “h” added to the first word. Sort of self-explanatory.

  47. “He can’t pour water out of a boot with the directions on the heel”. (He is not very intelligent)
    “Fair to middling” (How a person is feeling. That saying came from how they used to grade cotton at the cotton mill).
    “Her lips were redder than a fox’s butt in poke berry picking time.”
    “Sweating more than a drunk (or whore) in church”.

  48. I could eat the south end of a north bound mule!

  49. A retired Salvation Army from NC used to say, “Let’s get to the wagon boys, these boots are killin’ me.”
    when it was time for employees to go home.

  50. Georgia Sechrest

    Amazing how I still use some of these phrases.

  51. Greg Creech

    A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.

  52. Greg Creech

    Dumb as a stump. Or – Dumb as a fencepost.

  53. Greg Creech

    About as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

  54. Greg Creech

    My Dad had a great many old sayings and I wish I could remember them all but one that really sticks in my head was once, when asked if he liked chitlins, he replied, “I could eat a chitlin from here to Andalusia with an intersection every mile.” We lived 25 miles from Andalusia so that would have been quite a chitlin.

  55. Greg Creech

    In referring to how far a distance someplace was, I remember hearing, “it’s just a hoot and a holler.”

  56. Greg Creech

    Referring to how lazy someone was, “He wouldn’t hit a lick at a snake.”

  57. Randalngina Robinson

    I’m so hungry I could eat the south end of a north bound mule.

  58. Randalngina Robinson

    Its raining hard as a double cock cow pissing on a flat rock.

    1. I’ve always heard one similar to that but it’s not decent enough to post here.

  59. Greg Creech

    Ain’t no sense beatin’ a dead horse.

  60. Greg Creech

    Ain’t no fish in that pond or ain’t no honey in that hive.

  61. Randalngina Robinson

    I used to manage a restaurant and when a old timer came in wanting a steak cooked…how you want it cooked… Rare…just knock its horns off wipe its but n turn it over twice. Lol

  62. Greg Creech

    In warning a child of the discipline they might receive: You won’t sit down for a month of Sundays. Or, I’ll wear them britches out for you.

    1. James Palmer

      or Don’t make me dust you off in front of company!

  63. Randalngina Robinson

    Those people think there rich…there eating high on the hog.

  64. Betty Holsen

    These brought back memories but some I still say.Mama also said things like “If that ain’t the truth then grits ain’t groceries”

  65. Randalngina Robinson

    When asked how much money you got….I’ve heard people say …we are standing in high cotton.Meaning we are about to have a big pay day

  66. Greg Creech

    Ain’t no sense in wastin’ yore breath or, you’re just wastin’ yore breath.

  67. Greg Creech

    No need to cry over spilt milk.

  68. Randalngina Robinson

    I wouldn’t trust him no farther than you can throw him.

    1. Good one. I always heard it, “Don’t trust him any further than I can throw a mule.”

  69. Greg Creech

    Might as well be as blind as a bat.

  70. Greg Creech

    If it was a snake, it would have bit you. Or – you couldn’t see it if was right under your nose.

  71. Greg Creech

    Like lettin’ a fox guard the hen house.

  72. Greg Creech

    Hard as hickory or hard as a rock.

  73. Greg Creech

    In referring to a given amount of time, “they’ll be there till the cows come home.”

  74. Greg Creech

    Well, if that don’t beat the band.

  75. Greg Creech

    Chickens (will) always come home to roost.

  76. Kenneth H. Haughton

    Never ever heard a real southener say “crick” other than to describe a painful “catch” in the neck…but I only been a totally unreconstructed southenener for just over 81 year…I’ll keep listening ’cause you seem determined – I ‘d wager you to like sweet cornbread and as well as sugar on your grits…?

  77. Greg Creech

    I’ll just take an old cold tater and wait.

    1. Melba Dingler

      Which came first? The saying or the song by Little Jimmy Dickens ?

    2. Greg Creech

      Not sure but my Dad used to say that often. When he was really upset he’d say, “Hell, I’ll just take an old cold tater and crawl under the house.”

  78. My great grandmother would use the phrase, “prettier than a speckled pup under a yellar wagon” which was a compliment for someone who was all decked out in a new outfit.

  79. David A. Crane

    A ‘crick’ is what you get in your neck….

  80. Jeffery Banks Sr.

    Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

  81. *My Dad had a great many sayings and I wish I could remember them all but one that really sticks out in my head is, once when asked if he liked chitlins, he replied, “I could eat a chitlin from here to Andalusia with an intersection every mile.’ We lived 25 miles from Andalusia so that would have been quite a chitlin.
    *No need to cry over split milk.
    *Ain’t no sense in wasting yore breath, or – you’re just wastin’ yore breath.
    *In warning a child of the discipline they might receive, “you won’t sit down for a month of Sundays” or – “I’ll wear yore britches out.”
    *Aint no fish in that pond or -ain’t no honey in that hive.
    *Ain’t no sense beatin’ a dead horse.
    *Referring to how lazy someone was, “He wouldn’t hit a lick at a snake.”
    *In referring to how far a distance someplace was, “It’s just a hoot and a holler.”
    *About as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
    *Dumb as a stump, or – dumb as a fencepost.
    *A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.
    *He’s dumber somebody that just fell off the turnip truck, or – did you just fall off the turnip truck?

  82. John Cockrell

    Maybe my favorite words of wisdom ” Never slap a man chewin tobacco”

  83. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

  84. That mule won’t plow.

    1. That old dog won’t hunt.

  85. Grinnin’ like a cheshire cat.

  86. Experience is always the best teacher if the lessons don’t cost too much

  87. Don’t get the cart ahead of the horse.

  88. Built like a brick outhouse.

  89. Brenda Harris Enfinger

    If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.

  90. Referring to how drunk someone was – He was 7 sheets in the wind!

  91. Play with fire and you’re gonna get burned.

  92. Roger Kelvin Russell

    “iam goin over yonder” or ” up or down yonder “

  93. Stephenie Holtkamp

    Extreme South Alabama ( Bon Secour / Bayou LaBatre ) .
    When wanting to know whether a small child was wary of strangers they would say , ” Does the baby make strange ?”,
    Never heard that anywhere else .
    Also agree that we don’t say crick … It’s creek or perhaps branch .

    1. Adrienne Jones Myers

      While both Bon Secour and Bayou La Batre are both in “Extreme South Alabama”, what made you name them? They aren’t neighbors. Bon Secour is NW of Gulf Shores and Bayou La Batre is S of Mobile. Just curious.

  94. I’m so hungry, my stomach thinks my throat’s been cut.

  95. Your barking up the wrong tree.

  96. Julia Cooper

    I sure have and still use today myself

  97. Billy Patterson

    Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit …(when someone does something unexpected)

  98. I don’t chew my meat twice, meaning I don’t repeat myself.

  99. We’re just chewin’ the fat, or – we’re just shootin’ the breeze.

  100. Happy as a cow chewin’ on cud.

  101. Said as an expression of surprise, “Well, I’ll just be damned and be dast.”

  102. My grandfather in moments of frustration would say, “Well, shoot fire and save matches.”

  103. Timothy Cook

    Look out “Red” the roads gettin boggy.

  104. Dan Dawson

    Our granddaughter wanted me to hurry up the other day and said “Dollar waiting on a dime”

  105. Glenda Rochester Hancock

    Every old crow thinks hers is the blackest.

  106. Glenda Rochester Hancock

    She don’t know if she’s washing or hanging out

  107. Vicki Brown Porter

    he/she ain’t got the sense God gave a billy goat.

  108. Nancy Stephens

    Yes I do and John Wayne said it in one of his movies

  109. I always thought it meant if everything goes ok ,etc. Interesting Creek twist as have relatives who are of the Creek nation, poarch tribe.

  110. Donald L. Burleson

    Dad used to say, ” ain’t got a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of.

  111. Donald L. Burleson

    Piss in one hand and want in the other. See which one fills up.

  112. Berniece Kasmeier Moore

    When describing how much you wanted more of food or something to drink, you would hear “just a tad”

  113. Heath Adams

    How bout picking a “mess” of okra!

  114. Ava Claudette Havard

    I still say some of them.

  115. Eddie Branch

    “Drunk as Cooter Brown” whoever he was. “Well, I’ll be John Brown”. I don’t know if Cooter and John were related.

  116. Eddie Branch

    “I’ll goin’ to get shut of that (name some possession)” meaning I am going to get rid of it.

  117. Eddie Branch

    “That man has enough money to burn a wet mule.”

  118. Eddie Branch

    “How are you doing?” Reply – “Fair to middling” which was an old phrase for an average grade of cotton.

  119. Eddie Branch

    My grandmother’s swear expression was, ” Well, I’ll swanny”. I don’t know how one would ‘swanny, nor do I know what a swanny is.

    1. Jessica Winfield Stone

      I don’t know what a swanny is either, but it sounds serious!

    2. I think “swanny” was short for “swear and be damned.”

  120. Steven Meredith

    “crick” is a term used by people in western New York and into the Ohio valley. I’ve only heard it in Alabama by people trying to be folksy and coming off hokey.

  121. Doug Horton

    its “Whistling women, & crowing hens” not chikens. Who ever heard a chicken whistle?

  122. James Palmer

    Ant nerry a one no better!

  123. Gary Carter

    Slap you naked & hide ur clothes!

  124. Gary Carter

    He ain’t rite all his dogs ain’t barkin!!

  125. Faye Sheffield

    I remember the 1st. one. I’ve actully used the 1st. one! I’m getting old!

  126. Michael Pruitt

    There is a town just north of Montgomery called Slapout. The name comes from the phrase being slap out of something which just means you don’t have any of the thing in question. There was a single store in that town that always was out of whatever people came into the store to buy. The store employees, when questioned about the availability of something would say “we’re slap out of that”. I remember by grandparents using that phrase.

  127. Charles Cates

    “He could eat sawbriars through a picket fence”

  128. Tricia Kendrick

    My Mama said, “I ain’t hit a lick at a snake all day”, which meant she didn’t do much that day.

  129. Pamelia Dianne Pate

    Sure do, my papa, missing him!

  130. Punkin Kendrick Goggins

    What goes over the ole devil’s back…is bound to come under his belly. Meaning, you reap what you sow.

  131. Michael Kendrick

    I know a guy that’s says of a morning I’ll get er dun

  132. George Yarbrough

    The saying about the “creek don’t rise,” actually referred to the Creek Indians and not to a creek waterway, meaning if the Indians didn’t attack. At least that is what Paul Harvey said several years ago.

  133. Michael Stallings

    i agree with some of the other comments…..this saying before and during the redstick indian war…..to me it meant good lord willing i can have another day if the creeks don’t rise

  134. Michael Stallings

    visites ft.mims last year….not alot there but walking around you can just feel the history

  135. My ggrandmother said of some of her relatives: “The buzzards laid them and the sun hatched them”

    Don’t think she cared much for them !!!!!!!!!!!

  136. Allen Bailey

    Straight as a Crow flies I use it all the time

  137. When I was out of work my Mamaw would ask me “Have ye found airy job of work yet?” Also if someone was poor she would say “They are broke as flat as the back of my hand.”

  138. Margaret Fleming

    Yes heard them all my life and i love them

  139. Marty Otinger

    Heard’em all I reckon. 🙂

  140. I’m so hungry I could eat a horse and chase the rider !!!

  141. that’s the truth and Truth will stand when the worlds on fire.

  142. You’re as jumpy as a frog on a freeway.

  143. He doesn’t know whether to cry or wind his watch.

  144. My all-time favorite was “Grinnin’ like a ‘possum eatin’ persimmons on a fine cool mornin'”.

  145. Clay Martin

    ” I be John Brown” ” A whisling woman and a crowing hen come to no good end” “Only ni****s are free”

    1. Cathy Sanders

      LOL We say “I be John Brown!” I’ve always wondered who John Brown was.

    2. Clay Martin

      He was a violent murdering abolishtionist from New York that was hung for leading an assault on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia to acquire more arms.Robert E. Lee led the unit that overcame and arrested Brown and his men at Harper’s Ferry.They were all either killed at Harper’s Ferry or hung later.Brown must have been quite a heavy in the South to have inspired that saying.

  146. Evelyn McBride

    The phrase is ” Good Lord willing and the Creeks don’t rise” from a telegram sent to Andrew Jackson about an invitation to his inaugural ball from the man left to keep peace here in Alabama.

  147. Karen Jones

    “Good Lord willing and the crick creek don’t rise.” I say this a lot. I picked it up from my granddaddy. We say “creek”.

  148. Billy Allen

    Grinning like a mule eating briars.

    1. Stephanie Murphy

      I’ve always heard this one as “grinning like a jackass eating sawbriars.”

  149. Logan Keith

    “Rougher than eatin a sack full of s*** with a knittin needle”

  150. Logan Keith

    “If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass everytime he hopped”. This would be in reference to not getting your way when you wanted too.

    1. Frog Price

      Watch it, pal. We may not need wings!

  151. Logan Keith

    “Up crap creek without a paddle”

  152. Logan Keith

    “Uglier than a poot in church”
    “Ain’t got a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of”
    “Worked like a borrowed mule”
    “Wish in one hand, spit in the other and see whichun fills up faster”

    1. Stephanie Murphy

      My Mama used to tell me to “try wishing in one hand and shucking corn in the other.” Same sentiment.

    2. Logan Keith

      Yep lol i’ve heard it several ways.

  153. You’d have to set pegs to see him move —- said about a slow moving person.
    Slicker than owl snot —- my dad always says this
    He’s got about as much business being here as a one legged man at an ass-kicking
    She’d lie when the truth would do
    That’s so good it would make you slap yore grandma

  154. Geni Mermoud

    Thanks for this article. The comments on the website are great! We use so many of these expressions even today in the South.

  155. Geni Mermoud

    Sara McFerrin, Author — I’m sure you have plenty to add. Click on the link above to get to the website and read the comments there.

  156. Geni Mermoud

    You’d have to set pegs to see him move —- said about a slow moving person.
    Slicker than owl snot —- my dad always says this
    He’s got about as much business being here as a one legged man at an ass-kicking
    She’d lie when the truth would do
    That’s so good it would make you slap yore grandma

  157. Gregg Odom

    Lord willing and the Creeks don’t rise makes me think of my dad. He talked about how Hank Williams always signed off his radio show with this saying in the early 50’s making it quite popular. But some believe that the Creek was actually referring to the Creek Indians sometime in the mid 1800’s.

  158. He lives in Plum-Nearly! My folks used this one to mean out of the city and nearly out of the country!

  159. Cindy Pratt

    “He/She could talk the horns off a billy goat.”

  160. D Martin Barnes

    “aint got the brains God gave a goat”

  161. David Mathews

    “Well, I’ll swannee.” (???)

    1. Martha Mills

      This is one my grandmother used to say. She kinda used it in place of a swear word when frustrated about something.

  162. Michael Stallings

    another one was {he,or she, can really pick em up,and set em down} meaning that person could really run fast….usually at or while watching a sporting event { football,,,foot races etc….i heard my parent’s aunt’s and uncle’s say it often.}

  163. Annie Cooper Perry

    the comments here referring to the creek indians is correct. And letter was written and in this letter the phrase was used good lord willing and the creek don’t rise. the creek uprising began around 1812 and the creek nation lost 23 million acres which is now most of the state of Alabama.

  164. Steven Meredith

    I don’t know -any- Alabama native who says “crick” when they mean to say “creek”

  165. Linda Grainger James

    Sheila Hill Colston, I know you know these!

  166. Geni Mermoud

    or my personal favorite — Full as a tick!

  167. Ethel Grimes Marshall

    “About as useful as a saddle without a horse!”

  168. My great aunt said this about her nursing home room “They ain’t enough room in hear to cuss a cat without gettin hair in your mouth”

  169. Kathy Baldwin

    Slower than molasses in winter.

  170. LeAnne Walton Carlisle

    “I’m a hanging in there like a rusted fish hook”. “Keep ya forked end down”.

  171. Sheila Hill Colston
  172. Ann Q. Vise

    Tight as Dicks hat band! What goes around, comes around! Lots more! Someone should write a book!

  173. LeAnn Elmore Wood

    My dad says “just hold your tater tooters!” when he wants me to slow down.

  174. Busier than a one-armed paper hanger.

  175. Daniel Henderson

    You had rather shave a wild bears ass with a dull razor than to mess with that old dog thats one of my favorite ol sayings it still crackes me up

  176. Danny Harrison

    How about “Hanging in there like a hair in a biscuit”

  177. Sharron Ayers

    Drunker than a cooter brown! I’m so busy, I ain’t got time to cuss a cat! My favorite “lord bless us and bind us. Tie our hands behind us and throw us in the ditch where the work can’t find us!”

  178. Elvis Jo Spraul

    Has anyone else ever heard this: cotton picking hands off my stuff

  179. Deana Harrison Hancock

    She looks like a popped can of biscuits in that dress. I love that one!

  180. Vince Lord

    It don’t make no difference nohow, don’t it?

  181. Well, I’ll Swanee!
    I’ll cloud up and rain on you!
    She’s ugly all over more’n any place else!
    That lil baby was so black his momma had to dust him in flour and make him toot to know which end to put the diaper on!

  182. Here is a few …

    … he lit out like a scalded dog.

    … if we had some eggs, we could have some ham and eggs, if we had some ham.

    … woulda, shoulda, coulda.

    … ain’t got sense to come in outa the rain.

    … T’aint or T’isnt

  183. Donna Bridges

    “The Lord willing and the creek don’t rise” came from when settlers were fighting the Creek Indians. FYI

    1. Marie Davis

      It was written by Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins with an upper case “C” in Creek.

  184. “It don’t make no difference, no how, don’t it now!” Not sure what that meant as I can’t keep track of all the negatives And if you misbehaved, “swat your bottom till it looks like a beet crying.” ….never happened.

  185. Skip Ayers

    Dark as midnight under a skillet.

  186. Skip Ayers

    Might as well. I can’t dance and it’s too wet to plow.

  187. Darby Weaver

    Well… The Choctaws are Rising – call is Creek if you like but fraud has no statute of limitations and the Supreme Court knows the difference…

  188. Karen Mellema

    He or she is about useless as a screen door in a barn.

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