Southern Sayings From My Grandfather
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Southern Sayings From My Grandfather

These are super Southern sayings that actually come out of my grandfather's mouth on a daily basis.

Southern Sayings From My Grandfather
Tracy Dunn

My grandfather is a true southerner and dang proud of it. He grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge and was raised on good manners and sweet tea. He claims that “down South, people have sayings that Yankees don’t understand”, and he provided me with a list of those very sayings to share with you.

1. “Haul freight”

This phrases means to hurry up because you have something else to do. A similar saying is haul tail.

2. “Pour Happy”

This description of an outlook on life is kind of self explanatory but can be expanded into the phrase: “I’m so broke I can’t buy a penny box of matches, but I’m so happy I don’t care if syrup goes to a dollar a sop.” These sayings mean that you’re happy even without money.

3. “You’re fixing to lose a nub.”

When you hear this phrase it means that you need an attitude adjustment, and real quick. Symbolizing a slap on the wrist but really meaning “if you don’t move your hand you’re going to lose a finger.

4. “He was whistling loud.”

This means that this person is afraid of the dark and more specifically what is out in the dark. Whistling loud in the dark is a quick injection of false courage. It was believed that if you were walking some where at night that whistling would keep away the haints and boogers.

5. “His front porch light ain’t burning.”

This means that a person is in the dark, but plain and simple, if you say this about a person then they are stupid.

6. Possum Hunting

Obviously no one actually goes hunting for possum, those large rats aren’t good for anything, especially game. This phrase is used to describe the action of chasing women, although I wouldn’t want to be called a possum. This is the excuse that mountain boys gave for the reason that they were staying out late at night.

7. Brewing Lighting

This is a phrase used to describe the making of illegal whiskey. Illegal or bootleg whiskey has several names like Moonshine, some people just call it shine, all of the old saintly women called it the Devil’s brew, but some knew it as White Lightning.

8. “Put out to pasture”

This phrase means that someone was kicked out of the house.

9. “Spoon rations”

This is a way to describe good home cooking. It’s not something that you can get out of a paperbag, unwrap from a store, or eat with your hands. But something that you eat off a plate around a table with people that you love.

10. “Tan your hide”

If you hear this phrase in reference to yourself then you better run, but don’t you dare turn your back because you’re about to get a good beating.

11. “Ain’t that a cute thing”

Really meaning that (usually a person) is as ugly as sin. The key to this phrase is stretching out the “i” sound; “Ain’t she a cute thiiiiiing.”

12. “Don’t let the grass grow.”

This means that you need to get a move on and don’t let the grass grow under your feet because you’re too lazy or too slow.

13. “A young coon for running and an old coon for cunning.”

This phrase means that a young person doesn’t have enough experience to know how to do something right away and usually does more running around than anything else. An older person with more experience knows how to do something right in the first try. I’m pretty sure I know exactly what this saying means but my grandfather says that I won’t truly understand it until later in life.

I’m not going to lie, even I have to ask what my grandfather means sometimes, but I love him and our Southern roots.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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