Some of the links below may be affiliate links, view our disclosure policy.

Curious as to what your favorite southern phrases mean? This list of southern slang words and their meanings should help, and provide a laugh if you’re not southern!

Old trailer in woods.

 I grew up in Georgia.. I still live in Georgia.. I never want to leave the South. People here are AMAZINGLY sweet and sassy and it’s a culture you can’t help but love. With that culture comes some of the greatest saying you may ever hear, to us Southerners it’s just normal talk but to others I realize the southern slang may not be so easy to understand.

I am here to help with that…

Favorite Southern Slang

“Well Bless Your Heart”  This one has two meaning, you’re either being called an idiot or it’s a true term of sympathy.. it’s all in the tone.

“He’s as useless as tits on a bull” Well, bulls do not have these.. cows do my friend. So tits on a bull serve no purpose and are therefor useless.

“Poop or get off the pot” (poop isn’t generally used here) make a decision or stop worrying about it.

“Ya Dern Tootin'” Meaning they agree with you (I admit, I use this too much for own good).

“Uglier than sin on Sunday” This one should be self explanatory, you’re not an attractive person to put it nicely.

“Well Shit fire and save the matches” My grandmother said this, often, even when she had Alzheimer (the true Southern in ya never leaves!) it means you’re in complete shock or surprise. It comes from the idea of lighting a match, after going to the bathroom, to eliminate the smell – so you could save the match by “shitting fire” instead.

“You look rode hard and put up wet” Don’t get a dirty mind with this one, it’s referencing a horse rode hard throughout the day and not walked off afterwards. You’re tired and exhausted.

“Drunk as cooter brown” Cooter Brown was a character who constantly stayed drunk to avoid the draft, so simply put.. you’re drunk as ever.

“Drunk as a skunk” Skunks, like other animals, eat fermented fruit which, as we all know, can make you tipsy! Why did this phrase come from that? Who knows! My guess is someone saw a drunk skunk and ran with it.

“I’m so T.U.R.D tired, I could F.A.R.T faint” Now I will be honest, I am not sure if this phrase is just something my own granny came up with but I still say it to this day!

“I’m full as a tick” Ever seen a tick after suckin’ blood for a few days? They swell right up! It’s the same for after eating a large meal. (thanks Angee!)

Simple southern slang

“Buggy” aka shopping cart, we prefer to make up our own words for objects though.

“Used to could” I used to be able to do that, now I can’t (simple, right?).

“Skedaddle now” aka get out of here or “go on now”.

“Gussied up” Dressed up or “snazzy” looking aka you’re not wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

“Supper” The meal that comes after dinner which is the meal that comes after breakfast, we don’t have lunch down here…

“I’m just hunky dorey” You’re happy, that’s all there is to it.

“Fixin’ to” I am about to do this or that (really this ones easy).

“cattywampus” Meaning screwed up or out of place.

“Over yonder” Over there, duh!

“Coke” aka anything that fizzes or soda, soda pop for the Yankees (coke was born in the south and we prefer to reference everything with carbonation down here as Coke).

“Ain’t” are not, is not.. whatever you want to say.

“Umpteen” A lot of times or countless times.

Other southern slang expressions

“Tan your hide” You’re in for a good whoopin’…

“Sweatin’ like a whore in church” Actually refers to being overly hot and sweaty (because the humidity here is HORRIBLE) much like an uncomfortable prostitute in church.

“Too big for his britches” That guy (or gal) thinks too highly of themselves and needs to bring it down about 5 notches.

“She was just knee-high to a grasshopper” Seriously short, short enough to be compared to a random insect. Often used when someone hasn’t seen someone since they were younger/smaller.

“Snug as a bug in a rug” Meaning extremely comfortable.

“My eyeballs are floatin'” This person has to pee, plane and simple, and they’re apparently so full it’s reached their eyeballs.

“Madder than a wet hen” He or She is royally pissed off, I mean.. just imagine a wet hen running around. They’d be pretty pissed, right?

Do you have a favorite saying not listed?
I know many families have their own versions so feel free to share it below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Amy Buritz says:

    Anyone know what “in the get” means?

    1. Most sayings ANYWHERE can usually be understood by context!…for instance an animal would reasonably be expected to be unhappy if wet, therefore “madder than a wet hen” would reasonably be understood to mean EXTREMELY ANGRY!

    2. In the know. As in you are in ” the loop”

  2. You are very funny. I needed to laugh tonight to take off an edge. 😀 Thanks for the humor.

  3. Southerngurl13 says:

    i say alot of times: “Y’all are nuts.”

    1. I’ve been known to say “you lot” in place of “all of you people”, but I’m not British!(just an Anglo phile!)

  4. aww sugar pie honey bun.
    which is what i use when someone is sad and i tried my best to make them smile.

    1. I can see Tuesdey. As a lady it means that your lady parts are exposed and to cross your legs!

  5. Lee’me–If you don’t lee’me alone, i’ma gonna take the long hair on your head, and tie it to the short hair on your ass, and lasso you to a fence post.

    1. MakerScout says:

      Never heard that, but it is now in my repertoire of “the last straw warning”

    2. Mary Alice smith plays rough

  6. Rick Girt says:

    (He or She) was so ugly (he or she) could make a train take a dirt road!

  7. “Nuttier than a squirrel turd”

  8. Kelly Terry says:

    How about hotter than 2 dollar pistol or tougher than 2 dollar steabk

  9. I have a few. I say, Cut the cheese, or shooting bunnies.

  10. Y’ont to? Do you want to?

  11. Anita Lentz says:

    Have you heard this one? My Daddy used to say it when he talked about us girls growing up.
    “Kitten for to make cat britches” meant one day us “kittens” would be all grown up and wearing “cat britches”.
    Daddy had lots of sayings. Here are a few more.
    “Tired (pronounced “tarred”) as if I ironed (pronounced “arnd”) all day.
    “Black as Old Toby’s hat”.
    If we did something kinda stupid we were “Dumb Dora”.

    Thanks for sharing! You brought back lots of great memories for me!

  12. Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine!

    What’s for supper? Poke and grit, poke your feet under the table and grit your teeth!

    Hard rain= turd floater

  13. missing a lot of them!
    • i’ll knock you into the middle o’ next week!
    • he’s tighter than Dick’s hat band (stingy)
    • he couldn’t pull p*ss from a boot with directions on the bottom (dumb)
    • who ya travelin with? ( where’d you come from)
    • that’s slicker then whale sh*t (smart, a good idea, brand new & shiny)
    • you don’t know sh*t from Shine-ola (dumb)
    • hotter than the back hinges of hell

    i’m forgetting many more, i’m sure!

  14. what in tar nation, bet your bottom dollar, hankerin’ , kiss my go to hell, did you close the gate??? jk that’s not southern slang we just all know it lol

  15. Going up a chicken’s ass to see an egg plant, want to come along?

  16. Well. Crap and jump under it!

  17. Shelle Raines says:

    I’m ‘fixin to’ get ‘out yonder’ and ‘rassle up’ a ‘mess of collards’ for supper. If ya’ll don’t help, then Memaw is gonna ‘tan yo hides’ with a ‘switch’. Ya’ll know she’s ‘as crazy as a sack full of squirrels’.

  18. In MS when we say knee high to a grasshopper ,we are referring to when you were younger and smaller.

  19. Oh my gosh. I have said everyone of these in my live…a lot. Lolol. I am a True Southern girl

  20. So interested says:

    Down south in Australia, we say “he’s a stubby short of a six pack” if someone’s not all there.

  21. Dryer than a popcorn fart. Dumber than a cow Pissin on a flat rock.

    I’ll put a pump knot on your head that soap and water won’t wash off.

    Nervous as a cat on a tin roof.

    Slicker than snot on a doorknob.

    Colder than a well diggers ass.

    1. Useless as tits on a boar hog.

  22. My mother used to say that something had “wore her out” it could be the kids the day her mother …just fill in the blank. My moms long gone but I miss her still.

  23. karen a powell says:

    You’d scare the dogs off of the back of a meat wagon.

  24. Lemme know = Let me know
    You better walk right = there’s a police officer here, straighten up

  25. “She was just knee-high to a grasshopper” Seriously short, short enough to be compared to a random insect

    I always took this to mean When they were younger,or a child.

  26. Linda Potter says:

    Cut off my head and call me shorty.

    When drinking beer, my brothers claimed that:
    There’s a pork chop in every can.

    Party til the porch falls off.

    Daddy thought his children were too close as adults. He said that we:
    Lived in each other’s back pockets.

    My younger brother was talking before he was a year old, very intelligent and interesting but when he drank a little too much, only repeated:
    Well, see how you are.

  27. We also say tee tee instead of pee a lot of the time. “I’m full as a tick”, “Good God Almighty!” “Colder than a witch’s tit”, “I gotta pee so bad I can taste it!”, “Gotta pee like a big dog/race horse.”, “Come Hell or high water”. “Can I get a shrimp po-boy dressed?” Dressed means with all the condiments.

    1. Paul W. Anderson says:

      That’s a N’Awlins thing!

  28. My grandmother always said “Shit Fire Fuzzy”. No clue what she meant by that but it’s been something that stuck with me for ever.

    1. Crystie Stines says:

      Omg This is exactly why I was on here because my Memaw, who only passed in June 2023 at 88, always said this (well, she added a little more to it, “Shit fire fuzzy in a cat’s asshole!”,) when I was a kid. I remember just laughing and giggling bc us kids never heard my grandmother say any cuss words whatsoever! And when she said Shit she wouldn’t use the vowel sounds, like pronouncing it as Shhhhtt. I just asked my mother what in the world this meant and she said I have no clue but I heard her say this my whole life.

  29. Tom Wilson says:

    Shit fire and save the matches meaning is related to going to the #2 and afterwards you would typically light a match to canvas the smell. Well when you shit fire , you are in essence saving the match. This could be addressed after eating a bad meal and feeling overall lousy.

  30. Country kid says:

    At my house we say “sure as shit” a LOT!

  31. Sheila Spencer says:

    High as a kite – very drunk
    Crazy as a bedbug- very mentally off
    Get your ducks in a row – get organized, have a plan
    Not up to snuff- don’t fell well
    Hold your horses- wait a minute
    Off his rocker- crazy
    It’ll knock your socks off – very surprised, or very good

    1. Fran Grimes says:

      Crazy as a betsy bug whatever that is.

  32. Fran Grimes says:

    Even though wet hens don’t get mad! I’m from Alabama and a lifelong resident. I’ve heard all these so many times. I love the south and wouldn’t live any where else.
    My mother in law would say “it’s coming up a cloud” meaning a storm was coming our way.

  33. I love this list. I always had to go break off my own hickory switch to be whooped with, and eat “pimenter” cheese on “light” bread

  34. Nervous as a whore in church. Throw a hissy fit.

  35. Don’t forget to “look” the mailbox. Gotta go “look” the garden.

  36. she’s ugly as homemade sin. Pretty much self explanatory. Meaning= butt ugly.Boy, that teacher will make you “walk the chalk line”. Meaning she will make you behave.

  37. Paul W. Anderson says:

    Now you understand why my mothers family in Illinois would just stare at me when I was a kid and tried to respond to a question!!

  38. huntsalone says:

    don;t knock on the devil;s door he may open it to y;all