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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!
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!