45 Southern Phrases - You May or May Not Understand or Have Heard!

Y'all listen up - here is what people from the south really mean when you hear some of these phrases.  And guess what...

You might hold a soft spot in your heart for the South if you have ever been invited to "supper".

1. Access road : Service road; the road that allows you entrance to the highway.

2. (A) mind to: To consider doing something.

3. Aren’t you precious? Most always said sarcastically in response to someone being offensive (i.e., if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all).

4. Being ugly: This has nothing do with physical appearance — instead it means misbehaving.

5. Barking up the wrong tree: Being mistaken or misguided.

6. Be able to see to Christmas: Something Grandma would say when she thinks your skirt is too short — you can see clear to the top of the Christmas tree!

7. Bless your heart: A seemingly empathetic phrase usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet but misguided or stupid or when they believe the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it; when said sarcastically, dumbass.

8. Britches: Pants or underpants.

9. Cattywampus: Sideways or crooked.

10. Catty-corner:  Diagonal to something, like catty-corner buildings on a street.

11. Citified: Urban, sophisticated and not country in any way.

12. Clicker: Remote control.

13. Coke: We may mean Coca-Cola, but they may mean any other carbonated beverage. If you order a Coke in a restaurant, do not be alarmed if they ask you what kind.

14. Commode: Toilet.

15. Doesn't have a pot to piss in:  Really, really broke.

16. Dressing: No, not the stuff you put on salads. This is the stuffing that goes in or alongside a turkey.

17. Eyeballs are floating: Need to use the bathroom very badly (could also be back teeth).

18. Fixin' to: About to do.

19. Fly off the handle: Totally lose it.

20. Get the short end of the stick: Get cheated, or get an unfair deal.

21. Give me some sugar: Give me a kiss.

22. Good ol' boy: A male who tends to enjoy challenging situations; tends to be rambunctious and often enjoys hunting, mudding and fishing.

23. Hissy: Shorthand for a hissy fit — a grown-up tantrum as bad as a toddler would throw.

34. Hold your horses: Be patient.

25. Holler: To let someone know something. Example: Holler at me when you’ve put the kids to bed, and we can grab a drink.

26. Idjit: Idiot.

27. If the creek don’t rise: If nothing bad happens, then everything will go as planned.

28. Muddin': A pastime involving driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle in the mud with the goal of nearly losing control.

29. Nervous as a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs: Nervous to the point of being jumpy; constantly on the lookout.

30. Off like a herd of turtles: Not off to a great or speedy start.

31. Tennis shoes: Athletic shoes of any kind, not just the kind you use to play tennis

32. Pitcher: Not a pitcher on a baseball team, but a plastic container to hold tea or lemonade.

33. Playing possum: Playing dead (as a possum does to escape danger); also used when someone is feigning sleep.

34. Reckon: To suppose or believe something is true.

35. Rode hard and put away wet: Unbelievably exhausted, like a sweaty horse that just got put back in the barn.

36. Run with the big dogs: Taking a risk or making a big decision that could have serious consequences.

37. Snake in the grass: A conniving person who could strike at any time without warning.

38. Squeeze a quarter so tight the eagle screams: Describes a person who's very, very cheap.

39. Supper: Dinner.

40. Sweeper: Vacuum.

41. Tore up: Broken

42. (To) carry on: To continue on foolishly, usually referring to a tantrum or fit.

43. (Too) big for your britches: To take yourself too seriously.

44. Upside: The long way of saying “up,” like smacking somebody upside the head.

45. Stompin’ grounds: Your hometown or where you’re from.

So there you have it.  While I've heard all of these phrases my entire life, I can't say I've used ALL of them.  Just  a good percentage!

March 03, 2017 by Lisa Blankenship