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I can remember my grandfather would always say the following when someone sneezed:
"Scat Tom--Your tail's in the gravy"
I'd be curious to know how this saying came about.
Back in my law enforcement days, I worked with an old guy that would keep me laughing constantly at some of his sayings.
I remember one night we went to a call where this guy was standing in the street "obviously very upset at something". Ted walked up to the guy and very calmly asked:
"What's the matter son, did you find a hair in your bread?"
The guy immediately went from being furious to uncontrolled laughing...I even lost it myself...We laughed at Ted's saying until we were crying. The young man finally composed himself enough to explain his problem. By then the laughing had him cheered up to the point he was OK.
I had a grandma and aunt from Chattanooga, so any slag I know is from them. To say the least, I've heard a good amount of these and more.
Like when my Aunt would get excited she'd say "Giddyup, giddyup!"
Hell, I'm from Chicago and people ask me where I come from all the time. Guess I naturally adapted the slang from when I was young. Nowadays when people say "Oh, I already did that." I'd just say "I gather." Instead of 'figures' or 'I figured.'
I still say 'that dog don't hunt' and course people around here get **** faced confused.
Ahh yes, and tabbogan... THAT was hillarious when my Aunt came in with her son, asked if anyone saw it cause Anthony was wearing it on his head. My mom just stared for a long time, wondering why a small child would wear a sled on his head.
"Mote" for remote. Yes, sadly that WILL confuse someone from Illinois.
And it's strange when people ask if I can teach em' to talk proper when around here, I can't talk proper worth my left leg. Not unless I have to of course.
Let's just be thankful that when I say 'Illinois' I don't pronounce the 's' like everyone country wide does. At least I have that much going for me.
TN bound was talking about great "southern slang" she heard while growing up in the South and I thought I would start a new thread on it.( and moved those here, just don't know why they went to the top, now a bit confusing, sorry)
I know growing up in CT, then spending years in FL, when I moved here to East TN, some people spoke in what I thought was a foreign language. It's not, it is just English mixed with Southern slang. hahhahaha So for some folks thinking of moving here, lets acclimate them to our "lingo" round these parts (see started already hahahhaha)
"Up the road a piece"- now this could mean 4 blocks or 40 miles.
"toboggan"- This is a hat that is worn in the winter to keep your head warm, not a sled. Yankees call them "ski caps"
"tickled"- this means you smiled or laughed, or made you very happy about what ever it was that "tickled" you. Not necessarily any touching involved. Example: "That gift I received just tickled me to death"
"mess"- This is an actual measurement. Example: "I gave my neighbor 3 mess of beans from my garden yesterday and she was so tickled" (see, they are used in conjunction with each other)
Ma-maw and Papaw- this is what grandma and grandpa are called here.
"fixen"- this means getting ready, has nothing to do with tools. Example: "I am fixen to go to the store."
I can't think of any other right now as I am putting myself on the spot to think of them hahahahha I am also so used to hearing them and even use them myself now.
As for great "southern" phrases:
"Bless your (her, his, their) heart"- This means you are empathizing with someone and wish them the best.
"I appreciate you"- This one is self explanatory and is really meant.
"As nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs"
"jaungry, jaeeetjet"- This is a question, Are you hungry? Have you eaten?
"Come in and sit a spell" This means welcome and stay as long as you would like to.
"in the floor"- This means something is on the floor. Example: "You left your towel in the bathroom floor"
Others can share here.
Don't get me wrong, I am by NO means picking on or criticizing the way anyone speaks. I think these are great words and phrases that are commonly used in this area. These phrases and words have been used and said for generations and it shows me that roots do run deep here and there is a great pride in family.
I am glad you mentioned "tobaggan", here for me in NJ it means a sled . I guess I would have looked a little confused at someone putting it on their head . I LOVE learning all these new phrases, maybe I wont look so blank when we are able to move down.
Most of the expressions mentioned in these posts are common to the entire Southern Appalachian region. Two of my favorites are "a right fur piece" (a considerable distance) and "a right smart bit ago" (quite a while earlier). "I seed him comin' down th' road," "I axed her whut her name wuz," "He tuck out a-runnin'" and other similar pronunciations can be traced to the time of Geoffrey Chaucer. While growing up in Virginia I heard my mother often use the expression "a Duke's mixture" to describe what is normally called a "potpourri." Many such expressions undoubtedly were brought from the British Isles by early settlers and handed down through succeeding generations. For this reason, Southern Appalachian speech patterns and dialects are more "English" than those heard anywhere else in the U.S.
I grew up in Tennessee Valley. Most of these are from my grandparents…
I liked ta fell out! = I was shocked!
Come back over thisaway / Get back over thataway = Come here / Go over there
Quit that and get down from ‘round there = Get down / stop what you are doing wrong.
Hosepipe = garden hose?
Tinfoil = foil
It’s colder than a witch’s ****y = It’s cold.
Rootin thu this mess in my pocketbook = Looking for something in my purse
Sop it up wit’ a biscuit = (technically) wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread
….but this was best used in reference to someone you thought was charming or attractive: “Baby’s so sweet I could sop him up wit’ a biscuit!”
Oh, I've got a bunch of them.
My hubby is a born and bred yankee, and he just couldn't believe half of the stuff that came out of my mouth.
I thought everyone had heard that one.
I heard it enough growing up.
Up here in the Northeast we have them too. My grandfather used to have alot of them like "Slower th'n cold molasses running uphill in the winter time" and in the spring when we would have those last couple of snow storms he called them "Clear Up Storms" (clear up to your a--!)
thanks for the lingo "dictionary" I'll certainly need it as I trek from Chattanooga to Knoxville this week. We had our first southern drawl experience this evening at the Krystal on 41. The cashier was very charming.
Having been born and raised in SW Florida I thought I was southern. We recently moved to NE Tennessee and am loving it. When we moved up here we found out that if someones age is 25, they are 25 year (singular) old.
My mom, [i]Bless her........,[i] had me convinced as a child that a pillow was a piller, a window was a winder and we were to foller that car, not follow.
Well, don't that beat two hens a peckin' OR Don't that just tip yer hat in the creek.
Or another is: I'm so hungry my stomach is gnawing my backbone out.
....and one is never going to do something but 'fixin' to do it!
My kids have almost lost their accents but I'll never lose mine. I like to tell the folks out here that, I cannot learn Spanish because it would have a twang to it anyhow!
This was a fun thread to read.
Anna aka Mak
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