As a child growing up in North Carolina, I didn’t realize there were sayings the rest of the country didn’t understand. They were the normal everyday expressions we lived with. When I left the South to live up North among the Yankees, I was teased and questioned about how I talked and some of the things I said.Quite a few years and lots of travel later, the accent is pretty much gone, but the sayings sometimes pop out. I grew up hearing, “you can take a boy/girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy/girl,” so I thought I’d share some of the terms I grew up hearing and using—with translations and/or comments.
Definitely not the house I grew up in!
Round the bend - Directions. “It’s over yonder round the bend.”Get my switch - (boy did I hear that! “Keep that up and I’m gonna git my switch,” or at times, “you go get me a switch.”)
Cut the lights out – turn off the lights.Slower than a 7 year itch - (I grew up hearing that one a lot. “That boy’s slower than the 7 year itch.”)
Whatcha doing? – A shorter way of asking “What are you doing?”Fixin’ to – Going to do something. “I’m fixin’ to cook some dinner.”
Buggy – items that have bugs - things, even food, could get buggy. That word was also used to describe a mode of transportation pulled by a horse.A mind to – Thinking about doing. “I’ve a mind to whip your butt for that.”
Bless your heart – a kind of way of telling someone to go ‘f***’ themselves.Hosepipe – garden hose.
Y’all – don’t think this needs translation.About to pop – Someone ate too much, or in some cases, “I need to pee so bad I’m about to pop.”
Yankee – Those folks from the north.Ain’t got no – A good use of double negatives when one doesn’t have something.
I declare! – Response to something amazing…good or bad. “I declare, you ain’t got the brains God gave a mule.”Right over yonder, or over yonder – A location. “The bus stop is right over yonder.”
Right smart – “now ain’t you right smart figurin’ that out”Tickled pink – In a very happy state.
Pocketbook - PursePert near - Nearly. "I'm pert near ready to go."
Cut off the spicket – Turn off the water faucet.Rightcheer – Here. “That fence post needs to go rightcheer.”
About fed up or fed up – Had enough. The person ‘fed up’ has reached the end of their rope with whatever the circumstances.Knee high to a grasshopper – Often used when talking about someone (especially kids) that are small.
Raining pitch forks – A heavy rainstorm.
There are a lot others that I didn’t include here, and in other parts of the South (or North Carolina) some of the local sayings are different than the ones included here. But, when I make it back to my area and listen to some of the conversations, my childhood (and according to my children, may accent) comes flooding back.
Do you have ‘sayings’ that are local to your area that come to mind? If so, please share a few.