Monday, January 30, 2017

Do I Talk Funny?

Recently I discovered Applachian Magazine online and have been thoroughly enjoying the stories they post.  It's just little snippets of life here in the mountain region, many from a historical perspective and many with a wry sense of humor, that surprise me often with the commonality to my young life.  I grew up in rural Idaho but I identify pretty strongly with many of the customs and sayings they claim as uniquely Appalachian.

Photo from Appalachian Magazine's article "The Story
Behind More _____ Than Carter's Got Liver Pills" dated
January 24, 2015 (link imbedded in post).
This morning's reading was about the origin of Carter's Liver Pills.  Kind of interesting in and of itself, but what caught my attention and amused me were the golden little idioms of speech that peppered the story.  Considering myself a "word person," etymology is always one of my interests. And when I find a new saying, or even just a really fun to say word, I start thinking about how to work it into a casual conversation if for nothing more than shock value.

I like these colloquialisms!  You may have heard some of them, or you might find something new listed here, but hopefully you'll appreciate the colorful way with words and let them set your imagination, and conversations, afire.

When something is desirable:
On that like a fat lady on a donut... white on rice!

When someone is ugly:
...face could haint (or haunt) a house.

When someone is shaking (from cold, afraid, laughing):
Shaking like a cat crapping a peach seed.
Jiggling like a bowl of jello.

Speaking of someone being clever or if it's really icy outside:
...slicker than snot on a door knob.

When someone doesn't shoot well or doesn't understand something obvious:
...couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.

When one holds a tool differently than most of the population:
Just like a pig with a pitchfork.  (This was used about how I hold my crochet hook once...)

When there's a large quantity:
More ____ than Carter's got liver pills.

When one is angry:
Madder than a wet hen.
...could thread a sewing machine – and it runnin'! his knickers in a knot!
...pitched a hissy fit!
Well... that just dills my pickle!

When you have done a lot or have a lot to do:
Busier than a one legged man in a butt-kicking contest.
Running like a chicken with it's head cut off!

When you are surprised:
...coulda knocked me over with a feather.
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!

Describing finances:
I'm so poor I can barely afford to pay attention!
Don't even got a pot to piss in (or a window to throw it out)!
Too poor to paint, too proud to whitewash.

Describing someone who is vain or conceited:
...thinks his #^%@ don't stink.
She thinks she is all that, and a bag of chips.

When something isn't happening fast enough:
...slower than cold tar at Christmas-time!

When you are thirsty:
...wet your whistle.

Describing being thrifty or cheap:
Pinch that penny so tight you could pick the boogers from Abe Lincoln's nose...
Squeeze a quarter so tight the eagle screams... tight he could back up to a wall and suck a brick out!

When something unfortunate happens:
No use crying over spilled milk!

When you are feeling especially good/something very fortunate happens:
...finer than frog hair and twice as nasty.
...finer than a frog hair split four ways.
...grinnin' like a possum eatin' a sweet tater.
Happy as a hog in slop!

When something is fun or funny, or used sarcastically when it's not:
More laughs/fun than a barrel full of monkeys.

Describing one with a distinct lack of musical ability:
...can't carry a tune in a tub.  (My friend, Heidi, once went on to describe me as being able to sing two parts: solo and tenor.  "So lo" no one can hear it and "ten or" fifteen miles off key.  So much for thinking I should ever try to sing outside the shower, huh?)

When things are going right/you finally understand:
Now we're cookin' with peanut oil!

When someone pretends to be something they are not/has bad character:
He's all hat and no cattle.
He's lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut.

To describe a nasty wound/bad period/miscarriage:
...bleeding like a stuck pig.

When a woman becomes unexpectedly or unintentionally pregnant:
____ got bit by the trouser worm.
...gone and got herself knocked up.
(and my Grandma's shout out to an expectant jaywalker: "hey lady, you know you can get knocked down, too!")

Describing the weather:
It's so hot I just saw two trees fightin' over a dog!
It's dryer than a popcorn fart...
Raining cats and dogs!

Referring to a child/childhood/events that happened before a child was born:
...knee-high to a grasshopper.
You weren't even a twinkle in your daddy's eye yet...

Describing nervousness: a cat on a hot tin roof.
_____ needs to go pop a valium!

Describing being confused:
Doesn't know his [backside] from a hole in the ground...
Don't even know which way is up!
It's like reaching around your [backside] to scratch your elbow.

Describing a liar:
Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.
That dog won't hunt!
You'd call an alligator a lizard.
...windy as a sack full of farts.
Her mouth is goin' like a bell clappin' out of a goose's [backside]!
If ____'s lips are moving, s/he's lying.

Describing stupidity:
If ____ had a thought it would die of loneliness...
Light's on but no one is home!
...ain't got the sense God gave a goose!
If his brains was dynamite, he still couldn't blow his nose.
____'s crazier than an outhouse rat.

When you hope to do something:
God willing and the creek don't rise!

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