Do You Know the Meaning of These Common Southern Phrases?

By: Becky Stigall

Do You Know the Meaning of These Common Southern Phrases?
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About This Quiz

People in many areas have their own ways of saying things. If you aren't in the know, you might feel left out. Southerners are known for their colorful dialect. Can you complete each one of these phrases?
A ____ to.
knowledge
have
mind
"I've got a mind to" is a common Southern saying. It means someone is considering something.
gloss

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Aren't you ________?
golden
happy
precious
"Aren't you precious?" is not typically a compliment. This phrase is usually used sarcastically.
sleepy

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Stop ______ ugly.
asking
entering
acting
The expression is "stop acting ugly." Ugly usually means "mean."
going

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Barking up the wrong ____.
tree
The expression is "barking up the wrong tree." This means that you are off track or wrong about something.
hill
cane
house

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Bless your _____.
hands
head
feet
heart
"Bless your heart" is another one of those Southern sayings that isn't really a compliment. This means that the speaker thinks you are not particularly bright.

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Too big for your _______.
hands
britches
The expression is "too big for your britches." This usually means that the speaker thinks you're a bit too proud of yourself.
feet
shirt

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Catty ______.
house
acting
corner
The phrase is "catty corner." This means "diagonal to."
gone

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Back teeth are ________.
hurting
gone
floating
The expression is "back teeth are floating." This means that you really have to go to the bathroom.
clean

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Fixin' ______.
to
No, it doesn't have anything to do with side dishes, although side dishes may be called "fixins." In this case, "fixin' to" means thinking about doing.
up
gone
there

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Fly off the ______.
floor
barn
handle
The expression is "fly off the handle." This means that you've lost your temper or gotten ahead of yourself.
head

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Got the _____ end of the stick.
long
open
short
The expression is "got the short end of the stick." It means that you got a raw deal or you were cheated.
closed

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Give me some _____.
sugar
The expression is "give me some sugar." It means "give me a kiss."
money
time
effort

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Good old ___.
cat
boy
The expression is "good old boy." This is used to describe a rough and tumble, traditional Southern male.
dog
pie

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She had a _____ fit.
fighting
real
clover
hissy
The expression is "she had a hissy fit." A hissy fit is a temper tantrum.

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Give me a ______.
lead
dime
holler
The expression is "give me a holler." This means to give the speaker a call.
penny

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If the _____ don't rise.
bed
moon
creek
The expression is "if the creek don't rise." This is the same as saying "if nothing changes."
sun

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Nervous as a long-tailed _____ in a room full of rocking chairs.
cat
The expression is "nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs." As you can imagine, such a cat would be pretty nervous.
sun
moon
spot

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Off like a herd of _______.
rats
turtles
The phrase is "off like a herd of turtles." This means that you are off to a slow start.
rabbits
cats

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I _____ that's so.
yonder
see
reckon
The expression is "I reckon that's so." If a Southerner says this to you, he/she is actually agreeing with you.
gloat

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Rode hard and put away _____.
over
there
wet
The expression is "rode hard and put away wet." This expression means that someone is tired after working hard.
gone

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Run with the ___ dogs.
big
The expression is to "run with the big dogs." This means that you might be getting in over your head.
old
brown
four-legged

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Snake in the _____.
watch
well
grass
The expression is "snake in the grass." Watch out for someone with this reputation - they probably can't be trusted and will strike without warning.
purse

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Squeeze a quarter so tight the _____ screams.
silver
flag
eagle
The phrase is "squeeze a quarter so tight the eagle screams." This expression is used to describe someone who is very cheap.
cents

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Use the _______.
head
feet
sweeper
The missing word is "sweeper." Sweeper is Southern for vacuum.
tail

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She's really ________ on.
moving
carrying
The expression is to "carry on." This refers to someone who is acting foolishly or having a hissy fit.
up
over

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Hit ______ the head.
upside
The expression is "hit upside the head." This means on the head... anywhere really.
over
under
inside

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Back in her _______ grounds.
over
under
aside
stomping
The expression is "stomping grounds." The word "stompin'" can also be used. Stomping grounds are another word for home neighborhood.

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She's all ____ up.
hold
sad
tore
The expression is "all tore up." This means to be upset about something.
happy

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Doesn’t amount to a hill of _____.
bacon
beans
The expression is "doesn't amount to a hill of beans." This means that something is relatively worthless.
oatmeal
cars

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Over ______.
yonder
The expression is "over yonder." This means "over there," but the "there" in this case is open to interpretation.
there
hill
barn

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Madder than a ___ hen.
cold
wet
The expression is "madder than a wet hen." A wet hen is very mad indeed.
hot
tired

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'Till the ____ come home.
kids
fox
deet
cows
The expression is "till the cows come home." This might take a while.

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If I had my ________.
druthers
The expression is "if I had my druthers." This means "if I had my way."
brothers
sisters
uncles

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Full as a ____.
bird
dog
tick
The expression is "full as a tick." Since ticks are known to gorge themselves, this expression means that someone is very, very full.
cat

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Hold your ______.
cats
dogs
horses
The expression is "hold your horses." This means to slow down.
canaries

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