A wide variety of Southern slang words and phrases are commonly used in Southern states like Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. Words and phrases like "Y'all," "heavens to Betsy" and "dohickey" are used to express a wide range of emotions, as well as express analogies for other meanings.
Let's take a look at some common Southern phrases. If someone is "proud as a peacock," it often means they are very proud of themselves, or with an accomplishment. It's also used to express that someone is perhaps being too proud, or overly arrogant. Another Southern phrase is "sick as a dog," which is used to express that someone looks very sick. It's often associated with cold and flu-like symptoms.
Other Southern phrases are used to express concern and care with one's relatives. "How’s yer mama ‘n them?" is an example of this. There are also many phrases that express surprise or shock, such as "Well, I'll be" or "Well, I declare."
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"Mind your P's and Q's" is another way of saying "mind your manners." It's often used when someone is being impolite, or lacking common manners.
To be surprised in a situation calls for the phrase, "Heavens to Betsy." This may also be used in situations that are fearful in nature.
"Supper time" means that dinner is ready. It's also used to "round up" family and friends to the dining room or kitchen.
"I suwanne" is another way of saying "I swear." It's usually used to express frustration or annoyance in a situation.
"Well, I'll be" is usually a prelude to a sentence that expresses surprise. It can also be another form of expressing a loss for words.
"Y'all" is the shortened way of saying "you all." It's also used to address two or more people.
The Southern slang for "shopping cart" is buggy. For example, "I left my buggy in the bread aisle of the store."
A "dohickey" is a substitute word for a word you forgot in the context of a sentence. For example, "My mom is making this, uh,.dohickey for supper tonight." This person probably forgot what dish his mother is making, so "dohickey" would replace the name of the dinner dish.
A clodhopper is used to express that the footwear a person is wearing is very noisy. This is often used when a person is walking.
"Like white on rice" is used to express closeness to someone, whether it's an emotional attachment, or in physical proximity. For example, "That couple over there is like white on rice."
Another way of being proud is to express it with the phrase, "proud as a peacock." This can also be used to express that someone is being overly proud, or arrogant.
To be as "sick as a dog" is to be really sick. This is often used to describe symptoms associated with the cold or flu.
The phrase "hotter than Hades" is associated with a high temperature of the weather. For example, "Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter than Hades."
"Hog wild" is used to express immense excitement in a situation. For example, "He went hog wild over his birthday cake."
When someone is "tickled pink" it usually means they are very happy. This is typically used to describe someone who looks happy after receiving a compliment.
To become upset (especially over small problems) is to throw a "hissy fit." This is often associated with causing chaos, or causing a scene in public.
When someone is overexaggerating their body language to match their anger, they are having a "conniption fit." This is often met with overly expressive gestures, such as hands waving all over the place.
If you are "gettin' on my last nerve," you are annoying me greatly. This is also used to express that you've "had it" with someone, and that you possibly don't want to speak with them anymore.
If I want you to "hold your horses," it means that I want you to wait or slow down. This is often used when the other person is in a rush.
If I say "don’t get your feathers ruffled," it means I don't want you to get too mad or too excited. It's another way of saying you don't want a person to "get their hopes up."
If a child is throwing a tantrum, the parent might say something like "I'm going to jerk a knot in your tail if you don't settle down." It's also used to indicate that they will be "grounded" or punished.
If I want you to "hush up," it means I think you're talking too much or too loudly, and I want you to be quiet. For example, "Cindy, will you just hush up already!"
There are two meanings to the phrase "fine and dandy," depending on the context. One of them is used sarcastically to say that something is not alright. The other meaning is to express actual content and happiness.
"Quit yer bellyachin'" is another way of telling someone to stop whining. It's often used when someone is whining or complaining about something too much.
Someone who is making an angry-looking face will often be met with the Southern phrase, "your face is gonna freeze like that." This is another way of telling someone to be happy.
If someone is pretentious or acting high-maintenanced, they might often be met with the phrase "little miss priss." This is often used as an insult.
If someone is "not the sharpest tool in the shed," it means they are not very smart. Another way of saying this is "not the brightest bulb in the box."
When someone wants to express happiness with tasty food, they will often use the phrase "slap yer mama." For example, "Well slap yer mama this pizza is so good."
If someone is sweating a lot, they will often be met with the phrase "sweatin' like a sinner in church." For example, "Is it hot outside? Because you're sweatin' like a sinner in church."
Another way of asking for affection from someone is to say "gimme some sugar." For example, "I haven't seen you in ages! Come gimme some sugar."
If you're very surprised in a situation, you might start your sentence off with "Well, I declare..." For example, "Well, I declare, I wasn't expecting all of these birthday gifts."
"Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs" is another way of saying that someone gets scared too easily. For example, "That horror movie made her as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs."
If someone is a "wound tighter than a clock," it means they are very stressed out with a situation. For example, "This wedding has her wound tighter than a clock."
"How’s yer mama ‘n them?" is used to express curiosity and caring about someone's relatives or family members. It's another way of saying "How is your family doing?"
When someone is very eager about doing something, they are "goin' to town." For example, "She is really goin' to town on that gumbo."