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22 Phrases My Southern Mama Told Me to Get Me Through Any Situation

by Amber Locke Nov 14, 2016

MY MAMA has a good ole fashion phrase for just about anything I may be going through. In the South, we like to simplify everything and my Mama will inevitably soften any strong emotion I throw at her with a phrase she learned while growing up in the south.

My Mama told me…

“They can kill you but they can’t eat ya. If they eat ya, they’ll have more sense in their stomach than they do in their head.”

This is what she told me when I was afraid of talking to people. Essentially, what’s the worst that could happen?

“You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in.”

You know when you just don’t want to let something go? Well, you can and you don’t even have to change your pants.

“A whistling girl and a crowing hen always come to no good end.”

Hens don’t crow. Get it?

“Worrying is like sitting in a rockin’ chair. It don’t get you no further down the road.”

“Better to be pissed off than pissed on.”

“Turn off the devil box.”

This is what Mama called the television and that’s some of her best advice.

“Ain’t nothin’ but a thang.”

“Don’t get too big for your britches.”

In layman’s terms, chill out and shut up because you don’t know what you’re talking about.

“You don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground.”

“Men see better than they think.”

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

If you have two baskets and you drop one, at least you got one basket of eggs left.

Mama also had these things to say . . .

About talking too much

“More wind than a sack full of farts.”

“They’d tear out a stop sign to argue with the hole.”

“She could beat her own gums to death.”

About anatomy

“If your aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle.”

“Don’t cut your nose off to spite your face.”

Angry actions against others could end up hurting you, too.

“Colder than a witches titty.”

I don’t know if this accurately describes how cold anything is, but it’s funny.

About wildlife

“Don’t beat a dead horse.”

It’s over. Forget it.

“Finer than frog hair split four ways.”

I mean a frog’s hair is pretty fine. Fine meaning little. If you’re gonna split it four ways, that’s pretty damn fine.

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

Not that Mama went around skinning cats, but she sure did use this enough to make me believe there was actually no right way to do anything.

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

You should be thankful for that bird in your hand.

“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Take your gift and go on with it.

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