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25 Expressions You Need to Learn Before Coming to the South

by Angela Karl Dec 6, 2016

She’s got enough money to burn a wet mule.

Basically, she has enough money to do whatever she wants, even if it makes no sense.

You’re bein’ ugly.

This doesn’t mean you should go fix your makeup or head to a barber shop. It means you need to fix that attitude of yours and stop being mean.

We had to run here – her eyeballs are floating!

She had to use the bathroom really badly.

He is squeezing that quarter so tight an eagle is screaming.

Not really sure how this one came to be, but it means that this person is very frugal (or, let’s be honest, cheap).

You’re barking up the wrong tree.

You’re mistaken. Maybe you’re bothering a person who did nothing to you or getting mad at something crazy. Whatever the reason, this means you’re wrong.

As happy as a possum eating a sweet potato.

Clearly, if a possum gets their hands on a sweet potato rather than trash they typically find, they’ll be as happy as can be.

Grab me a buggy.

If you’re in a grocery store and someone asks you to hand them a buggy, they don’t mean some strange automobile. They mean a shopping cart.

I am just tore up about it.

I am very upset about this!

I reckon so.

No need to get confused at all of our fancy southern lingo. I reckon so is the exact same thing as saying I think so.

Bless her heart.

You really have to listen to understand this one. It could truly mean, “I’m so sorry that happened to her, bless her heart.” On the other hand, it could also be an insult, such as, “She is just so stupid/immature/etc., bless her heart.”

They don’t even have a pot to piss in.

This one’s quite rude, but something you’re going to have to understand if you’re in the south. It simply means the person is very, very poor.

He got the short end of the stick.

If someone metaphorically drew the short end of the stick, they’ve gotten very unlucky or have been cheated.

Holler at me when you’re free.

Let me know when you’re free and we’ll go grab a beer downtown. “Holler at me” just means tell me.


Clearly, I don’t need to explain this to anyone who watches Supernatural.

Somebody is too big for their britches.

Those that are too big for their britches just think that they’re “all that”. They’re a bit full of themselves and should take themselves less seriously.

I’m fixin’ to…

When you’re fixin’ to do something, it just means you’re about to do it. If you’re fixin’ to clean your bedroom, you’ll start cleaning really soon.

All y’alls better have fun tonight.

If you thought y’all was already plural, you’re sadly mistaken. Y’all can mean a couple people, but any larger groups become “all y’alls” to mean everybody.

Where are your stompin’ grounds?

Where are you from?

He is dumber than a sack of rocks.

As you can probably guess, this means that he is very unintelligent.

He just flew off the handle.

He absolutely went crazy! This is usually used to mean someone became very angry, but could also mean that they started acting wild.

You are slower than molasses.

Could you possibly be any slower?

What’s up your britches?

Britches can be used as pants or underwear. So, this is similar to saying “Don’t get your panties in a wad.”

Give me some sugar.

As made famous by Outcast in their hit song “Hey Ya,” this means give me a kiss.

Stop playin’ possum.

I know you’re awake! Don’t play dead like possums do.

Hold your horses.

Calm down, wait, and be patient.

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