Monday Manners: Familiar Southern Phrases

I hope everyone is having a great to start to the week!  I saw the phrase, “Kiss My Grits!” on something the other day, and it got me thinking about some other Southern phrases.  I never realized there were so many!  How many of you say any of these southern phrases, or have heard someone say them?  Many of them are quite comical.  I’m guessing as you read this list, you’ll be thinking of your dear grandmothers and older Southern family members.

“Kiss my grits!”
“I’ll be darned…”

“He’s the spittin’ image of…”
“You’re makin’ a mountain, out of an ant hill.”
“He was madder than fire.”
“I see,” said the blind man, to his deaf son.”
“When she was knee-high to a grasshopper.”
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
“I’m gonna skin you alive!”
“Quit being ugly!”
(This one sounds very familiar.  Haha.)
“Slower than molasses.”
“Mind your P’s and Q’s.”
“I’m so angry I could spit!”
“Keep it up and you’re going to get a switchin’.”
(Familiar, but ours was “spankin’.”)
“As stubborn as a mule.”
“Bless my soul.”
“Pot calling the kettle black.”
“Fit to be tied.”
“Over yonder.”
“Well, look what the cat dragged in.”
“Now, looka here.”
Can you figure this one out?
(Did you eat yet?)
Yes, our Southern accents can sure be foreign, can’t they?
As I’m writing this, I just realized that y’all don’t know my accent.  I’d tell you I don’t have one, but I’m thinking y’all would disagree.  Hearing myself talk in my head, is far different than the voice I hear on videos and messages.  I like the voice in my head so much more.  I feel like so many people I talk to feel the same way about their voice.  They don’t like it.  Agree or disagree?
Does anyone have any other Southern phrases they’ve heard, that I left off the list?
So many of these listed are so familiar.  Brings me back to when one set of my grandparents were still alive.  My grandmother Mimi used to say “yonder” all the time.  Miss that.
P.S. W could seriously eat grits at every meal.  She LOVES them.  Southern to the core.  🙂
Thanks to Innocent English for help with some suggestions for this list.
Photo Credits: 1, 2


Just a heads up, before y’all head over to Rue La La and One Kings Lane for the Lilly Pulitzer bedding and stationery sales tomorrow at 11am(est), check in on my post.  My next giveaway starts tomorrow.  And much success to everyone attempting to get some great goodies at the sales, before it’s gone!

35 thoughts on “Monday Manners: Familiar Southern Phrases

  1. That so reminds me of my grandmother. Growing up with hearing it pretty often, I catch myself saying a few of them.

  2. My dad says some of these phrases now! I agree about the whole accent thing. In my head I can tell I have an accent when I say certain words, but then when I hear myself on recordings, it's so different! I met a girl from PA who couldn't get over how much of an accent I have!

  3. Love them all – Alexandra threw something the other day and I told her not to do that because it was ugly. 🙂 One I use a lot is "Bless his/her heart…"

  4. i didn't realize some of those were southern – i heard then growing up in NY all the time.

    some things i picked up when i lived in georgia – y'all, uset'a could, and other similar strange contractions 🙂

  5. I love these sayings! I say most of them and grew up hearing most of them. My favorite from my Mama.. "Girl, you better give your heart to Jesus because your butt is mine" when I was in trouble. Hope you have a great week! ~Andrea @ Life in Dawleywood

  6. Quit being ugly is a big one here, as is bless her heart!

    The ones my hubby uses when he gets mad aren't fit for polite company. He is a computer nerd, but his inner redneck comes out when he is at home working on something in our house. LOL.

  7. I had a high school teacher who would say "boy, you're slower than molasses in January!"

    Other good ones:
    "fixin'" to do something
    One I say a lot – "every whip stitch"

  8. Yes, every one of those phrases is so familiar. I love it! I can just hear those coming out of my grandma's mouth. Thanks for sharing these, Ashley, it put a smile on my face this morning!

  9. Haha I loved this post- I say a few of these phrases regularly, and those grits look delish!

    You made me think of this grandma I saw at the mall the other day. She had her grandson with her, he was maybe 4. He was "being ugly", so she told him "boy, if you don't straighten up, I'm gonna whip your hind end so hard…so hard…IT'LL BUUURRRN!"- she totally had to pause to think of what she was going to say, haha- sounded so country though!

    Hope you're having a good day!

  10. I wish my voice sounded more like it does in my head too! Funny how it's different.

    I love your sayings. I use many of them myself and I feel a certain sense of Southern pride when I use them (:

  11. Hmmm, I guess I am Yankee to the core, but some of those phrases are all too familiar to me…with a different accent of course! Northerners have their own accents too and I had no idea I had one until I went to college. Very cute post!

  12. Oh, I can hear my relatives saying many of these in my head. Another old favorite from a professor of mine, "Well, butter my bottom and call me a biscuit!"

  13. These are so funny, Ashley! My mom's from Texas and my grandparents always say "over yonder, more than one way to skin a cat, better than a swift kick in the teeth, spittin' image of, I see said the blind man", etc. I love them, they're so fun to hear!

    Hope you had a great weekend.


  14. I love all of these says and honestly I say quite a few of them! 🙂 Erik and I served Shrimp and grits at our wedding. YUM!! When I go up north to NY and Canada to visit family they get a kick out of the way I talk and I don't think I have a thick southern accent… but maybe I do?!

  15. LOVE the southern phrases. My yankee husband just shakes his head when I start in to muffy. If she ever acts disrespectful I give her the eye and just say the word UGLY!
    And the one phrase I ALWAYS say before she heads out the door is BE SWEET! (aka mind your manners!)
    the girl may not be being raised in the south, but she is def. getting a daily dose of southern from her mama! 😉

  16. Yes… yonder definitely makes me think of Mimi!! And "I see said the blind man to his deaf son" makes me think of you. Haha! Love you!

  17. When I moved to the South, I was told that people would say, "Bless her heart…," which never really means someone's blessin' your heart.

  18. well don't that just beat all! cute post! our sayings are part of what make us truly southern and i wouldn't have it any other way! happy monday ladybug!

  19. Oh yes! I grew up in Atlanta, moved up north and am now back in Savannah, and my accent has thickened again! Down here, if someone acts out, they say "He showed his a%&." Very southern. Well, redneck, actually, and as we both know, there's a difference! 😉

  20. i heart this post 🙂 That is too cute – for sure have heard all of those quotes at some point in my life…and I wouldn't have it any other way!

  21. Oh my goodness my family uses just about all of these! I love Southern sayings! Every now and then (ok pretty often) I catch myself using them and hubs thinks it's absolutely hilarious when I say someone is fit to be tied!

  22. I loved reading your post!!! And so true..the voice I "hear" definately is alot different than the voice others hear when I talk! I sound like such a hillbilly when I've heard myself talk after being videotaped! Embarrassing!!! We use alot of the phrases you mentioned funny!

  23. Loved this post, and no, I don't like my voice. Because I've lived both in the north and in the south, I'm very versatile (aka – I pick up the accent of whomever I'm talking to) – Strange.

  24. How bout

    "Wound up like and 8 day clock goin backwards!" In reference to someone excited, hyper, etc

    "Curled up like a rattler getting ready to strike." In reference to joking about your better half when asked how they are.

    "A piece of work" In reference to someone who does something and you are like… really???

    Then of course there is always "I reckon…" and "I'm fixin…"

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