Saturday, August 21, 2010


There’s such a rich, interesting history to a lot of southern words---different meanings, different inflections, different heritage. That piece of paper you get from the state or county for fishing or hunting is a PER-mit to permit you to participate.
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A croaker sack/Kroger sack (depending on where you shop, I suppose) is usually a kind of burlap bag, but could range from a cottonsack to a feed sack. This term is seldom used to refer to a sure-nuff paper grocery bag for shaking up that frying chicken with all that flour and seasonings, but that same bag could be called a poke, a la Miss Loretty’s brown paper trousseau luggage in Coal Miner’s Daughter.

A deep freeze keeps your food frozen; a Frigidaire keeps it cool, and you pay for those items from your pocketbook. You might tote that stuff home and wrap it in loomnum foil (also pronounced faw-ul) or Saran, clean your clothes in a washing machine with water from the hot water heater, and sprinkle-down a load of laundry for ironing.
Image result for sprinkler head for soda bottle

To close a window, you might pull down the sash; you go to church to hear the message, and to partake of The Lord’s Supper. Your meals are called breakfast, dinner and supper, and might include a mess a greens, a pot of snap beans seasoned with a little hand of fatback,

and a pone of bread:
A duster is the light robe a lady might wear to cook breakfast, and her bedroom slippers might be called house shoes or, if they slide between the toes, thongs. But with all the beach-house rentals and the trips to Florida, the word “flipflops” is catching on fast.

A firefly is a lightning bug, a frog is sometimes called a hop-toad, and a grub in a hole in the ground is a doodle-bug, fished for by many a squatting, dusty small person with a ball of spit-moistened dirt on a broomstraw.

Try your hand at translating a few from what I call my Mason/Dixonary:













Gettin’ your beauty struck

Beauty shop



Snake Doctor

Translations will be posted on Tuesday, 24th.


Southern Lady said...

Gotta love it, Rachel ... how about "Sweetea," "Turn off the ly-et," and "Ah-m fixin' to go to the store."

Indy Cookie said...

This post has "set" me to remembering so many things from my childhood! My daddy told me a story about asking for a "poke" while in a Detroit store. I remember he laughed with the telling but I could never figure out if he was laughing at the ignorance of the Detroit clerk or at himself for being fresh from the mountains!

Marlene said...

I love this! As a child of the south, our daddies had "kickers" for their boats. A term that will get plenty of stares now.

Tonja said...

I have heard and/or used all of these. It's Deeeeep South here in Dothan! One of the funniest to me was what my Aunt Kathrine (who wasn't really, but, too close to be Mrs.) used to say...she'd start sweeping the driveway, and get tired and say, "Well, I had to just give that driveway a lick and a promise."

Linda J. said...

When I was a little girl, we played in the creek, caught crawdads, lightning bugs and June Bugs. We tied a thread to the June Bug's leg and played with it. We also played kick the can in the street and didn't worry about traffic. My husband and I always carry Nabs with us when we travel.

Fun post!!

Jeanne said...

Good morning Rachel, I was raised in the South (Miami) from the time I was nine. (1947) However, we Yankees had a few Northern sayings that Southerners didn't use. We called soda, 'pop' and 'see saws' 'teeter totters.' Oh He.. did not sound like...Oh hail. Laughing. All my children were born and raised in So. FL and we lived in FL. until we moved here three years ago. I don't know what you would call me at this point. I ceased to be a Yankee years ago. I love your sayings and am very possibly guilty of some of those pronunciations. HA!
Thank you for your ever so sweet comment about my grands and the chaos here.

A very cute post Rachel.
Hugs, Jeanne

Nail said...

Ok, remember when Mama would say, "I'm just too tired to clean today. We'll just have to get the dirty dirty and leave the clean dirt 'til tomorrow!"

racheld said...

YAAAAAAAAAAY!!! I love when folks chime in with their own sayings.

And Nail---Mother also said from time to time, "trashy in her ways," to describe a less-than-scrupulous housekeeper---I'd hate for her to see MY house some days. Like right now---we're cleaning out the "cleaning stuff" closet to locate the big paint roller, and have stuff "strewed from here to Christmas."

And my first DMIL said "it looks like the Hind Wheels of Destruction."

There may be more good ole sayings in relation to housekeeping than Huntin' or Fishin'!!

Kim Shook said...

I just used ‘pockabook’ in my comment on the prior post. I remember those co’cola bottle sprinklers. I wish that I could find one now. I always liked “horns of a dilemma” but wasn’t brave enough to use it. Though I did use “I swann” by the end of every summer spent with my grandparents in NC.

Nabs are cheese/PB or cheese/cheese crackers. With a Tab, they are the busy secretaries’ lunch of choice. Crawdads are crayfish. Spicket – is that a faucet (spigot?)? Slopjar – ick. Lightbread – Wonderbread. Sweetmilk – white milk. Settee – couch/sofa. Beauty shop – hairdressing salon. Piddlin’ – negligible. Doo-hickey – thingamagig. How’d I do?

But what else would you call a washing machine?