Wednesday, September 4, 2013



STANDIN’ IN THE MIDDLES --- a good shower of rain, soaked in, with lots to spare puddling in between the rows.   Many a pickup-pulled-beside conversation has occurred when farmers are out checking out the land after a rainfall. 


You’ll see an elbow out each window, perhaps a wisp of Marlboro smoke curling out, and you KNOW the phrase has been uttered.


A GRACIOUS PLENTY ---  Enough and to spare, especially when speaking to/of a hostess or a gift-giver.   It's also a charming, kind thing to say when the hospitality has been of meager means, and you're gonna have to get a sandwich when you get home.   Warmly said, it can cause happier feelings than praising the cookin'.


ONCE’T AND TWICE’T  ---  Charming old lingering pronunciations of once and twice.  Twice’t gets a LONG I in the saying. 
“If I’ve told you once’t, I’ve told you a THOUSAND TIMES!”
. . . AND ALL  ---  Sometimes part of a letter’s salutation and closing, but really most often used to finish a less-than-gracious remark:
   She thinks she’s so SMART, and all.  
Him being such a catch, and all.
“I AIN’T STUDYIN’ YOU ---  I am taking no notice of your presence, especially of that request you’ve made a dozen times.  (Inflection can add a silent “now, go on and leave me alone”).
I BEEN STUDYIN’ ON IT  ---  Pondering, reading up, weighing options and making a considered decision, usually toward the YES factor.
COME TO FIND OUT ---  Learn later, usually after the fact (especially if it’s deliberately been kept secret).  “Come to find out, they was MARRRID all the time!” 
TO MY NOTION --- In my opinion

WHOLLA GO   A short time ago

EVVER WHICH-A-WAY   all directions, up, down, North,  South or diagonal.  Think chickens scattering or bed-head.
Kindly --- a bit or lot depending on degree---“That gumbo is kindly spicy.”  “Them jeans is kindly TIGHT, Loretty.”
SOLD OUT ---   took off in a hurry, whether eager, late or scared (imagine a traveling salesman running back down the road with a sample-case in each hand, dust billowing, hat flying off, as the homeowner lets the dogs out).
Sold is possibly past tense of “sail.”
My Mammaw used it quite frequently, and almost always in reference to a flappy-clothes lady so fond of gossip that she'd come by, winkle out a bit of news, and practically fly off the porch.  She could take the doorsteps two at a time, and was known to have got right up from her seat at the Missionary Relief Tea between Egg-and-Olive and Scones, and sold out home to the phone that time O’man Holliman got caught retrieving his hearing aid from the back seat of a married lady’s Oldsmobile.
LIT A SHUCK --- took off in a hurry, as well---possibly derived from a cornstalk torch used to get home at night, especially over fields or through woods.  You could walk a lot faster if you carried a light.

HORN IN ON  ---   to poke yourself into other people’s plans, honors or activities or to take credit belonging to others.
STOVE UP  ---  A little crick in back or legs, usually from lifting or doing a laborious job.  Most times, a little walking or stretching will remedy; others require resorting to Icy-Hot, Tiger Balm, or a good spray of WD-40, which will leave you smelling like a creaky hinge for days.
BROKE IN TWO IN THE MIDDLE  ---  Now, this malady was of a  more serious sort, a result of having put way too much stress on your body, as in hauling buckets of water, plowing with a hand-plow, lifting WAY too much, or carrying a field-dressed six-point half a mile to the truck.  (Though the adrenalin does alleviate some of the pain of that last one).

GREAT DAY IN THE MORNIN’! ---   Utterance of surprise, whether pleasant or shocking.  Also used as remonstrance, chastisement, or popcorn-level swear word:  "Great Day in the Mornin,' Marthena!   What were you THINKING?"
AS BIG AS YOU PLEASE ---  a sentence suffix which conveys degree with which someone does something, especially if they probably don’t deserve to, or look ridiculous doing it.  
She wore that awful hat to her sister's wedding, as big as you please.

They come right in there and sat down at his Mama's table, as big as you please. 
 ILL AS A HORNET  ---  Cranky, especially in babies and toddlers and certain adults who revert occasionally.   Irritable and nothing pleases you.  Childhood version of Cantankerous.


MAD AS A WET HEN  --- Now, that one is quite a distance above Hornetry.  You’re mad, you’re not gonna take it any more, and everybody’s gonna know about it.

 And one of my absolute favorites:
TETCHY---easily irritated, offended, or hurt by a particular subject.  This can be a lifetime condition, or just in reference to a particular subject on any given day.  
The degree of techy is customarily qualified by “a mite.”   When the gear shifts into "plumb" or the
degree ramps up to “mighty,” it would not behoove anybody to use that word for fear of increasing the force to “pawrful.”    In which case, it’s best that all in the vicinity light a shuck.




Ivy and Elephants said...

I just love this, (being from the south, and all)! That's a mighty fine mess a greens you got cooking there, too! It's like being back home in Mississippi,.... real sweet tea.
Hugs ya'll,

A Super Dilettante said...

Dear Racheld, I love your style. I can hear your voice -you've got a distinctive voice (of course, you do!)..especially I love the way you write the sentences by using the second-person pronoun "you". Techy is also my favourite. I also like "testy" and "livid".

Thank you so much for the bottom of my heart for taking time to leave such charming comment on my blog. It's very much appreciated to find a kindred spirit.

Best wishes, ASD

A Super Dilettante said...

PS. May I also add these three wonderfully unique individuals to your "Southernisms": Carson McCullers, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor? :-)

Southern Lady said...

I was fixin' to go do the laundry, but thought I'd stop by Lawn Tea first, and I'm so glad I did!

I loved this, Rachel ... and, being a southern girl through and through, have heard most of those expressions at one time or another. A gracious plenty is my favorite, along with bless your heart!, directly (pronounced dreckly), by and by, and hissie fit.

I know y'all enjoyed those black-eyed peas and greens, and sure hope you had some cornbread to go with them. Makes my mouth water to think about it.

jeanne, backyard neighbor said...

I learned a lot of these from Beverly Rachel. Her Aunt says "a gracious plenty" Smile. I love that phrase. I did learn a couple of new phrases and they sure do make me chuckle. Thanks for a very interesting bit of "Southernisms."

Love, Jeanne

Kim S. said...

These bring back so many memories of the folks in my grandparents' little NC town. Thank you, my friend.