Kentuckians & Their Special Verbiage

As you may, or may not, know, I am working for my dad on his website, blog and all things social media for his Bed & Breakfast. It has been an interesting two months, helping him via phone to compose emails, finagle his way around facebook and be his ghost writer. He sends me thousands of photos on CD that I pour through to use in blog posts and sends me emails of things he would like addressed in his blog. All in all, I have increased his traffic by 400% . So, needless to say, he is happy. He called me a few days ago and we were discussing what I have been doing for him. He got a lil’ emotional when he told me that I am a great writer. Made my day. Then, he was talking statistics and belted off another compliment: “Well, we’re shittin’ in high cotton!” I busted out laughing. I knew it was a compliment, but it is not one you hear here in the city. I love the way people back home in the hills talk. It is refreshing, direct and poetic.

I do not know if any of you have heard the way Appalachians and Southerners talk, but it is pure gold to me. I thought I would share some of this wonderful language with you and hope to explain it.

“Shittin’ in high cotton” means we are doing good; probably taken from the fact that the higher the yield of cotton the more well off farmers were.

“Got his knickers in a knot” means someone is pissed off. Maybe this is from people having physical fits when they are angry and they get their britches twisted up… perhaps.

“Tighter than a flea’s ass over a rain barrel” means someone is a cheapskate… this is obviously very cheap

“That sticks in my crawl” meaning that something is bad or upsets you; from the word “craw” which is a bird’s throat and feathers get stuck when they are preening

“That dog won’t hunt” means that you are telling a lie; probably someone trying to sell a poodle as a hunting dog, the buyer knows they are lying.

“Faster than a hot knife through butter” is pretty obvious, from when people ate real cream butter and it was a cold slab and only a hot knife could get through it and slather it on your toast.

“So stuck up, she’d drown in the rain” meaning that her nose is turned up and the rain will flood her lungs.

“I’ll knock you into the middle of next week looking both ways for Sunday!” is a popular one among parents and obviously means that you better watch your butt

“Don’t try to snow me” is another popular one among parents meaning that you best not try to fool them

“She gets my goose” means she is pissing her off, or pushing her buttons. I guess if someone stole your goose, you would be mad too.

“Hotter than blue blazes” means hot… blue blazes maybe from the blueness of a flame, which is the hottest.

“He’s about as confused as a fart in a fan factory” means that the fart is flapping in the wind, not sure which way to go…pretty confusing.

“You’re so fulla shit your eyes are brown” is pretty obvious; it was a common expression in our family… only one uncle with blue eyes and even he was full of it.

“I feel like I been ate by a wolf and shit over a cliff” means extra crappy, obviously.

“Lawd, pull that down! we can see clear to the Promised Land” means that you are revealing too much. Cover it up!

“Colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra” is cold; the history behind it is even more fascinating. It seems that when they were doing the witch hunts, the oh-so “righteous” men fancied that the women they accused would nurse the devil, so in pursuit of all that is holy, they would strip the women and “examine” their breasts looking for marks of the devil. If they found none they would poke (more like fondle) the women, looking for cold spots that would indicate the devil had touched them… it was only after they prodded the women that they had actually been touched by the devil.

“Happier than ol’ Blue layin’ on the porch chewin’ on a big ol’ caitfish head” is pretty happy. A blue is a Blue Tick Hound dog, although more and more, Blue Heelers are becoming popular in the south for hunting as well.

“Won’t hit a lick at a snake” means someone is so lazy that they won’t try to fight off a snake.

“As nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs” is pretty obvious.

“He’s only got one oar in the water” means he is so stupid he just goes in circles.

“Fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down” is mean, but it is still popular, but more used like a “yo mama” joke.

“Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s rainin'” means do not lie to me; not fooling no one.

“She’s so skinny, if she stood sideways and stuck out her tongue she’d look like a zipper” is again pretty obvious… most phrases are obvious because they are so visual.

“You don’t watch out, I’m gonna cream yo’ corn” is a favorite among parents.

“I am going to jerk a knot in your tail” is again a fave among parents; means they are going to tie you down, limit your freedom.

“Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit” means “wow”; impressed with something.

A few unique words are “yonder” meaning over there, “reckon” means I guess so, “e’t” means ate or eat, “sugar” is kisses, and “pot liquor” is the broth leftover from cooking.

I love all these sayings that I have heard throughout my life time, however my all time favorite one is “Bless his heart” because in actuality, it is not a blessing but a well disguised insult. It means that he is just plain ole’ stupid or annoying.

Hope you enjoyed these phrases and if you have any to share, please do.

Charlie Sparks, Cleopatra Kidd and kids

2 thoughts on “Kentuckians & Their Special Verbiage

  1. Dear friend, Thank you very much, I was really happy to have been following your blog. I’m still a lot to figure out, and here I can only say that you are an awesome blogger, full Inspiring and hope you can inspire more readers. Thanks and greetings compassion from Gede Prama 🙂

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