southern speakIf it were easy, then everyone would understand

Slap my head and call me silly is not an invitation to produce the physical action called for, rather, to call attention to the fact that I have overlooked the obvious and am acting like someone who has had the action called for, actually produced upon them.  If that sentence is clear, then you are truly a son or daughter of the South.

If that sentence is not clear, then you have had Southern-speak performed upon you and, if you do not completely understand then, for God’s sake, do not say so, for that would imply your lack of understanding.  Which would be an admission of non-Southern gentility.  Rather, simply shake your head slightly and mutter, “God bless him.”

Butter my butt and call me a biscuit.  Please read the topic above as a preamble to this saying.  Don’t you dare to attempt to apply oleo-margarine to my derrière!

I will give you a nickel for every quarter that you can stand on its end.  If you think about it, that is quite a swap – I’ll give you a nickel and you give me a quarter.  Which leads quite naturally into I’ll bet you double or nothing.  This term is used in boyhood whenever one gets into a colossal debt which one cannot conceivably ever pay such as in ‘cut-throat marbles,’ ’coin-matching’ or ‘double double-grey jacks.’   The taker of this bet apparently has never studied the laws of logic, which states that, in the long run, the law of averages will always even up.

Two of the most enduring ideas in all of Southernhood are a rich daddy and a good-looking momma.  With these two ideals, a young Southerner can expect to be treated as royalty while growing up and can look forward to an enduring life filled with future opportunities and present prospect.  “Your Daddy’s rich and your Momma’s good lookin’ so hush little baby, don’t you cry,” from Porgy and Bess, by Gershwin and Howard.

Higher than a Georgia pine means just about as drunk as you can get.  In most of the red Georgia clay I have seen, almost nothing will grow.  Not ‘taters, not cotton, not even poke weed.  However, if you let it go feral for a few years, Georgia pine will grow like wildweeds, higher than a kite, reaching ever upward as the tightly packed trees will compete for the available sunshine. This was likened, long ago, to the mental acuity of an inebriated person whose mind seemed to wander among the clouds, higher than the Georgia pine, mostly detached from this mundane world.  It is in such infertile, inactive people that substance abuse seems to take root most freely.

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There are three distances in the south: a piece, as in I’m fixin’ to go down the road a piece (a short distance;) a fur piece (a pretty good distance) or a shur nuff fur piece (that distance could be to Seattle or even to the star, Orion and back.)

Well, I’ll just swaney!(more formal,) meaning I am completely beside myself.   Or, less formal, I‘ll swan to my time. (Well, I’ll be darned.)

Don’t go off half-cocked!   (Don’t get mad until and unless you have all the facts.)  Every Southern boy (and most of the gals) learn early in life about guns and gun safety.  They know that guns will not fire accidentally if not cocked; they will most likely fire accidentally if fully cocked but there is a position halfway between (half-cock) where the gun may fire accidentally at the whim of the gun.  Either fully cock the gun or don’t cock it at all; in-between is usually dangerous.  The larger lesson in life is either get mad or stay calm; but don’t enter a potentially dangerous situation with an ambivalent attitude.

We better git on the stick! (We better get started, start moving faster or start working harder.)  What the stick is, precisely or where was its origin, is not clearly known but it is often better to simply believe than to know exactly.  Which, pretty much sums up the entire Southern way of looking at things.  Facts, sometimes, simply serve to muddle up the situation.

Act like you got some raising!  Quit misbehaving!  Use the training imbued by your family while you were growing up.  Your misbehaving directly impugns the values and work of your entire family.  Not only are you responsible but your whole family isresponsible.  Quite a novel concept, don’t you think?  Responsibility?  It’s too bad that these ideas have been lost in this generation.