.Banner

HOME | FAMILY | CONDUCTING | SINGING | USU | STEINER | STANFORD | PHOTOS
26th AMENDMENT SIGNING | MEMORIES

Kentuckyisms

Like to died.
Scared to death.
Nearly jumped out of my skin.
I don't want to fiddle with that.
Died laughing - I almost died laughing.
Used to could - I used to could do that.
Shitepoke - He is just a shitepoke. (a type of bird OR a worthless person)
Hit - Hit is so hot outdoors today I need to get in the shade. (it)
Drecklee - I'll be home drecklee after school. (directly)
Chester drawers - After you fold them clothes, put them in the chester drawers. (chest of drawers)
Chifferobe - Hang up your clothes in the chifferobe. (a closet-like piece of furniture)
Roshunear - I can't wait until the corn ripens and we have roshunears. (roasting ears)
Flares - My wife loves purdy flares from the garden. (flowers)
Arshes - Blue or purple flars. (Iris)
Arsh Taters - (Irish potatoes)
Vyeenies - I love vyeenie sausages. Open the can and slurp them down. (Vienna sausages)
Tars - My car must need new tars 'cause this one is flat. (tires)
Pole Cat - Do you smell that pole cat? (skunk)
Backer or backey - When you use chewing backer, where do you spit? In a can or in a spitoon? (tobacco)
Wacky backy - (marijuana, cannabis)
'Maters - My favorite vegetables are nice, ripe, red 'maters. (tomatoes)
Davenport - (Another name for a sofa.) davenport
Slop Jar - Who forgot to empty the slop jar? (Chamber pot toilet - used if there is no indoor toilet.)
Mess - I'm fixing a mess of beans. (a goodly amount)
Poke - Put that stuff in a paper poke. (paper bag)
Holler - We live up the holler, past the creek. (hollow)
Ice box - Put the milk in the ice box. (refrigerator)
Piddlin' - I'm just piddlin' around the house, looking for something to do.
Fixin' - I'm fixin' to leave the house. (preparing to) CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW PHYLLIS REACTS
Hainted - That old house is hainted. (haunted)
Far - Don't fergit to put out the far. (fire)
Worsh and Rinch - After you worsh the dishes, don't fergit to rinch them good. (wash and rinse)
Zink (the kitchen zink) (sink)
Orta - I orta go buy some grub. (ought to)
'Pawn my honor - Well, 'pawn my honor, I do believe we met years ago. (upon my honor)
When you can't think of the correct word: Thingamajig, Thingy, Thingamabob, Whatchmacallit, Whatsit, Whateveritis, Doo-dad, Doo-hicky, Doo-jigger, Doo-lolly, Doo-dah, Doo-fer, Gizmo.

To see great explanations of Appalachian words and sayings,
visit Karen Nolan's wonderful blog:
Diamonds in my Coal Bucket


Sayings Heard Near Somerset, Kentucky

* I'm hotter than a nanny goat in a pepper patch
* The only thing bad about you is your breath
* He's sneakier than a junkyard dog
* Let's make like a horse turd and hit the trail
* Useless as a two-pound pig
* That's more scarce than chicken teeth
* People has more fun than anybody
* Nobody has more fun than chickens because they eat with their peckers
* He's as stout as a young bulldozer
* It's darker than a bag of Kingsford charcoal
* He ain't bigger than a fried fart
* You’ll have to poop in the creek in the morning to keep the woods from catching on fire
* There it was hanging upstairs in the basement
* I’m so thirsty I could suck Buck Creek dry
* If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass every time he jumped
* He’s as ugly as a mud fence
* He fell out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down
* They could sit on a dead horse and eat a hamburger
* He’s as crooked as a barrel of snakes
* I’m more pissed off than a democrat at a George Bush speech
* She's as jumpy as a woman giving birth to a roll of barbed wire
* I guaran-told ya

If someone is "madder than a wet hen," they are: angry.
"Hold your horses" means... be patient.
If your mamaw says she'll "tan your hide" that means... she's gonna spank you.
If you "got your feathers ruffled" you... let it bother you.
"I reckon" could also mean... I suppose so.
Someone who is "fixin' to" do something is... about to.
A mosquito hawk is a... dragonfly.
What do you do to an elevator button? mash.
If someone says "Oh, foot!" they are probably: frustrated or annoyed.
If something is "catty-corner" it's... diagonal.
If someone won't stop piddling, they won't stop... wasting time.
If you're going to "bad-mouth" someone, you're going to... say mean things about them.
If something is "yonder" it's... in the distance.
A a "blinker?" is a car's turn signal.
If someone calls you out for "being ugly" in the south, they are saying you're... rude.
"Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise." What does this mean? It'll go well, hopefully.
What's a "hissy fit" like? dramatic loss of temper.
If someone is "too big for his britches" he is... taking himself too seriously.
What is a "po'boy"? a baguette sandwich of meat or seafood.
What's the situation if you have "six of one, a half-dozen of the other"? both options are equally good.
Your mama probably carried a "pocketbook." What's that? a purse.
Finish this phrase: "I'm as happy as a pig..." in mud.
If someone is "fat as a tick" that means... they're full.
What does "the devil is beating his wife" mean in parts of the South? it's raining but the sun is out
Finish this phrase: "slow as..." molasses.
If someone is "fit to be tied" they are... very angry.
If someone is "tickled pink" they are... delighted.
A "clicker" is a TV remote control (also called a flipper).
What is an "alligator pear"? an avocado.
Finish this phrase: "That stinks to..." high heaven.
"I don't have a dog in that fight." means? The person doesn't care about the situation.
If your Aunt Lettie asks you for some sugar, she probably wants... kisses.
Finish this phrase: "It doesn't amount to a..." hill of beans.
If you've been "sneetered," what has happened to you? You've been scammed.
Finish this phrase: "Cute as a..." button.
A vacuum cleaner is called... a sweeper.
Your daddy tells you to go and get a "switch." He is asking for? a stick with which to spank you.
"That dog won't hunt!" What does this phrase mean? That idea won't work out.
When you order a "coke" in the South, what will you get? A question about what kind of coke you want.
Finish the phrase: "What in..." Tarnation.
If you took the time to make yourself look really good, you're all... gussied up.
What phrase means "for a long time"? 'Til the cows come home.
If something really gets your goose, it... makes you mad.
You're not feeling well! You're as sick as a... dog.
If you take a big ol' truck through some mud puddles for fun, you're... Muddin'
What kind of fit are you likely to have if you're angry? Conniption.
Big boots are called... Clodhoppers.
Those places you used to hang out at in high school? Those are your... stompin' grounds.
When does supper happen? In the evening.
If someone is feeling a mite "peckish" they are... hungry.
A toilet is also known as a... commode.
Someone is wasting a lot of time doing nothing important. They are... Lollygagging.
If you go to a real redneck bar, what kind of music will be playing? Honky-Tonk.
"He's more ornery than a cat!" What does ornery mean? Stubborn.
If you want to say someone is nervous, you'd say they were "like a long-tailed cat in a room full of..." Rocking chairs.
If you have "a mind to" do something, you are: considering doing it.
When Southerners say "bless your heart," they really mean: "You're an idiot."
Finish the phrase: "Well chop off my legs and call me...: shorty.
If something is "cattywampus," it is: crooked.
When you want to say someone is urbanized and not country at all, you say they are: citified.
When you want to say someone is flat broke, you say they: "don't have a pot to piss in."
When you really need to use the bathroom quite badly, what do you say are "floatin'?" Eyeballs.
What are especially country Southern men often called? Good ol' boys.
A small depression in the side of a mountain, not big enough to be called a valley, is called a: holler.
When you want to indicate something isn't off to a great start, you say it's: "off like a herd of turtles."
If something or someone is pretending to be deceased, they are: playin' possum.
When someone is unbelievably exhausted, you say they're "rode hard and put away wet."
When something is broken, it is: tore up.
If you want to tell someone you've known them since they were little, you'd say, "I've know you since you were knee high to a grasshopper."


Stories Heard During My Youth

The local preacher at the First Baptist Church when I was a little boy was "Brother Hunter" who was very opposed to the use of alcohol. One day he ran into the local drunk who had too much to drink. When he saw him he said, "Drunk again, Mr. Jones." To which, Jones answered, "Me too, Brother Hunter."

My Father freequently told this story at the conclusion of a meal
Old man and old woman (who is hard of hearing) after dinner:
Old Man: I've had a sufficiency.
Old Woman: You've been fishing?
Old Man: I've had plenty.
Old Woman: You caught twenty?
Old Man: You damned old fool!
Old Woman: You broke your pole? Well, that's the luck of a fisherman!

Mrs. Cooper was my 5th-grade teacher. Her son, John Sherman Cooper was a U.S. Senator, and Ambassador to India and East Germany as well as a delegate to the United Nations. He often told the following story at campaign rallies.
An old couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary:
Old man, feeling profound appreciation and love:
Old man: I'm proud of you!
Old Woman: What?
Old Man: I'M PROUD OF YOU!!!
Old Woman: WHAT???
Old Man: I'M PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!
Old Woman: I'M TIRED OF YOU, TOO!!!!!

Bumblebee With His Tail Cut Off (remembered from my maternal grandfather)
B-u-m, bum, and there's your bum.
B-l-e, ble, and there's your ble, and there's your bumble.
B double e, bee, and there's your bee, and there's your bumble-bee.
W-i-t-h, with, and there's your with, and there's your bumblebee with.
H-i-s, his, and there's your his, and there's your bumblebee with his.
T-a-i-l, tail, and there's your tail, and there's your bumblebee with his tail.
C-u-t, cut, and there's your cut, and there's your bumblebee with his tail cut.
O double f, off, and there's your off, and there's your bumblebee with his tail cut off.

PREVIOUS | NEXT
Return to Memories