Countrified Colloquialisms

Old man and young boy sharing a good laugh

You know those corny sayings that your granny or grandaddy used to say that made everyone laugh – but got the point across perfectly? Some of them have made their way into the popular vernacular. For example, most everyone has heard the phrase “like a duck on a june bug,” applied to a very quick reaction on someone’s part. But there are a multitude of more obscure ones floating around in isolated pockets of the collective memory, just waiting to be re-discovered by the younger generation. We jogged our collective memories and dug up a few of these golden nuggets here for all to enjoy – and use when the time proves just right!

“A blind hog roots up an acorn every now and then.”
Translation: “He just got lucky this time.""

“A stopped clock is right twice a day.”
Translation: “She’s right this time (even though she’s usually wrong).”

“Those are scarcer than hen’s teeth.”
Translation: “They’re very rare.”

“That boy’s ‘bout three idles above a possum.”
Translation: “He’s a bit on the slow side.

“It made more racket than a couple of skeletons throwing a fit on a tin roof.”
Translation: “It was very noisy.”

“It covers about as much as a flapper‘s skirt in a high wind.”
Translation: “Doesn’t cover much.”

“I wouldn’t pay that much to see a grasshopper eat a bale of hay.”
Translation: “Not worth the price.”

“He was nervous as a chicken in a pillow factory.”
Translation: “He was really nervous.”

“She was nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs.”
Translation: “She was really nervous.”

“Might as well try to draw a 45-degree line with an Etch A Sketch.”
Translation: “Ain’t gonna happen.”

“You’re tall enough to lick salt off the top of my head!”
Translation: “You’re tall (and I’m short)!”

“She just stood there batting her eyes like a toad in a hailstorm.”
Translation: “She was thoroughly discombobulated.”

“Don’t ask him for anything; he’s tighter than Dick’s hatband.”
Translation: “He’s a skinflint.”

“She could talk . . . the hind leg off a mule . . . the bark off a tree . . . the paint off the wall.”
Translation: “She’ll go on and on forever.”

“Weren’t nuthin’ to do but climb up a tree and sing.”
Translation: “There was nothing to be done about it.”

“A chicken ain’t nuthin’ but a bird.”
Translation: “That’s just the way it is.”

“That blade’s so dull I could tap dance barefooted on it.”
Translation: “That blade is really dull.”

“Don’t eat that – it’ll hand-cuff your liver!”
Translation: “If you eat that, you’ll be sorry!”

“Fine as a frog hair split down the middle.”
Translation: “Very fine/tiny/delicate.”

“She was like a puppy with her first porcupine.”
Translation: “She had an unpleasant revelation.”

“That boy’s got a hitch in his gitalong.”
Translation: “He’s a bit slow/awkward/unreliable.”

“There’s a yellow jacket in the outhouse.”
Translation: “Houston, we have a problem.”

“He’s traded his guitar for a harp.”
Translation: “He bought the farm.”

“I was like a rubber-nosed woodpecker in a petrified forest.”
Translation: “I was severly handicapped, unprepared, or otherwise disadvantaged.”

“We’ve howdied, but we ain’t shook.”
Translation: “We’ve only just met – and that barely.”

“Fits like socks do a rooster.”
Translation: “Doesn’t fit at all.”

“I don’t care if it harelips the guv’nor!”
Translation: “Nothing’s going to stop me!”

“Till there’s grass growin’ round the hog trough.”
Translation: “Ain’t gonna happen.”

“That’s no hill for a stepper!”
Translation: “It’s an insignificant obstacle for one who has the wherewithal.”

“As long as I’ve got a biscuit, you’ve got half.”
Translation: “We’re in this together.”


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