Friday, November 02, 2007

Hillbilly Drawl, Y'all

Way back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I used to hear a lot of Southern colloquialisms. In fact I even spoke that way too.

I was watching a TV special last weekend about the life of Tennessee Ernie Ford. They have a saying back in West Virginia: You can take the boy out of the hills, but you can't take the hills out of the boy. It was 'pertnear' all of five minutes before I had resurrected my drawl. Listening to Ernie's Southern dialect and humor, I was inspired to grab a pad of paper and try to come up with some common sayings I used and heard while growing up in the South.

Fair to middlin'...Well, I swan...What in tarnation!... Dadgummit...

My daddy was a mechanic and he used to say, "A good mechanic only needs two tools - WD-40 and duck tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use duck tape."

I remember him and my mom sitting outside in the porch swing one night with a full moon. He said to her, "That moon is enough to make a rabbit smooch a hound dog." I think it was nine months later that my baby sister was born.

Until later in his life, when I was grown up, my father never turned down store-bought whiskey unless he felt like taking a hike up on McCormick Hill to fetch a few fingers of 'shine' from the McCormick boys. Whenever he slept in late my mother would say, "Yer paw came home commode-huggin drunk last night."

We had quite a few town drunks whose wives would throw them out of the house until they sobered up. A few times I've heard these men referred to as Lower than a snake's belly in a tar (tire) rut."

Speaking of tire rut's, parts of West Virginia are well know for its clay earth. Now when it rains clay earth turns into clay mud. There are many 'dirt roads' when you go deep into the rural parts of the state, and those roads are made of clay. One of my uncles would go out drinking and on the way home would end up with his truck stuck in the mud. He'd often say that the mud was deeper than the axle on a Ferris Wheel.

One of my aunts tended to use a lot of prepositions when she spoke, which was quite often. One day they took the youngin's to a fancy restaurant - you know, one of those Waffle Houses. As kids tend to become restless while sitting in the booth waiting for the food to arrive, invariably one of them would end up on the floor under the table. She would say something like, "Billy, you come on out from up in under there."

If ever I was acting up, which happened a lot, my Grandfather used to say to me, Boy, I'm gonna kick yer ass so fur up 'tween yer shoulder blades, yer gonna hafta take off yer shirt jest to take a crap."

Here's a few more things I'd hear from time to time:

"Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit."

"Joe pertnear kilt hisself on that dadgummed motor-sickle of his."

"I've been busier than a cat trying to bury shit on a marble floor."

"If it cost a dollar to go 'round the world, I couldn't git outta sight." (Broke)

"My belly button's gittin' awful acquainted with my backbone." (Hungry)

"She was so ugly her mother used to sit her in the corner and feed her with a slingshot."

Redneck Riviera: Any pond or swimmin' hole.

"He took the late train and came home in the caboose. (Slow)

"She's so narrow-minded she see through a keyhole with both eyes."

I think this, when the time comes, would make a good epitaph: I'm a Southerner born and bred, and when I die, I'll be a Southerner dead."


1 comment:

Raggedy said...

Those were grrrrrrrrrreat!!!
I felt right at home...
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) huggles
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one