Volume III, No. 3, Spring 1976

This Speech, of Ours

Compiled by Jenny Kelso

The Ozark dialect has many colorful expressions which make our speech more interesting and humorous. Below are a few of my favorite expressions which I have heard used in the Ozarks.

Comfortable as a snake's belly in an old wagon rut

Black as an ace of spades

Busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly time

Cooler than the center of a cucumber

Glasses thicker than fruit jars

Last as long as a paper shirt in a bear fight

So poor he couldn't buy hay for a nightmare

Skinny as a plucked chicken

Nervous as a porcupine in a balloon factory

Too lazy to say sooey if the hogs was eatin' him up

Useless as a hog with a side saddle

Walk like you had a cob between your legs

So big you couldn't throw a fly line around her

So full he could crack a tick on his belly

Talk the leg off a chair

Hot as a billie goat in a pepper patch

Freckled as a turkey egg

If he had a brain he'd have it in his hand a-playin' with it.

She's so bowlegged she couldn't pen a pig in a ditch.

He's so ugly he has to slap himself to sleep.

My grandmother was slow, but she was old. What's your excuse?

That's the way it goes, first your money, then your clothes.

The first wash in May washes the lice away.

The ground is so poor they can't raise a row with a pitchfork.

He's so crooked he couldn't sleep in a round house.

Quit hollerin' down the rain barrel. (useless talking)

She's so ugly she could stop an eight day clock.

He takes to you like a hog after persimmons.

Thank you 'til you're better paid.

I'm jumpier than a truck load of starvin' kangaroos.

I don't know the exact date I was born. I know it was tater time, but don't know if it was diggin' or plantin'.

He didn't have sense enough to pound sand in a rat hole.

This country's so rough if you got sick and the weather's bad, they'd just have to let you die and haul you out when it faired up.

The ole cow stepped on my foot. It sure felt good when she got off.

I wish I was a rich man's dog and my owner didn't have any cattle.

He's so ugly, he has to sneak up on a glass of water to get a drink.


Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

Next Article | Table of Contents | Other Issues

Local History Home

 Springfield-Greene County Library