Volume IV, No. 2, Winter 1976

This Speech of Ours

Compiled by Caryn Rader

Have you ever been at a loss for words and didn't know how or what to say? This speech of ours seems to have an expression to fit every occasion. Have you ever heard someone from the Ozarks remark, "Well, if that don't beat a hen a-pecking," or "If that wouldn't take the warts off a toad?"

Expressions such as these add vim, vigor, happiness and laughter. If you listen closely to us you just might catch some unusual sayings.

Instead of an angry person saying to another, "You're no good," he might say--

You're not worth a milk bucket under a bull.

I'll slap you bald-headed.

You're worthless as tits on a boar.

Don't look at me with those hog eyes.

If you don't straighten up, I'll cut your water off and take your meter out.

Even though some expressions are quite comical, there are those a person would rather not hear, that could be deflating to his ego. A person would much rather hear, "He's as handy as a pocket in a shirt," than--
He's so awkward he couldn't lead geese to water with a double rein.

If he didn't have so much turned under, he'd be taller on top.

I'll dance at your wedding in a pig trough.

She's as ugly as a mud fence after a rain.

Get your hat before the sun cooks the sour water in your head.

She was so scared her eyes stuck out so far you could knock them off without touching her head.

He was so scared his eyes stuck out so far you could rope them with a grape vine.

Her hair is as fine as frog's hair.

He's weaker than three day old lettuce.

Her tongue wags at both ends.

He's as tight as a frog's hind end.

She's heavier than a ton of lard in a molasses can.

He's mad enough to chew splinters.

He has no more chance than a grasshopper in a chicken house.

Interesting comparisons add to our speech, such as, "Heck, it's not raining--it's only spitting" and--

Grinning like a mule eating screen wire.

Thick as fiddlers in hell.

Happier than a dog in a meat packing house.

Hot as loving in August.

Strong enough to stink a dog off a gut wagon.

Colder than a witch's breast in a brass bra on a freezing day in January.

Nervous as a June bride in a feather bed.

Grinning like a skunk eating cabbage.

Steady as a wart on a toad.

Just a hoot and a holler down the hill.

We use or have heard all these expressions. Really. I'd lie to you only if I couldn't tell you the truth several different ways.


Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

Next Article | Table of Contents | Other Issues

Local History Home

 Springfield-Greene County Library