Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Where Are You From?

Winners, Winners, Winners,

First, I want to say thank you so much to everyone for playing and posting. Because I had so many posts, I decided to give away two prizes for the humorous sayings. And two for just commenting.

MSHELLION,VIRGINIA, REFHATER, and JOYE please contact me, via my website address at christie @ christie- craig. com (no spaces)

You guys have won, a book, either Divorced, Desperate and Delicious or Weddings Can Be Murder. (If you have both of those, I'm giving away one of my friends/writing buddies books, either Real Vampires Live Large by Gerry Bartlett, or Like a Charm by Candace Havens. From come, first serve on those two books.) A pack of my very own "pet" note cards and "silly" pen to help remind you the importance of smiling. So contact me and give me your snail mail address and selection.

Thanks again everyone. You guys made my day.

CC



Okay…this ain’t no secret. Most of you have probably figured it out by reading my posts, or better yet, by reading my books. In two weeks from today, Divorced, Desperate and Dating hits the stands, and you can bet your boots, that you’d be able to figure it out by reading that tall tale.

For those of you who have met me personally, you didn’t have to read squat. You pretty much figured it out when I opened my mouth. And since I seldom keep the trap closed, it’s a no-brainer conclusion to make.

What am I’m talking about? Hold your horses, I’m fixin’ to tell ya’.

I’m talking about talk, southern talk. I’m talking about being southern. The language of the south, the twangs, the drawls, the word choices, clich├ęs, and . . . the mannerisms. And then there’s the manners. Honey, in these here stomping grounds we were raised to mind our manners. I mean, even if we’re telling people how the cow ate the cabbage, we do it in such slow, soft-spoken words, that it’s sweater than a glass of Aunt Bertha’s tea. Southerners are known to be polite and friendly. Why, here in Texas we have road signs that say, “Drive friendly.” My Californian step-dad asked me if that meant he had to wave at everyone as he drove past.

If a southerner says something that’s less than kind, we back it up with those famous words, “Bless his/her heart.” For example, “He couldn’t pour spit out of a boot if the instructions were written on his heel. Bless his heart.” Now we just called some poor fella dumber than dirt, but the blessing more than makes up it.

I remember moving to Los Angeles back in the early eighties. I’d no more open my mouth when I’d get the question: “Where are you from?” Now, I’ll have to confess, it annoyed the crappers out of me. I simply didn’t cotton to the fact that everyone knew right off the bat that I wasn’t from hereabouts. What I had to say wasn’t important, those folks just wanted to listen to me yarn some words together. Not that I didn’t like to talk, mind you, but this southern gal talked to be heard not to entertain.

Sometimes people didn’t even understand what I was saying. Once having a conversation with a neighbor, she told me her husband had said she needed to get breast implants.

I quickly told her that her husband obviously didn’t know diddley. Her response was, “Neither do I. What’s Diddley’s last name?”

I’ll admit, I even tried to learn to talk like the women on the six o’clock news. In case you’re wondering, it didn’t work out too well. The ya’lls, ain’ts, and pretty pleases, just kept slipping out. As a matter of fact, one of my best jobs in the big city was granted to me because of my southern drawl. I got paid a purty penny to get the big wigs of companies on the phone to answer a few market research questions. Oh, they liked hearing me talk.

Yup, I’ve learned to embrace my southerness both in my spoken words and in my written tales. You might be surprised at how many people have defined my writing voice as: southern sass and southern humor. And I guess, when I think about it, it’s true. My characters are mostly southern, they talk southern, and so far all my stories have taken place in the south. And I guess you could call my heroines a bit sassy since they have a special way of dealing with men who chap their hides or people who set out to put a burr under their saddles. As for the humor, well, we do like to laugh in the south.

Yup, I have a hankering for good southern phrases. Most of them I get from just listening to people around me.

My dad, an Alabamian as the day is long, is always giving me great verbal jewels for my books. One that my heroine Sue uses in the book, Divorced, Desperate and Dating is, “Fine as frog’s hair.” Now, I’ll be honest with you. I’m not all together certain that frogs have hair. Or if it’s fine or coarse. But in the south, we never let logic get in the way of a good saying. For example, take the words I heard my mama use all her life. “If you don’t behave, I’m gonna pinch cha’ head off.”

Now, while that creates a rather disturbing visual, let me tell you, that she also used those same words in a positive affirmation, too. “I love you so much that I could pinch cha’ head off.”

So you see, pinching your head off could be a good or a bad thing. Who knew?

Another one I’ve heard, “You’re so sweet, I could serve you up with biscuits and peach preserves.” Not sure I ever wanted to be served up for breakfast, but it was a good thing.

So, here’s what I want from you today. Give some verbal jewels. I don’t even care if they’re southern. I want some quirky or unique phrases. Think back on what your grandparents used to say. I’m gonna be giving away two prizes today. One for the best saying, and one of just a random drawing from a poster from today’s posts and last Saturday and Sundays. So post away and win some free loot.

Crime Scene Christie

49 comments:

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Christie - I remember one time I attended software class in CT. The instructor was from England and while we were talking he broke into a big smile and said "you finally said 'yall.' I've been waiting." Made his day apparently. :)

My family's favorite southern saying (especially being Baptist) used when someone is complaining:

"Get off the cross. Someone needs the wood."

Christie Craig said...

Love it Jana!!! I haven't heard that one.

Have you guys ever heard, "It scared the Pee..rooni out of me?"

I'm not sure if this one of my family's own saying or if it has roots. Either way, I get the pee...rooni scared out of me quite a bit.

CC

Linda C said...

Christie, I'm still laughing from your blog. One of my Daughters-in-law is from Tennessee and I just love to hear her talk. Even though I have lived in Michigan since I was 7 years old, both my brother and I were born in KY. When we started school in Detroit, they thought we have speech problems because of our accents. LOL

My late father-in-law on first meeting me remarked that My husband and I have problaby been "swapping spit for awhile now". LOL Don't know if that's southern or not. But still makes me smile.

Linda

Christie Craig said...

Linda C.

I love it. I don't know if it's southern either, but I've heard it quite a bit. "Don't you go swapping spit with any of those fellows."

I can still hear it roll off my daddy's tongue.

Thanks Linda!

CC

Keri Ford said...

My hubby will often tell me: I'm gonna rip your arm off and beat you with it.

And I should probably clarify that the hubby is in no way abusive. I get that sort of comment because my mouth runs off on me sometimes (hey, there's you another!)

My dad took us on summer vacaction out of our southern roots and into Yankee territory. People would tell us, just talk. Say something.

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

LOL! Rip your arm off is right up there with pinch your head off. Guess removing body parts is big in the south, huh?

And running off mouths are pretty common with us southern folks.

Thanks for sharing.

CC

Margaret G said...

Even tho I've lived in Yankeeland for over 30 years, I still say y'all and bless his/her heart. My granddaughter and her friends love my Southern sayings.

I'm going to smack you six ways to Sunday. Or do anything else in the extreme. It's always six ways to Sunday.

I'm fixin' to go to town.

It's over yonder.

He's busier than a one-armed paper hanger.

He's busier than a cranberry merchant at Christmas time.

It's colder than a loan shark's heart. OR

It's colder than a well-digger's elbow.

I have more but think that's enough for now. Love the post today. Can't wait for the book.

Christie Craig said...

Margaret G.,

I love it. I’ve always heard, "You can get the vinegar out of pickle easier than you get sass out of southerner."

Those are great!!

CC

jbrayweber said...

Hi Christie!
I just had to share. Don't know how southern this is, but my entire family has lived in Texas for over a century.

Have you ever taken a "monkey bath?" Yep - grew up saying this. That's when you was your face and tail!

Also, my grandma has always said, "Drawn to it like a coon to shiny."

Christie Craig said...

jbrayweber,

Monkey bath...LOL. I've also heard, spit bath and whore's bath.

And love the "Drawn to it like a coon to shiny."

I love these. They are going into my books!

CC

jbrayweber said...

Hi Christie!
I just HAD to share. Don't know how southern this is, but my entire family has lived in Texas for over a century.

Have you ever taken a "monkey bath?" Yep - grew up saying this. That's when you was your face and tail!

Also, my grandma has always said, "Drawn to it like a coon to shiny."

Terry S said...

Jana used one in her comments for yesterday's blog that I'd like to know the meaning.

"Drive the big white bus."

Never heard that one. I think I know, but a translation would be great.

I remember once asking a friend in Virginia what she meant by "coming up". She looked at me as if I were somewhat mentally deficient but I had never heard it before.

Christie Craig said...

Terry S,

I think I get what Jana meant, but you know, the thing about sayings is that they can particular to one family, or one town. So I'm going to let Jana answer that one.

Now as for the "coming up" statement. Well, it seems pretty clear to me, too. If it's coming up, it's about to happen. (Smile) That's the thing about the these sayings, to those who use them everyday, they don't stand out as different or strange.

I remember someone in California asking me what I meant by "fixing" to do something.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Anonymous said...

HI Christie! Well - thing is - when I'm around folks who speak in a "southern" manner, I pick it up and speak like that, too. Southern speak is highly contagious and sort of warm and fuzzy-sounding. And it makes jokes sound funnier, too. Maybe it's the slow, drawn-out punchline?

Linda

Barbie and the Beast - April 09 - Dorchester

www.lindathomas-sundstrom.com

Gemma Halliday said...

Here in CA we just throw the word 'dude' into every other sentence.

Christie Craig said...

Linda,

I can believe it. Because when I'm around someone who speaks with a different accent, I start picking up the tone, and speach patterns too. I'm sure I never get it right with my southern drawl, but it just happens.

I'm always worried poeple will think I'm poking fun at them.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Gemma,

Seriously, I don't think people in California really have an accent. I can listen to someone from up north and recognize the sound, but California . . . not so much.

But hey...if I throw in a few "dudes," will people know I spent some time in that wonderful state?

CC

Virginia said...

How about these.

Your cuter then a speckled pup under a red wagon.

You'd make a rabit hug a hound.

Ya'll come and see us.

This food is so good it'll make your tongue slap your brains out.

I ain't getten nutting done.

jawen-talking

This is all I can think of right now but I'll come back if I think of anymore.

Christie Craig said...

Virginia,


Those are great. Oh, goodness, I can see right now that I'm in trouble picking a winner.

I'm going to have make a list of these sayings and keep them.

Thanks for sharing!

CC

Loralee said...

Hey, Christie girl,

I'm loving this post and had to add my share of Southern (Texas) speak. There is a bit of a difference so these might be more Texan than Deep South.

About as handy as hip pockets on a hog (meaning useless)

Sweeter than an old maid's dreams

He looked like he'd been hit with an Ugly Stick twice

He don't know sic 'em from c'mere

Serious as a TV preacher

So windy we used a log chain instead of a wind sock

Hope these give y'all a grin or two. My daddy always said any place below the Mason-Dixon line was the South, so I guess that includes Texas. Can you tell I'm homesick?

Christie Craig said...

Loralee,

I love them!!!

I've never heard the one about hip pockets on a hog.

Thanks so much for sharing.

And Texas misses you too, girl.

But we'll see you soon...in New York City. We can talk Texan and share margarita chit chat.

CC

Terry S said...

LOL. I love today's blog. I don't envy you having to choose from so many great responses.

Dialects are so fun. I guess "coming up" really shows the difference between Virginia southern and Texas southern. I, too, thought "coming up" meant upcoming event but was told it means "growing up" or "being raised".

Keri Ford said...

Down the line of comming up...I had "Keep up with it, it was my grandpa's." in a manuscript. Somebody critiqued and marked this sentence as, "I have no idea what this is supposed to mean." I think about that comment all the time and wonder how that critter didn't understand what Keep up with it meant. :O)

And as I was reading through these, I remembered a fav of mine, "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass"

Christie Craig said...

Well, we're just gonna have to explain to those Virginian's that they're mistaken. Bless their hearts. LOL.

Yup, sayings can be specific to a town and even families. I know we have a saying just in our family. i.e. "Pulling a Nina." My daughter is sweeter than twice sweatened tea and cuter than that speckled pup under the red wagon, but she's famous for being clumsy. So hence the saying. Then there was the saying, "It could keep Evelyn's dressing company." Meaning that no one could get near it because Evelyn's dressing was made out of lard and no one would eat it. Sayings can come out of all sorts of funny situations.



CC

Christie Craig said...

LMAO! "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass"

I love it.

You know another one of my dad's sayings that is used in Divorced, Desperate and Dating is, "Bumping Uglies." Meaning "doing the deed" or as some people would say, "doing the Humpty Dumpty dance."

Hey, in the south, when I was young, we didn't use ugly words, so we created words that meant ugly things. But they we're ugly words.
CC

MsHellion said...

I've got "frog hair" like 'isms.

"Sh*t-eating grin"--which that doesn't make any sense. If you're eating crap, would you be grinning?

"Grinning like a possum eatin' briars"--this originates from my father

"I haven't seen you in a coon's age." I have no idea how long coons live, btw.

"There's not enough room to swing a cat in here."

"Little pitchers have big ears." WTH?

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

(I'm still laughing about the cross line...I'll have to think some more...)

Christie Craig said...

mshellion,

Okay...you really cracked me up with, "Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit."

Now, being the southern lady that I am, I'm not sure I could ever use the saying, but I still love it! What does that tell you about me?

Thanks for sharing.

CC

Refhater said...

I grew up in Oklahoma before moving back to Michigan when I was 12. "Finer than frog hair." was popular along with "Faster than a chicken on a june bug."

My parents (Originally from Michigan) were always strict with our verbal skills so not much of the Oakie accent shows through anymore. But you'll still occasionally hear a "y'all" or "Sugar" here and there. They were less than thrilled when I came home from 1st grade and announced that I had learned my Vales. (Vowels) When asked to explain what a vale was I responded "You know A,E,I O, and YEW.

"Oh fiddle sticks!" and "If your nose itches, it means that you're gonna kiss a fool." were phrases that I heard from my grandparents.

Tori Lennox said...

My grandma used to say it was "cold enough to freeze your pockets off". *g*

And another her favorite phrases about feeling ill, "felt like death eating a cracker". ROFL!

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver said...

I've been in the south my whole adult life and have picked up a few lines here and there from my good friend who was Virginia-born and bred. She always says that "about plucked my last nerve" and she said her daddy'd say: "this towns so small you can fart on one end of main street and smell it on the other."

Natale Stenzel said...

LOL, Christie! I'm sorry, but I love to listen to you talk, too*g*. Of course *what* you say usually has me laughing until I'm crying anyway, if that makes you feel any better*g*.

Jewels . . . my mother is something like 15/16 Norwegian and grew up in North Dakota. She still uses a few zingers my grandmother would belt out from the belly. One was "ooftah," which was a standard exclamation of amazement or surprise. There was also the infamous "ishtah" which sounded more like "yeesh-tah" and meant basically yuck.

We lived in Louisiana for several years and it used to baffle me when the waitress would ask what kind of Coke we wanted to drink -- as in any kind of soda, regardless of brand, was called a Coke. Oh, and you never actually *did* anything, but you were always "fixin'ta" do something. I did find y'all to be very useful -- finally, a separate word to refer to second person plural.

Great post, Christie!

Marcia James said...

Great blog! I lived in Massachusetts as a child, but also in TN and KY, so I say "you guys" and "y'all" interchangeably.

Here's a couple of my favorite Southern sayings:

“Don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining.”

"If a cat had kittens in an oven, that wouldn’t make them biscuits.”

“Is a frog’s butt water-tight?” (A variation on the old "Is the Pope Catholic?" reply)

I've noticed quite a few Southern sayings are about biscuits and frogs. ;-)
-- Marcia James
TAILS OF LOVE, June 2009

Vicky said...

This is my all time favorite from my high school best friend's mom who was from Mississippi. Here goes: "What goes over the devil's back, comes back under his belly."

Eeeew! LOL!

Vicky

Christie Craig said...

Rfhater,

"Faster than a duck on June bug." I love it. But you know here is Texas, they don't know what June bugs are. They call these little brown bugs June bugs. In Alabama, the June bugs were iridescent and bigger. We would tie strings to their legs and fly them around like pets.

And fiddle sticks was one of those saying mama let me say without getting the look.

Thanks for posting!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Tori,

I love those. "Death eating a Cracker!" LOL! Don't you wonder where these came from?

Thanks so much for sharing.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Jenny (Sleeping With Ward Cleaver)

"this towns so small you can fart on one end of main street and smell it on the other."

Oh my gawd! That is for sure the town I grew up in. I love it!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Natale,

I'm glad I give you a smile. :-)

Honestly, I didn't even understand why people had a problem with Bush Senior saying "Fixen'" As far as I was concerned, it was the perfect word. And the same goes with the question, "What kind of Coke?" I understand to someone non-southern, when the question is answered, "Coke" and the waitress doesn't react strangely it might seem a little strange, but it makes perfect sense to us.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Marcia,

"Is a Frog's butt water-tight?" Okay this made me spit out my Diet DP--through my nose, mind you. And it wasn't pretty. I mean, I'm always needed another way to ask the question, "Do the bears do it in the woods?"

This one is perfect.

Thanks so much for sharing!!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Vicky,

WOW. I really like it. Not sure I grasp its meaning, but I'm gonna be thinking about that one. I guess it could mean, you reap what you sew.

Do you know exactly what it means?

Hmm, I wonder if my Mississippi writing partner knows. I'll have to ask her.

Thanks so much for sharing. These are all sooo great.

CC

Anonymous said...

My grandmother always said of someone who was ornery or mischievous "God Bless his heart" as if that would solve all problems. And she referred to the old horse we had as "dumb as a box of rocks" but when we liked a certain young boy that was sooooo cute she would say he was the "tops"
JOYE

Nancy said...

FUNNY post, Christie!

I was raised in Oklahoma, and my dad's parents had come from Arkansas. When surprised or shocked, my grandmother used to say, "Well, I declare" or, "Well, I'll swan." I took those to be her So Baptist swear words. :)

CA folks always wanted me to talk, too. I can "hear" a Californian by the lack of an accent.

Thanks for the fun, everyone!

Light,
Nancy Haddock
La Vida Vampire

Christie Craig said...

Joye,

I'm telling you, blessing someone's heart can fix loads of sins, both of the person saying it and of the person it's being said about. :-)

I like "dumb as box of rocks."

Thanks so much for sharing!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Nancy,

A good southern lady, especially one with Southern Baptist ties, just didn't say ugly words. Which is why I'm certain we have so many very unusal expressions. Like Fiddle Sticks, or Gosh darn. "I declare..." could be translated, to "Oh shit!" any day of the week. One of aunts used to say, "Holy Helen!" She never would explain who Helen was.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Virginia said...

Here's a few more.

Its colder then a well diggers butt.

Knee high to a grasshopper.

He don't mount to a hill of beans.

I ain't seen him in coons age.

Been road hard and put up wet.

Dukes mixtures

He's two bricks short of a full load.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Dead an a door nail.

If you havn't guessed by now I am from KY and we don't talk to good here.

Christie Craig said...

Virginia,

Those are priceless, too.

Love em.

CC

RM Kahn said...

I was born and raised in West Virginia, but have been in California for more than 20 years. That doesn't matter.. my accent still comes forth.. especially when I am angry. My friends still tease me for things like, "Ya'll, calling my father, Daddy and for this phrase... "A gully washer, frog strangler!" The latter one I learned from my mother, who often said it after a hard rain.

A slightly more colorful phrase I have been known to use is, "Sh*t, damn and boy howdy!"

Anonymous said...

"A heart as tough as a hickory stump."

Mary M

Christie Craig said...

rm Kahm,

I'm telling you, you can't the southernism out of your blood. It hangs on like junk yard dog to a T-bone.

Thanks so much for posting.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Mary M.

Love it!!! And I don't know how hard a hickory stump is, but it works.

Thank you so much for posting.

CC