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10 Southern Slang Phrases That We Use in the Tri-State

Surprisingly, there are about a billion (not really, but it seems that way) southern phrases that we use here in the tri-state regularly. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re saying them or that they’re considered southern! Out of all of the phrases to choose from, these ten stood out the most. Here are 10 southern slang phrases that we use here in the tri-state:

1. All Ya’ll
I know y’all have heard this before. It’s used in two contexts: 1) Hey, all y’all need to get over here and get in this picture! 2) I am so done with ALL Y’ALL! Personally, I love the angry iteration of “All y’all” best. Brings me back to my childhood.

2. I’m Fixin’ To
This is pretty southern and is frankly hillbilly talk. I’m fixing to equates to I’m going to do something. Example: “I’m fixin’ to go eat at the McDonalds if youn’s wanna come.” That last example may have been the most hillbilly thing to have ever been typed. Mental note: It’s terrifying how good I am at this.

3. Bless Your Heart!
Bless your heart can mean so many things. Sometimes the person means it in a positive way, as in an actual blessing of sorts. Other times, it’s used following an insult, generally indicating someone is ignorant in some way. Example: “Poor Billy went out in the woods again after we told him not too and that stray dog bit him again. I mean we told him not to, bless his heart!” Also known as, “Hey Billy, you idiot, stop going out in the woods where you know the stray rabid dog lives and getting bitten. I told you so!”

4. Too Big For His Britches
This one I heard a lot of growing up, and I’m sure many of you can relate. My mammaw would say, “Now you better not go and get too big for your britches now.” Basically, if I sass-talked at all, she was going to make it known that I should stop immediately. In other words, don’t get out of line thinking you know too much cause you don’t know squat.

5. A Few Cards Short Of A Full Deck
Many iterations of this colloquialism exist including, “Missing a Few Marbles” and “You Got a Screw Loose.” Basically, you’re crazy and everyone knows it and they’re calling you out on it. If you’re “a few cards short of a full deck” the person is insinuating that you aren’t all there upstairs. There is no light in the attic.

6. Dumber Than a Bag of Hammers
Although there are many versions of this phrase as well such as, “Dumber than a box of rocks,” I particularly am drawn to “dumber than a bag of hammers.” I heard that one a lot growing up, and to me, a bag of hammers in some way seems dumber than a box of rocks. Follow me here: if you have a box of rocks, at least you could play with them or make pet rocks. What does one do with a bag of hammers? Anyway, it means that whatever was said was so stupid that there is no way to describe it other than to say it is “dumber than a bag of hammers.”

7. Lord Willing and If The Creek Don’t Rise
This one is so unusual, but means as long as you have luck on your side and no problems come into play, everything should go as planned. To be honest, I don’t have a good example for this one because I recently just stumbled upon it. My Mother-In-Law said it one day and I was completely dumbfounded as to what she meant. She was looking at me like, “Awe, bless your heart!”

8. Pushing Up Daisies

Big fan of this one! It’s an awesome way to say that someone has died and will be laid to rest and their body will feed the ecosystem to complete the circle of life. It can be sort of morbid if you think about it literally. That may very well be why the phrase was created. One day someone was like, “Hey, all y’all, instead of sayin’ somebody died and their decomposing body is fertilizing the soil, maybe we could just say they’s is pushin’ up daisies instead!” That’s the way I’d like to think it all went down.

9. Don’t Get Your Feathers Ruffled
“Don’t get your panties in a bunch” is also one that people are familiar with and each phrase is one in the same meaning wise. Basically, try not to get all upset over nothing. Don’t you hate it when your feathers get all ruffled? It’s such a pain. To be quite frank, my panties getting in a bunch is the reason I get my feathers all ruffled. So don’t you tell me not to get my panties in a bunch! I already tell them that every day! They just never listen. Stupid panties.

10. Cute as a button
I have a love-hate relationship with this phrase. It’s a darling little phrase meaning that someone thinks you’re adorable for doing something they like or looking attractive. As an adult, I do not like being called “cute as a button” because it reminds me of when old people used to say that to me as a child, or when boys used to say it to me in a condescending manner. However, it does seem like a nice complement to get if there are no negative connotations associated with it.

So, that’s all folks! I reckon I’m about done here! I’ll see all y’all later I’m sure. Y’all come and visit our website at 1061evansville.com again, you hear?!

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