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35 Southern Sayings from a True Southerner

Unlock the charm of the South with our delightful exploration of Southern sayings! From sweet tea wisdom to drawlin' proverbs, discover the heartwarming phrases that make Dixie talkin' downright irresistible.

Y'all ready for a linguistic adventure? Let's dive in, sugar!

Southern sayings from a true southerner

Growing up in the South was sweet – pun intended.

Overall, I felt that most people treated me kindly, especially my family. But over the years, I have learned that Southern people have some of the best Southern Sayings and can deliver them right at the most opportune time.


For example, soon after I married my husband, we were riding down the road, and an awful smell seeped into the car. Out from this quiet man enjoying the view came the words, ” That smells like kharn!”

I started laughing and asked what the heck is kharn?

He proceeded to share that it was a foul, rotten smell.

Well, that was a new one to me. Being from the South, I thought I heard it all, but this man delivers a new one about every year.

Southern Sayings

But more on a serious note, in the South, there are many words, sayings, and Southern accents not heard in other parts of the country.

I have found while traveling out of the South that I can deliver one of those “ordinary” words or phrases like “Lordy Bee,” and people stop and listen if you know what I mean!

One time, I was visiting family in Maine and discovered while shopping that some people were listening to me talk. My sister-in-law said they commented on how they liked to hear my accent.

That's funny! I didn't know I had an accent, but I could tell they did.

Here is a list of the most common Southern sayings in my part of the woods. I hope you enjoy and find a few new sayings to add to your lingo.

Common Southern Sayings

  • Bless your Heart: A polite Southern way to express pity or sympathy.
  • Fixin' to: Getting ready to do something, often used to express imminent action.
  • We'll Butter my Biscuits: Expressing surprise or amazement.
  • Hush Your Mouth: A playful way to say be quiet
  • Two Peas in a Pod: Two people who are close
  • High Cotton: Being in a good situation or prosperous.
  • Ugly as Homemade Sin: Not aesthetically pleasing
  • Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch: Don't make plans on uncertain events.
  • Madder Than a Wet Hen: Extremely angry or upset
  • Can't Carry a Tune in a Bucket: Lacking musical ability
  • Good Lord Willing and the Creek Don't Rise: If everything goes as planned
  • Heavens to Betsy: Expressing surprise or amazement
  • Sweatin' Like a Sinner in Church: Expressing extreme nervousness or discomfort
  • Till the Cows Come Home: For a very long time, indefinitely.
  • Rode Hard and Put Up Wet: Looking tired, worn out and disheveled
  • Tight as Dicks Hatband: Someone who is frugal or stingy
  • Raining Cats and Dogs: Pouring rain heavily
  • In a Coon's Age: A very long time
  • When Pigs Fly: Something that will never happen
  • Like a Chicken with its Head Cut Off: Acting without purpose or in a disorganized manner
  • Cotton Pickin' Minute: A short amount of time
  • You Can Catch More Flies with Honey than Vinegar: Being polite and kind is more effective than being rude and mean.
  • Slick as a Whistle: Very smooth or effectively done
  • Older than Methuselah: Very old or ancient
  • Sweet as Tupelo Honey: Exceptionally sweet and pleasant
  • Jumpin' Jehoshaphat: Expressing surprise, shock or astonishment
  • Stompin' Grounds: Familiar or favorite places, often referring to one's hometown.
  • Fit as a Fiddle: In excellent health or physical condition.
  • Rougher than a Cob: Course or abrasive in texture.
  • Sweeter than a Georgia Peach: Incredibly sweet and charming
  • Cattywampus: Askew or awry.
  • Speaking of the Devil: Mention someone, and then they show up unexpectedly.

Well there you have it. These are all words my parents used and their parents used and so on. Southern sayings give flavor to our vocabulary.

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up this journey through the heartwarming world of Southern sayings, it's clear these words aren't just phrases; they're a legacy of character woven into the very fabric of Southern culture.

Generations have embraced these sayings, turning them into timeless gems that transcend mere words.

So, whether you're a Southern native or a curious soul from afar, let these expressions continue to be the guiding stars in your daily tapestry of words.

Here's to the charm, wisdom, and pure Southern magic encapsulated in each saying – may they echo through generations to come.

So, what interesting Southern sayings have you heard in your lifetime?

Y'all come back now, ya hear?