Southern Charm School

Here’s a translation service to help you read between the lines.

  1. Don’t take offense if I call you ma’am or sir. It doesn’t mean you’re old. Where I come from, it’s a sign of respect.
  2. The Southern interpretation for “with all due respect” is “I really don’t respect you!”.
  3. You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar. = If you talk nice to people, they generally want to help you. Unless they are just jerks and full of vinegar.
  4. Act like you’ve got some raisin’! = Better mind your manners!
  5. Never mess with Southern women. We’ll rip your heart out, show it to you, then bake it in a pie.
  6. Never write anything down that you don’t want the whole world to know.
  7. When I say the other day, it can mean anytime from yesterday to 364 days ago.
  8. You’re preaching to the choir. = No kidding!
  9. This ain’t my first rodeo. = I might have done this a time or ten.
  10. Shug is southern for sweetie.
  11. Pretty is as pretty does.
  12. I was born at night but not last night. = Do you think I’m stupid?
  13. Older than dirt = pretty dang old.
  14. You would argue with a fence post. = That’s pretty argumentative.
  15. He squeezes a quarter so tight the eagle screams. = He’s really cheap.
  16. She could charm the dew right off the honeysuckle. = She’s really charming.
  17. Never say shut up. You should say “hush” instead.
  18. I’m about to snatch you bald headed. = you are on my last nerve!
  19. I’ve got a bone to pick with you. = Uh oh, you’re about to hear all about it.
  20. You’re too big for your britches. = Stay in your pay grade buddy. You don’t know it all.
  21. I wouldn’t trust him further than I could throw him. = Not far at all!
  22. Hurry up, we’re burning daylight.
  23. As I live and breathe! = Well, look who/what is before me! It’s hard to believe.
  24. Like any good dip, there are 8 layers to a Southern goodbye.
  25. Y’all act like you got some sense. = In front of company at least.
  26. Make your words soft and sweet, you never know which ones you’ll eat.
  27. That didn’t amount to a hill of beans! = No was no use at all.
  28. Hangin’ in there like a hair in a biscuit. = Stubbornly and nobody wants a hair in their biscuit.
  29. You’re a day late and a dollar short. = Too late!
  30. Make hay while the sun shines. = Take care of your business right away.
  31. Don’t make me cut a switch. = If you do, I’m gonna use it on ya.
  32. Don’t make me get out of this chair! = If you do, I’m gonna snatch you bald headed.
  33. That thing is deader than a door nail. = That’s pretty dead! So stop it already.
  34. I haven’t see you in a month of Sundays. = a long time!
  35. That beats all I’ve ever seen. = Absolute amazement at what is before you
  36. Do not mistake any Texas/Southern accent for ignorance.
  37. Hotter than a $2 pistol. = A $2 pistol is gonna burn you cause it’s cheap.
  38. Tougher than a $2 steak. = A $2 steak is pretty tough…
  39. If he was dumb as dirt, he would cover about an acre.
  40. Quit being ugly = quit being mean.
  41. My get up and go dun got up and went. = I’m all tuckered out.
  42. I need that like I need another hole in my head. = as in, I don’t need it.
  43. In the south “honey” can be a term of endearment or a dire warning.
  44. Go sell crazy somewhere else. We’re all stocked up here.
  45. Well bless your heart. (what comes next will not be nice, you are warned)
  46. Well idn’t that nice?! = This really means you’re an idiot.
  47. When you are arguing with a Southern lady or gent and we say “sweetheart” look out!
  48. Hold your horses. = Wait! Don’t be in such a hurry.
  49. The squeaky wheel gets greased. = I think this one is really obvious.
  50. You can’t beat that with a stick. = That means it’s the best or will work just fine.
  51. Look what the cat dragged in. = The cat drags in some nasty looking things…
  52. She makes a hornet look cuddly. = If you know her, keep your distance.
  53. I’ll knock you plumb into next week. = I’m gonna ring your bell if you don’t shut up soon.
  54. It’s so cold the cows are giving milkshakes.
  55. I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for ya.
  56. Y’all come back. = We’d love you to come back.
  57. That’s like trying to herd cats. = Have you ever tried to herd cats? Nuff said!
  58. Dumb as a box of rocks. = Self explanatory.
  59. Never miss a good chance to shut up. = This is a great practice!
  60. He’s such a gentleman, he gets to his feet when he wife comes in with the firewood. = What a guy, run him off is he’s dating your daughter.
  61. Don’t sit there like a bump on a log. = not moving or helping out!
  62. I wouldn’t put him out if he was on fire. = I really don’t like him at all. Not even a little bit.
  63. Anytime you happen to pass my house, I’d sure appreciate it.
  64. He’s like a blister – doesn’t show up until all the work is done.
  65. I’m as serious as the business end of a .45. = That’s pretty serious!
  66. She speaks ten words a second with gusts to 50.
  67. That’s like huggin’ a rose bush. = No one wants to do that.
  68. Id rather have a sharp stick in the eye. = I’d rather do anything else.
  69. He broke his arm pattin’ himself on the back. = That’s a lot of self-congratulating!

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