Something worth Saying

There’s nothing new about hearing an old saying, but for me, it never gets old. I grew up listening to a slew of sayings, some of which I really had no idea what they meant. Sometimes, I still wonder what they mean.


I don’t know if it’s a southern thing, a country thing, or if it’s normal no matter where you live. Between my Mom, my grandparents, and great-grandparents, I have heard it all.


Or, so I thought.


This past week we visited my husband’s grandma in Western Kentucky. Now she has her some good ol’ sayings!


Christine (Nene) Crisp, and Sadie Christine Crisp

I always enjoy visiting her. It feels like home, and she loves to have a house full of family sitting around country cookin’. I have to admit the first few times I came, she used sayings I have never heard. I would look at Bryan and say, what did she say?


Not only does she have a few clever sayings, but it’s how she says certain words that crack me up.


“Cereal” is said like “ceral”. “So nice” is pronounced “sa nice”. “Coupon” is said, “coopun”. In referring to a toy, Nene says, “play pretty.” “Batteries”, is said “battries”.


I have grown to understand what she means and know her to be everything a grandma should be. Of course we call her Nene. Sadie calls her Dee-Dee. It seems to fit her just fine.

I ask Nene, what are some of your favorite ol’ sayings to say?


“You’ll just have to listen and catch one I guess”, she says.


Alright then. I’ll try my best.


So, I thought it would be fun to share a collection of sayings that are just my plum favorite. Please whatever you do, don’t leave here without sharing some of your favorite sayings you grew up hearing. It just wouldn’t be right you leaving without saying something.


“She’s brown as a bisquit.” (Nene)

“The only kind of good snake is a dead one.” (Nene)

“You could have knocked me through a feather.” (Nene)

“His tail is like a whip.” (Nene)

“Jump out of the frying pan into the fire.” (Nene)

“Hold the phone mable.” (Nana Drane, Bryan’s maternal grandmother)

“Piss knuckle purple.” (Nana Drane)

“I’m through.” (Nana Drane would say this often)

“An ill wind blows no good.” (Grandma Marshall, my great-grandmother)

“Ugly as homemade soap.” (Grandma Marshall)

“Hell west and crooked.” (Grandma Marshall)

“That’s a lay over to catch meddlers and it looks like it just caught one.” (Grandma Marshall)

“Those were the good old days but I wouldn’t want to live them over again.” (Grandma Marshall)

“Drunk as an owl.” (Grandma Marshall)

“What is to be and bound to be and never comes to pass.” (Grandma Marshall)

“Too big for your britches.” (Grandma Marshall)

“Was that you that spoke or the fence rail broke?” (Grandma Marshall)

“That’s the pot calling the kettle black.” (My Mom)

Please leave a few of your family’s sayings or your favorites from mine in the comment section!

June 20, 2012 - 12:59 am

Monica Fields - “Be good, be sweet, and don’t take any wooden nickels.” (My Mom)

June 20, 2012 - 1:56 am

Bryan - “Be good or be good at it.” (Tennessee folk)
“Oh Thunder” (Nana Goepper)
“lost as last years Easter egg” (not sure)

This is fun to remember these! Thanks for another great post!

June 20, 2012 - 6:26 pm

megan - oh my soul! i love this post.
those sayings had me giggling!

i especially love:

“as drunk as an owl.”
“ugly as homemade soap.”

some of my family’s (many) sayings are:

“she is going for the gun.”

“he has a face full of zeros.”

“it’s too hot to live.”

June 21, 2012 - 7:46 pm

Sarah - I am laughing out loud. I love all these sayings! I’m going to use, “she is going for the gun” and “it’s too hot to live” this week!

June 21, 2012 - 7:46 pm

Sarah - Love it!

June 21, 2012 - 7:47 pm

Sarah - Thanks for remembering some I forgot!

June 23, 2012 - 6:26 pm

eve - My husband’s granny, “granny” as she refers to herself, has the most interesting sayings. “Wall,I hope to my never.” I still don’t know what that means. She is a bird!

June 28, 2012 - 6:03 pm

Sarah - I love asking the person what it means and hearing their response. Sometimes it’s even crazier than the saying!

July 6, 2012 - 1:46 pm

Leslie - In response to being asked, “How are you?”, Josh’s grandparents said, “Finer than frog’s hair split four ways!”

I also heard over the last few weeks that we had “air you could drink” due to the heat/humidity wave. Gulp!

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