Pin It I figured everyone was getting a little overloaded on Christmas right about now--Christmas music on the radio, Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, Christmas...everything. So even though I have some fairly decent Christmas blogs lurking in the back of my head, I thought I'd give yall a break and do something different today.
I'm going to talk about the South.
I'm Southern, born and bred. As some of you may know, we occasionally speak a different language in the South--sometimes for effect, sometimes just because we don't know any better. It's just our raising. I have the benefit of higher education--an English degree, mind you--and still find myself lapsing into the comfort of "yall's", drawled vowels, and words that seem to last forever.
There are idioms, though, that are beyond even me. I think it has something to do with leaving the farm at a relatively young age--perhaps they just didn't stick? Maybe they're more country than Southern?
When I was around twenty, I was driving down the road with my brand-new boyfriend and future husband, Duane. We were passing an apple-orchard on the right, full of twisty, gnarled, totally adorable little apple trees. We were listening to Alan Jackson on the radio (no clue why I remember that--must have something to do with the trauma of the experience) singing "Tall, Tall Trees"--appropriately enough. I remember Duane pulling over, looking at me sideways, and saying slyly, "how you like them apples?"
I sat in silence for a second, pondering his asinine question. How did I like those apples? I liked them fried. I liked them baked. I liked them raw. I liked them fine. I liked them all. "Er. They seem a little scrawny to me."
I knew I had said something totally and completely WRONG when Duane busted out laughing (AT me, not WITH me) and pointed to the buck standing back in the shadows of the apple trees. "I'm talking about that," he hee-hawed. Apparently, the phrase "how you like them apples" is a gloating expression used to ask "what do you think about that?" It doesn't literally mean, "how do you like those apples," although I felt I might be forgiven for thinking so, since we were parked in an apple orchard.
I've learned many other fascinating Southern expressions over the course of my almost thirty-five years.
Root pig or lose your acorn (Eat before someone steals your grub).
I heard they ate supper before they said grace (They're living in sin).
If I had a dog as ugly as him, I'd shave his butt and make him walk backwards.
He's so ugly his momma had to tie a pork chop to him so the dog would play with him.
He's two bricks shy of a full load.
He's a few fries shy of a Happy Meal.
She was all over him like white on rice.
Boy, you are letting your mouth overload your butt. (can't back up speech with actions)
That woman would argue with a fence post. (or, "an empty house")
You're just cuter than a speckled pup in a little red wagon. (I've actually had someone say this to me--when I was sixteen years old, working as a cashier at Kroger, a forty-something man thought this was a great idea as a come-on line. Not so much.)
At any rate, I hope I've duly entertained you with a few of our little euphemisms. I promise not to tie pork chops to my kids or start arguments with any fence posts any time soon, although I have noticed a few fries missing from my Happy Meals lately. I think I'll go look for them now. ;)