Silly Sayings
March 4, 2004 7:37 AM   Subscribe

My senior partner from west Texas always make me laugh by using silly sayings such as "looking at me like a cow at a new fence" or "smiling like a jackass eating cactus." I was looking for help finding some website with similar sayings. Is there some compendium or usage guide somewhere for these kind of colloquial sayings? Do these kind of sayings have a recognized name (besides similie)? Anyone know any other similar and funny sayings?
posted by Seth to Society & Culture (32 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite is from one of our salesmen, who hails from Texas. He likes to joke that, "That guy is harder to catch than my wife's boyfriend," when he can't get someone on the phone.
posted by ph00dz at 7:43 AM on March 4, 2004

She's got an ass like a ten dollar cow. (this one goes way back so i don't know whether it was initially a compliment or an insult).
He's so stupid that if you moved his plate five inches to the left he'd starve to death.
posted by dobbs at 9:08 AM on March 4, 2004

He's so stupid he couldn't poor piss out of his boot if you wrote the instructions on the heel.
posted by vito90 at 9:27 AM on March 4, 2004

I found quite a few of these treasures in "How to Talk American" (amazon link). Might be worth a look.
posted by cadastral at 9:35 AM on March 4, 2004

If you google around looking for odd sayings that Clinton said, you should find some. He'd put in colloquial southernisms sometimes. My favorite was "he doesn't know me from Adam's off ox." My wife thought this was "Adam's aww fox" when I said it once, but she's a Yankee (well, a Canadian, which is like a Yankee but moreso).

I'm more partial to "Doesn't know [FOO] from Adam's housecat" myself.

Also, go watch Foghorn Leghorn cartoons... nice girl, but about as sharp as a sack of wet mice.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:35 AM on March 4, 2004

Another poor Ask MeFi question.
posted by terrapin at 9:43 AM on March 4, 2004

You don't know shit from apple butter.
posted by rocketman at 9:46 AM on March 4, 2004

If dumb was dirt, he'd cover about an acre.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:55 AM on March 4, 2004

She looks like she was rode hard and put away wet.
posted by subgenius at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2004

Response by poster: Care to tell me why this is a poor ask me question terrapin?

Information I couldn't find on google, that I believe to have a definite answer:
- the name for these kind of sayings
- a book or website with them.

So please enlighten me terrapin why this is a 'bad' Ask Me question.
posted by Seth at 10:11 AM on March 4, 2004

Another poor Ask MeFi question.

now that just doesn't make sense, in what part of the country do they say that?
posted by eastlakestandard at 10:12 AM on March 4, 2004

More nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin chairs.

Rainin harder than a cow pissin on a flat rock.

Texas colloquialisms I thought they were called...
posted by jopreacher at 10:16 AM on March 4, 2004


Primer on Texas Colloquialisms
posted by jopreacher at 10:18 AM on March 4, 2004

Dan Rather is reloading this page like, every thirty seconds.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:31 AM on March 4, 2004

Molly Ivins also always throws one or two into each column...she's online somewhere.
posted by amberglow at 10:40 AM on March 4, 2004

Seth, I don't think it's necessarily a bad question, but it is easily searched in Google. See my link above, searching for "texas sayings." No fancy name, but that gets a ton of hits.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:05 AM on March 4, 2004

Molly Ivins also always throws one or two into each column

That's where I first heard vito's. The other that stuck with me was "seven bubbles off plumb," after I finally figured out it referenced a level. I'm "not the brightest porch light on the block," you might say.

I don't think this is a bad post, but my first reaction was to simply write, "here"
posted by yerfatma at 11:06 AM on March 4, 2004

Ok, having more Texas kin than I can shake a stick at - and having a mother with a Texas accent so thick that I often can't understand what she's saying - I have heard my share of Texas "colloquialisms." Which I've never heard anyone call them btw. And I've never heard anyone say anything near any of the sayings here (cited above), except for the skunk line.

Now, if this is such a bad question perhaps some of you luminaries can explain why such sayings that I've heard are different in Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama? I've lived in each of those states and heard more regional folksy sayings - or colorful speech - and with each state there were differences in such saying. Not to mention I know there's a history of such folk sayings in European cultures. So if it's such a bad question how's about someone cough up a link to a site that tracks this sort of thing, the history, and the stories of the origin.

So hold your chew or spit, coz'.
posted by batgrlHG at 11:56 AM on March 4, 2004

My wacky grandmother, once a cowgirl in Wyoming, had a million of 'em. One of the favorites in my family is the now-legendary saying, so short he'd have to stand on a brick to kick a duck in the ass. Work it into conversation sometime, won't you?
*sniff* I miss you, grandma!
posted by scody at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2004

I'm more tired than a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest.
posted by COBRA! at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2004

So hold your chew or spit, coz'.
Is that the same as "piss, or get off the pot" ? : >
posted by amberglow at 1:41 PM on March 4, 2004

"Is that the same as "piss, or get off the pot" ? : >"

Yep, there's a whole range of excretory sayings that you're not supposed to say if you're a southern lady. Or if your mama has tried to make you one, anyhow. So that's a sort of substitute.
Slick as shit out the duck - something like that.
We girls weren't supposed to say such things.

Meanwhile I know people who make these phrases up on the spot - often adding names of coworkers or family members, and they catch on and everyone starts using them...
posted by batgrlHG at 1:48 PM on March 4, 2004

Straighter than a fast trip to the outhouse.

Cryin' like a baby shitting peachpits.

Shakin' like a dog shitting a log chain and dreading the hook.

Like spittin' on the Easter bunny (said of something tasteless or low).

Dumber than a barrel of hair (or a dial tone).

So cold the dogs were stuck to the fire hydrants.

Smells like Albania (usually when referring to a person)
posted by joaquim at 1:56 PM on March 4, 2004

Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

Colder than a witch's tit.

Colder than a well-digger's ass.
posted by rocketman at 4:06 PM on March 4, 2004

There was this old timer Hockey Legend (played on the Canadian Olymic hockey team in the fourties or something), that always used to come into the bank that I worked at. Whenever he saw someone who he hadn't seen in a while, he would exclaim (loudly) "BILL! GOOD TO SEE YOU! I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU SINCE THE PIG ATE MY BROTHER!"

You could count on him saying this everytime he was in, and it used to crack me up for some reason.
posted by Quartermass at 4:37 PM on March 4, 2004

here's Molly's archive (she used them more in the past than recently)
posted by amberglow at 5:07 PM on March 4, 2004

In addition to rocketman:

Colder than a witch's tit in a brass bra.
posted by the biscuit man at 5:24 PM on March 4, 2004

** Busier than a cat trying to cover up crap on a marble floor

I assume most of the others I could put are contained in the links, but that one deserves special mention.

Frankly, I love these kinds of sayings. It adds more color to speach. Definitely awful if overused, but sparsely, I think they are ++.
posted by rudyfink at 6:13 PM on March 4, 2004

I cannot for the life of me remember where I heard this, but I've loved it ever since:

He's so dumb if you pushed his brain up an ant's ass it'd rattle like a BB in a box car.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:40 AM on March 5, 2004

I can't believe my favorite hasn't popped up yet.

"About as useful as tits on a bull."
posted by romakimmy at 4:49 AM on March 5, 2004

My personal fave, when referring to people who move down here, then call themselves Texans cause they bought some Ropers and a hat:

"Just cause the cat gives birth in the oven, that don't make them kittens biscuits."
posted by dejah420 at 6:46 AM on March 5, 2004

my two favorites:
"sweating like a virgin at a prison rodeo" (way more original than the popular "sweating like a whore in confession" which is also good)
"nuttier than a squirrel's cheeks in October" which I first heard on "Sports Night

a handy website when looking for a saying for a specific purpose (try searching for 'sweat,' 'dumb,' 'hot,' 'cold,' etc. etc.): cliche finder
posted by rorycberger at 10:29 AM on March 5, 2004

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