Rednecks Say the Darndest Things: Here are 10 of Them

I'd hang with this guy any day of the week. Nay, EVERY day of the week.

You know what I am? A redneck, y’all.

Not a hardcore redneck, mind you (hardcore rednecks don’t say things like mind you), but red enough to get the job done. And there’s nothing I enjoy more than talking with hard core rednecks. They’re in touch with who they are, they’re loyal and, perhaps most notably, they’re funny.

So when this southern boy spent nearly a decade in politically correct Seattle, you can imagine how redneck-deprived I was. When I returned from the great Northwest, I had a fonder appreciation than ever before for the common redneck and while the reasons ranged from their attire to Dale Earnhardt, the biggest one had to be the words I’d hear coming out of their mouths, aka “redneckisms.”

And here are ten of my favorites.

1. I ain’t as think as you drunk I am. You may have seen this on a truck-stop t-shirt. But I actually heard it live during the fall race at Bristol a few years back.

2. She’s as cute as a speckled pup under a red wagon. Think softer, gentler redneck. Like your grandmotherly type at Cracker Barrell who offers up lovely words about your toddler daughter. Charming, really.

3. It’s hotter’n dammit. And, indeed, it often is hot in the southeast. And what, I ask you, could possibly hotter than dammit? Exactly. Nothing. Which is what makes this such an effective metaphor. simile. redneckism.

4. I’m as busy as a one-legged butt kicker in an ass kicking contest. Indeed, you are, Mr. Redneck. So please allow me to get out of your way. Lest your foot meets my ass.

5. I’m gettin’ tore up from the floor up. Maybe. But you’re still not as think I drunk you are.

6. I heard that. Heard what? It doesn’t matter. Except that whatever was heard was something which the redneck thought was cool. Like getting tore up from the floor up, perhaps.

7. Shit fire, save matches. What’s important here is not just the green element of the conservation slogan, but also the pronunciation of it. Fire is “far,” and matches should be drawn out as if it ends with a “z” like Natchez.

8. Hey, man, watch this. Most always followed by a dangerous and ill-advised stunt, usually involving combustables, such as shitting fire, perhaps. Sadly, these have been the last words of some rednecks.

9. Wanna ICB? Leave it to a redneck to come up with the acronym for ice-cold beer. One you might wanna drink on a day that’s hotter’n dammit.

10. Worthless as tits on a boar hog. Yes. Well.

Any other rednecks out there who can think of some I missed?

Image: jasepielli

About John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months thanks to marrying a single mom then quickly conceiving triplets. John and his wife, Caroline, recently welcomed their fifth child into the world, a little boy they named Grand Finale Osborne. He'd tell you more about it, but he's on the phone right now scheduling his vasectomy. You can keep up with John on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as on his personal blog which he calls (get this) John Cave Osborne.

Comments

  1. I am almost ashamed to admit to how many of those redneck-isms I speak regularly.

    Almost.

    But not quite.

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    • why in the world would you be “almost ashamed” of that? i’d be damn proud. (which i know you truly are…)

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    • Allison says:

      Ditto. Here are a few other gems that are regularly uttered in my family:
      “It’s colder than a witch’s titty in a brass bra.”
      “Jeet yet?” (read: “Did you eat yet?”)
      “I might could.” or “I used to could.” (read: “That might be possible.” and “I used to be able to.”}

  2. lceel says:

    It’s “Boar Hog” – not “Bore Hog” – unless of course, bored hogs don’t need tits either.

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  3. Alexandra says:

    I recognize none of these but loves all of ‘em.

    My little boy once confessed, “mom? wouldn’t it be fun to live in a place where you can say gettin’ and y’all?”

    Yes, it would be so….colorful.

    Great post.

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    • well, i live in TN, though i’ve also lived in LA, Seattle, Atl, etc… and i must say, i prefer the SE to any place in the world. tell your son that he’s missing one key word that’d be fun to say, though…fixin’.

      thanks for the comment!

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  4. IzzyMom says:

    I’m hardly a redneck (although Florida is home to many) but I do say things like “y’all” and “fixin’ to” and when I get angry, I sometimes sound like I was raised in the deep south. I have NO IDEA WHY!!! It’s not like I grew up with people speaking that way around me or that I currently live among rednecks…

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  5. I’m a proud redneck. And although I know most people like to describe this culture in terms of only negative stereotypes, the truth is that there is compassion, courage, openness to all that is different, love, goodness, strength of character, and selflessness.

    And yes, humor and creativity. Great creativity. Not only in the “Christmas lights in June” variety, but in “putting together a working wind turbine out of car parts and duct tape” kind.

    And as a lover of language, redneck lingo is a treasure trove that Mark Twain would slurp down like honey.

    • John Cave Osborne says:

      i, too, am proud. i hope that came through. i LOVE southern culture and have lived in enough different locales to appreciate how fortunate we are to live in such a colorful area of the country. i, too, love language, particularly using it creatively and could not agree more with your entire comment, particularly the Mark Twain part. thank you so much for sharing that!

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    • Actually, I’m probably more of a “yonko hillbilly” than a redneck. But both cultures are maligned in the same way with only negative stereotypes placed in the forefront, and the words are now used as derogatory slang by bigots, so I claim solidarity. :-)

  6. Hannah says:

    Hotter than two mice #@!#ing in a wool sock.

    Don’t even ask me what it means.

  7. I come from N.C. farm folk, so I’m quite proud of my redneck heritage. “Y’all” is awesome and inclusive and I use it all the time.

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    • John Cave Osborne says:

      Carrie — y’all is SUCH an awesome word. ever notice some people spell it ya’ll? what up w/ that? it’s YOU ALL, so the apostraphe goes after the “Y” to take place of the “OU.” never understood how people confuse that.

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      • Yeah, clearly it’s spelled “y’all.” It bothers me when it’s used singularly, too. Sandy on Spongebob Squarepants does that all the time. I don’t know if it’s a Texas thing (where Sandy is from), or if it’s just a cartoon squirrel thing.

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        • Jennifer says:

          We totally use y’all as a singular. And it drives me INSANE when someone spells it wrong.

        • Tim says:

          All ya’ll hitchin up all ya’lls britches over the way we spell sumthins? To translate for you northerners, 1 person=ya ie: How ya doin? 2-4 people=ya’ll pronounced yaowll. 5+ people=all ya’ll…

        • cindy says:

          I am from Texas, proudly use “y”all” and “yonder” and “older than the hills…”, etc. But, as I frequently have to explain to my ex-yankee dad, y’all is not singular; just everybody I am referring to might not be there at the moment.

      • Allison says:

        True story! Sheesh, people, learn proper grammar.

  8. Julie says:

    Sweatin’ like a whore in church trying not to laugh too loud at my desk.

    (Not sure if that counts–I live in a place that can’t decide if it’s Southern. Even had trouble picking teams for the Civil War.)

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  9. Chunky Mama says:

    I lived in rural North Carolina for several years and the one that always made me laugh was “so good, it’ll make you want to slap your mama.”

    I never got the connection.

  10. wow. i’ve heard that one once or twice myself, and i gotta say, it’s a BEAUTY. almost better that we don’t fully understand it, don’t you think?

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  11. My brother in law offered this one up: “Slicker than owl sh** on a frosted limb”. I guess that means quite slippery?

  12. tell your BIL that the frosted limb is an especially nice touch. i’ve heard “slicker’n greased owl shit” before, but who, in their right mind, would greast owl shit? owl shit on a frosted limb, however? now THAT makes sense…

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  13. Jessi says:

    My grandma says “Shoot a monkey,” when she’s trying not to cuss. I always loved that one. Also, “Helena, Montana!” She tries really hard not to cuss. :)

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  14. Emilie says:

    My favorite came from my ex’s dad. We’re watching a University of Kentucky basketball player miss free-throws, and he says “that boy couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle.” Um, say what?

    Some more Leroy-isms (yes, his name is Leroy. He’s a redneck. Why wouldn’t his name be Leroy?):

    “Don’t just sit there with your teeth in your mouth. Git up and help me!”

    “That girl’s pants is so tight it looks like she tried to cram ten poundsa shit into a five-pound bag.”

    “That girl’s ass wobblin’ under that skirt looks like two groundhogs fightin’ to git out of a burlap sack.”

    I love the word y’all. I also use it in the plural: all y’all.

    • that’s so funny. in reference to poor drivers, i’ve heard “why she couldn’t drive a peg in a billy goats ass with a bass fiddle,” and i almost busted that one out, but i used it in a recent post that was, um, critical of my wife’s driving, so i left well enough alone. also, i’ve heard (pertaining to large breasts) “they look like two puppies fighting under a quilt,” but i’m pretty sure that’s from a Cheech and Chong movie. loved your Leroy-isms. funny stuff! thanks for the comment.

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  15. Dusty says:

    Okay, I laughed through this whole post. Nice.

  16. Annette says:

    My favorite was one I overheard long ago in Alabama, when a guy’s mom asked him, “Carl Wayne, what’s goin’ on down thar at Willene’s? Why there’s enough cars down thar for an all night singin’.

    And the one my mother used to say when the weather turned as it cold as it has today (42 degrees for any Northerners reading): It’s colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra. Betcha never heard that one!

    • Melina E. says:

      Actually, raised in Northern Cali, I heard that one “colder than a witches’….” fairly often…:) And I know there were few Southern folks around back then. Somehow it made the leap!

    • actually… i have heard the witch’s tit in a brass bra and i’m an IDIOT for not including it on this list. i shoulda consulted w/ you! (but i’ve never heard “for an all night singin’.” that’s classic…)

      been thinking about you guys. not sure i know the latest medical devlopments, but i hope you, B and your entire family are well! xoxo

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      • cindy says:

        Two more I heard a lot growing up: “His aim is so bad he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn!” and “…”Cold as a well-digger’s ass on a bad day.”

  17. Rebecca says:

    Ahh, having grown up in the depths of Appalachia, I can say I have heard every. single. one. of those sayings throughout my life. Raised on the Ohio River in Ohio, folks (there I go..) used to say we could “spit and hit Kentucky” – quite a feat, may I add.
    A big one from my neck of the woods (heh) is “yuns” instead of “ya’ll”- although both are regular occurrences in daily conversation.
    “Shit fire and save the matches” was one of my Mamaw’s (again- Mamaw- incredibly Appalachian word- it’s like we made our own language or sumptin’) except she’d end hers with “I don’t give a goddamn” – Imagine THAT coming out of a tiny little grey haired old lady. Ah-mazing.
    It’s not the sayings that get me as much as the way words are said. Wash? “Warsh” Pole? “Poe” Creek? “Crick”
    Oh, and the ‘so good’ sayings? “So good it’ll make your tongue beat yer brains out!” ;-) Personal favorite!

  18. Melisa says:

    #10? My father-in-law says that. Drives me nuts.

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  19. Jared Karol says:

    I grew up in San Diego, so my response to this is, “Dude (drawn out of course), that’s totally bitchin’!” Seriously, good stuff!

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  20. Stacie says:

    Love it!! I am going to share this with the most intelligent and colorful red neck I know…I am sure he will have several to add! He is from Cocke County afterall!

    I am a true Yankee, but after spending the last 6 years in KY I have heard quite a few! The best one I heard was from an older guy we hired to cut down a tree in our yard. I was about 8 months pregnant and standing in the front yard chatting with Clem, (seriously) and he said, “You pregnant? I got a daughter that is going to come fresh this Spring!” …. still cracks me up!

  21. Melina E. says:

    Loved this post, John! And one that I swiped from Dolly (in Steel Magnolias, no less) and still use is “Busier than a one armed paper hanger..”. Mostly cause it makes you think “dang, that’s pretty busy…”.

  22. JW Moxie says:

    I’m a military brat, but my family’s travels were mostly out West. My ear was sensitive to the different dialects of different military brats. However, I’ve lived in Georgia for more than 21 years now.

    TWENTY-ONE YEARS.

    I had quite literally had to learn what the heck people were saying. The Southern drawl was hard enough, but regional sayings just threw me for a loop. I know the lingo now, but no matter how many times I hear certain phrases, I can’t help but giggle a bit internally.

    A couple of things not already mentioned that I’ve heard people say:

    1. She’s skinnier ‘n a mosquito’s dick.
    2. I ’bout split my britches (from laughing so hard).
    3.

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  23. Mindfulmoon says:

    Out here in N.C., we don’t “cotton” to no ______.

    I was born in VA and spent most of my life there but at least half of the family I grew up with was pure Appalachian. I heard all of it. What’s weird is, I have to actually TRY to remember to say any of it. About the only thing that actually stuck was MeeMaw (for Grandmother).

  24. BetaDad says:

    When I lived in VA for many years, I always liked the expression “like ta.” As in, “That bottle of whiskey like ta kick my ass.” It seems to mean “almost” or “nearly.” Also, “slicker than two eels fuckin in a bucket of snot.”

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  25. Jennifer says:

    Fixin’ to…

    • fixin’ is one of my alltime fave words. one for which i caught much shit when i lived in seattle. and i was always like “what? that’s an incredibly useful word.” (though in reality, it’s not. it’s just an extra word, but it sounds so cool. at least in my opinion.)

      thanks for the comment!

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      • Jennifer says:

        I love that it can be used in a variety of situations:

        “I’m fixin’ to go to the store.”

        “I’m fixin’ to bust your ass if you don’t stop messin’ with your brother.”

        I’m fixin’ to cook dinner.”

  26. Christina says:

    When I was young – everything made me VERY nervous! My dad would see me biting my nails or bouncing my knees and would say, “Girl – you are as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs!” Seemed to calm my nerves, mostly because I was trying to visualize…..
    Great post- very funny!

    • i LOVE that saying and i’ve only heard it once in my entire life from this girl i dated eons ago in Nashville, TN. and that was like 10 years ago. HUGE. great call. and think about how nerve racking it’d be to be that cat, you know? no wonder it made you feel better.

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  27. Meredith says:

    How about “I’m busier than a one-armed fiddler.” Rick uses that one (although I might be butchering it a bit, the Yankee that I am).

  28. Kelly says:

    My all time fav:
    Asshole deep on a long-legged giraffe.

  29. Katie says:

    I went to school in SC and loved it down there. My coach would always say “dag gummit” (spelling?).

    And I love to say Right Quick!

    Others heard are “down the road a piece”, my parents were definitely lost in Cowpens from that one, and I reckin is always fun.

  30. Living in the Midwest I don’t often have a chance to hear true “Redneckisms,” but I have heard a version of the “One-legged man in an ass-kickin’ contest.” Maybe I’ll hear more now that The Oldest is seriously dating a young man from the South, y’all.

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  31. Deborah Krauss says:

    You should check out the blog Real Southern Men. They have a regular feature called “Twanglish.” http://real-southern.com/2011/07/01/twanglish-lesson-southern-cussemisms/

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  32. MamaKaren says:

    An expression I hear a lot when I hang with my southern homies (I’m in a training program that meets in Athens, GA each June, and most of my classmates are from GA, LA, NC, SC, TN…) is “Do what?” when they need something repeated.

    I’m from Maryland, between DC and Baltimore, but am a redneck at heart. I often say that I am busier than a one armed paper hanger, that the weather is hotter’n damn (or in winter months, colder then all git out), or that it’s fixin’ to rain (or snow). If I want the attention of a small group (2-3 people), I call out for “y’all” but if the group is large, I holler for “all y’all.”

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  33. My ex husband used to say “I wanna scrog ya like a dog in heat” when he wanted to have sex. Did I mention he’s my EX husband?

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  34. Neeroc says:

    This might be shocking (or maybe not since we have our own redneck mommy) but there’s a Canadian version too. And I might be related to a few. These might be heard round the old dinner table:

    Crazier’n a sack o’rubber hammers (or crazier’n a sack o’squirrels)
    Useless as tits on a bull (similar, yet different)
    Fill yer boots – go for it.
    While you’re on your hind legs (usually followed by git me a sammich)
    When you hair’s a bit out of control it can be compared to ‘#9 binder twine’
    Our cold can be described as freezing the balls of a brass monkey.

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  35. DJ says:

    I love Southern expressions! My parents are from TN too and one that my mother always said (and it still cracks me up) is:

    “They don’t know whether they’re washin’ or hangin out”

    Translated as “they don’t know what they’re doing!”

  36. M.T. Pockets says:

    “if you stand ‘em on their head they’ll look like twin sisters”
    and
    “fuck me runnin’”

  37. bubba jones says:

    its hotter than a whorehouse on dollar day out here, n shes takin quaters

  38. Miranda says:

    f*ck me runnin jimmy thats a guudin.

  39. Nykke Lynn says:

    My husband and I were at a local rednecks home playing cards when our friends mother called for a new game: She hollers “get the rules to stupid out of the family bible.” “stupid” is a card game that us Missouri Hicks like to play. Almost in the same breath she says “we’re gonna have biscuits, and gravy and cake for your dads birthday tomorrow.” This coming from the same woman who says “Im gonna take and fix dinner.” God Love ‘em!

  40. Melina says:

    Hotter then a goats ass in a hot pepper patch lol

  41. Tony says:

    I am from KY and have heard just about all of them. I had’nt heard ‘I bout split my pants laughin so hard and ‘Fuck me runnin’ in a while cause I bout split my pants laughin, my wife had to come and check on me. When we were kids 2 brothers and a sister we were ‘tougher than a keg a nails ‘ Mom called us ‘ Pore hetherns and would beat the tar outa us’ .
    That reminds me of the first time my Dad took me swimmin. Thought I would never get out of that sack. And those kitens kept scratching me.

    Love those old sayings.

  42. McGuire says:

    I’m from West Virginia and my pap paw always says ” comin over n help meh, y’all slower than eh a jack rabbit in may”

  43. jesse says:

    I have hread…..it’s hotter then a nickel night in a whore house.
    And someone say Smirnoff and was meaning tollite paper

  44. amanda says:

    Happier ‘n a tornada in a trailer park

  45. billybob neckcar says:

    same difference

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  46. Paul says:

    “Well, I’ll be a suck-egg mule!” (exclamation of surprise)
    “Shit fire and call it a match!” (variation on the theme)
    “Wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which fills up first.” (a dose of realism)

  47. Daryl says:

    Geez… I grew up and live in Northern Germany and I heard about ALL of ‘em… Got relatives in Georgia, though. But – I use to say “i just ’bout shit ma britches” :):):) instead :)

    • cindy says:

      I used to have a brother in law who was always saying “faster than a spotted-assed ape.” I used to say “Huh” So he asked me, “Have you ever seen a spotted-assed ape?” Well, I had to allow as to how no, in fact, I hadn’t. So he triumphantly explained, “That’s cuz they run too dam fast to be seen!”

  48. Sissy says:

    Don’t even know how I found this website.
    But I’ve lived in Appalachia my whole life. South east kentucky.

    Lately been getting a whole lot of comments on how I talk from my husbands friends.

    So here’s a few I can thank of right now

    Sweating like a whore in church
    Nuttier than squirrel shit
    You’d rather fan a wildcats ass with a piece of paper as to shit with me when I’m riled up (yeah that n ins a long in)
    Ain’t no fun with the rabbits got the gun
    Eating 20 dollar bills and I ain’t a shittin change
    Sicker’n a dog and shittin like a goose
    Colder than a well diggers ass

    I don’t know about the spellings but I do know what they all mean

    Oh by the way y’all is single or plural but if you fer sure want it to be plural you say YUINS

    It’s funny cause I’m 29 and when I was little I was ashamed of how I talked but then The Lord blessed me with the perfect southern gentleman for a husband so now I kinda feel honored I guess. Everybody in te world oughta be proud of who they are and where they come from I reckon

    Have a good evening

    Yuins might be interested in melungeons if YE ain’t neve heard of it just google it
    Melungeon

    Take care

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