20 Classic Southern Sayins

20 Classic Southern Sayins

If you’re from the South, you most likely have southern sayins as part of your everyday vocabulary. If not, well, you may be in for a giggle or two.

In the South, we are known for a lot of things: southern home cooking; friendly, warm hospitality; an everlasting love of college football; and our southern sayins. Some may even say that our southern dialect could be its own language. We Southerners like to speak in metaphors, similes, and hyperbole. We also love to appear incredibly polite and charming.

Check out some of our favorite southern sayins and see how many sound familiar!

  1. “Y’all”
    In the South, y’all means family or a gathering of people. “When are y’all comin’ over for dinner?” or "We're here to serve y'all!"
  1. “Walkin’ in High Cotton”
    If you’re “walkin’ in high cotton” it means you’re getting the best! This sayin’ actually helped is name our rich, medium-dark, full-bodied roast coffee, High Cotton Gourmet Blend.
  1. “Bless Your Heart”
    This phrase is used to show appreciation for someone or compassion when someone needs supportive words. It’s usually meant sincerely, but on the flip side, it can also have a bit of edge when the speaker believes someone to be misguided or irresponsible.
  1. “I Reckon”
    Reckon can be substituted for “I believe,” “imagine,” suppose,” and so on.
  1. “If the Creek Don’t Rise”
    To cover your bases you might say, “I’ll see you then if the creek don’t rise.” It’s a way of saying you fully plan to do something as long as nothing out of your control comes up.
  1. “Hill of Beans”
    A hill of beans isn’t worth very much whether you’re talking about volume or value.
  1. “Mornin”
    Mornin’ is a phrase said every day in the South. That’s the reason we created a bright and smooth Mornin Roast breakfast blend—to resemble that warm, friendly “Mornin” we all know.
  1. “G’Night”
    G’Night just rolls off the tongue better than "Good Night," don’t ya’ think?
  1. “Over Yonder”
    Over yonder is a distant direction in any direction when you’re in the South. “Where’s the nearest gas station?” “Just over yonder down the road.” The distance can be emphasized by the addition of the word “way” as in “way over yonder." 
  1. “‘Till the Cows Come Home”
    Sit back because this could take all day. Cows aren’t known for their speed. “They could play this game ‘till the cows come home.”
  1. “Cattywampus”
    If something is “cattywampus” it means it is totally out of sorts.
  1. “Pot Calling the Kettle Black”
    This phrase is used when someone is guilty of the very same thing in which they are accusing someone else.
  1. “It’s Blowin’ Up a Storm”
    In the South, you can feel, smell, and see a storm coming. “You better be safe on your way home, it’s blowin’ up a storm.”
  1. “Yes Ma’am (Sir)”
    This is not just a southern phrase, it is the only way to answer a “yes” or “no” question in the South, especially when speaking with your elders.
  1. “Coke”
    This means any carbonated beverage, not just Coca-Cola©. 
  1. “Worn Slap Out”
    This phrase is used when you or an object is physically or mentally exhausted. "I'm worn slap out after this workweek." "That chair is worn slap out."
  1. “Hold Your Horses”
    Stop right there! If someone says this to you, it’s best to slow down and be patient.
  1. “It Makes Me Wanna Slap My Mama”
    It may not sound like it, but this is considered a high compliment in the South most commonly said when getting up from the table after eating a fine southern meal. “That pecan pie was so good, it makes me wanna slap my mama!”
  1. “Barking up the Wrong Tree”
    This can mean being mistaken or as a warning for someone to back off. “You ought to stop right there. You’re barking up the wrong tree!”
  1. “That Dog Won’t Hunt”
    A phrase used for worthless ideas, lazy people, or an excuse that just won’t cut it. 

We hope some of these sounded familiar! What are your favorite southern sayings? Did we leave one of your favorites out? If so, please share it in the comments. We love hearin’ from y’all!


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