All the rage in Natchez

Did you ever wonder how an idiom comes into being? I’m fixing to tell you. I’ve always said that the fashionable, popular thing was “all the rage in Natchez.” I said it because Mama always said it. And Granny always said it. And I never gave much thought to why Natchez. With all due respect…

Open up a can of whoop-ass

It’s Iron Bowl Saturday. For those of you who have been living under a rock (or in the great, frozen north) and don’t know what that means, the Iron Bowl is the die-hard football rivalry game between the University of Alabama and Auburn University, and it will be played today. Since 1893, once a year…

You’re as dumb as a sack of hammers

When Sonny was in grammar school they taught him that “stupid” was a bad word. I agree. You absolutely should not walk up to someone and say “You’re stupid.” But there are times when situations, actions, and, yes, other people just are not smart. So here’s what you can say to avoid using that horrible,…

I’m so hungry my stomach thinks my throat’s been cut

The big day is here. A time to gather with family and friends, break bread together, and count our many blessings. And maybe learn a few new sayings. Here’s how my Thanksgiving Day will probably go — idiom by idiom. When I cook, like this year, I have to get up before the chickens, which…

Busy as a one-armed paper hanger

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Christmas is hot on its heels. There is only one word to describe this time of year and that word is “busy.” Now you can be just plain old busy, which will barely warrant a sympathetic nod from your friends, or you can be: Busy as a bee! The doctor in Citronelle…

It came a frog strangler

More than 60 days. That’s how long it’s been since Alabama got any significant rain. I’ve tried dancing, and that effort was about as useless as tits on a boar. (I can just hear my family now … “Oh Audrey!” That’s always the exclamation when I say something that’s really not ladylike. But I couldn’t…

The lies have it

The truth evades some people. No matter how much you want to, you just can’t believe a word that they say. Whether malicious or harmless, a lie is a lie is a lie, so here are a few idioms about liars and lying. He lies like a rug. A play on words, like a rug…

It’s hog killing weather

It’s been an unseasonably warm fall in Alabama. Here we are in late November, and the mercury has still been rising to nearly 80 every day, but we’re about to get a little relief. It’s about to be hog killing weather. Hog killing weather? Is that a good thing, you might wonder. Well, if you’re…

Pretty is as pretty does

In the south, we place a premium on “being sweet.” And it can be a real struggle as I’ve written about before. So since we all aren’t born angelic like Gone With the Wind’s über-virtuous Melanie Wilkes, here are a few idioms about the art of being sweet, or not. Pretty is as pretty does….

When the cat’s away…

So there I was, sitting on a bench in Central Park at dusk with Sonny. We were enjoying the sunset and talking about our day in the Big Apple, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. Surely it’s a little birdie kicking around in the leaves looking for a worm, I…