The odds and ends

I’m halfway there. Halfway to 30 posts in 30 days. Halfway through #bloglikecrazy. We’ve looked at umpteen idioms over the past couple of weeks, and I hope you’ve learned a few new ones, remembered some old ones, and had a few laughs along the way. I too have learned some new ones from your comments,…

You’ve got to dance with who brung you

Southerners love to cut a rug — that means to “dance” so much you wear holes in the rug. From buck dancing to the Virginia reel, square dancing to waltzing, if there’s music playing, toes will be tapping. So let’s take a look at idioms inspired by dance. He who pays the piper calls the…

Dead as a doornail

“Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead.” That quote is from Tennessee Williams, the famous Mississippi-born playwright. How else will you know you’re dead? You’ll hear people using these idioms about you: He was dead as a doornail. Doornails are long enough to connect the…

Stand on a nickel…

He wore a white oxford shirt, frayed at the collar and cuffs. Long, bony wrists protruded from his sleeves. His hair was always a little shaggy, what there was left of it. His tie was stained with the remnants of sandwiches past, threadbare, wrinkled. Khaki pants, just a little too short. If he’d’ve kicked off…

Speak the truth and shame the devil

Southerners “believe more in the reality of Satan than in the reality of God.”* These words were written by Episcopal bishop of Arkansas Robert R. Brown. Having spent more than one Sunday on a hard pew listening to a red-faced, sweating preacher warning of hellfire and brimstone from the pulpit, I tend to agree. So…

We just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot!

If football is the religion of the South, then it’s only natural that we get a few proverbs from its playbook. Since it’s Saturday, here are some football terms that have entered our everyday lingo. Let’s go to church. Back up and punt. When the offensive team has failed to make a first down and…

Trying to turn mutton into lamb

Today’s idiom involves etiquette which, in the south, is gospel. Our commandments not only include the big ten, but a litany of others ranging from using the right fork to sending thank you notes. There are certain things you do … and certain things you just don’t do. Ever. No matter if the rule of…

The pot, the kettle, and the coffee

Personification. That’s what you call it when you assign human characteristics to inanimate objects. It’s also the root of two of my favorite idioms and what makes them so interesting. The first phrase sets up a little quarrel between two kitchen items — “it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.” When people…

I don’t know whether to…

For more than a year, we’ve been knee-deep in election coverage. We’ve endured debate after debate after debate. The pundits have analyzed the pea turkey out of every minute detail. The polls, oh…the polls. Families and friends quit speaking to each other. Social media exploded with hate, bigotry, and vitriol. Urban militias were formed. Women…

Every old crow thinks hers is blackest

Every old crow thinks hers is the blackest. This idiom is most commonly a statement of parental pride. Every parent thinks their child is the sweetest, smartest, and most beautiful. And of course they are! But I chose this saying for Election Day 2016 because of its greater meaning. Everyone thinks their cause is right…