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…

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…

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…

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…