Our Official Southern Phrasebook

So you’ve moved down south for college, and you still have no clue what the hell all of these crazy southerners are talking about. Well, luckily for you, some of our resident SidelineO southerners have put together a short guide to help you understand a few of our personal favorite southern words and expressions.

“It’ll make you wanna slap ya mama”:

It’s so good that you want to do something crazy, such as slap your mother.    

Usage: “How are the biscuits and gravy?”

“Oh, they’ll make you wanna slap ya mama”

“The Devil’s beating his wife”:

It’s currently raining but the sun is still shining — sun showers.

“Scat you nasty cat”:

Gesundheit, Bless you, etc.

“Hoot with the owls, chirp with the birds”:

If you’re going to stay up late partying, you gotta be able to get up early.

Usage: “Sorry I’m late boss, had a bit of a late night.”

“Well if you’re gonna hoot with the owls, you gotta get up and chirp with the birds”

“Hissy fit”:

An adult’s version of a temper tantrum.

Usage: “I was going to ask my professor about one of the homework questions, but he was too busy throwing a hissy fit about the lecture today.”

“I’m sweating like a whore in church”:

I’m sweating profusely. A cleaner version of this is “sweating like a sinner in church”

“Hot sec/hot minute”:

A long-ish period of time — from a few days or weeks, to years.

Usage: “You wanna go to Dreamland and grab some barbeque?”

“Damn man. I haven’t been there in a hot ass minute but let’s go!”

“If cows shat butter, you wouldn’t have to churn”:

“It’d be nice if it worked that way, but it doesn’t.”

“Bless your heart”:

You’re a complete idiot.

Usage:“I met this awesome girl last week and she told me I’m the only guy she’s talking to!”

“Oh, bless your heart.”

“Hot mess”:

Whatever/whoever is being described does not have their shit together.

Usage:“I’m sorry I look like a hot mess, I just got back from the gym and didn’t have time to shower.”

“He’s all hat and no cattle.”:

An individual who dresses and acts as though they’re from the country, when in fact they moved to the South from someplace else.

Usage:“See that boy in the lifted truck and the Southern Marsh shirt? He’s all hat and no cattle.”

“As the sun shines on a dog’s ass.”:

Something that is definitely, certainly, 100% going to happen.

Usage: “As sure as the sun shines on a dog’s ass, Mitch is definitely going to be late for this meeting.”

And finally, the proper use of y’all:


Addressing a singular person


Addressing 2-3 people at a time

“All Y’all”:

Addressing 4 or more people at once

“Y’all gotta come see this youtube video, its wild.”

“There’s some crazy shit going on here, all y’all need to get over here NOW!”


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