Category Archives: Sayings

Sayings recorded from listening to local conversations and language

Listening to the Plants Grow

One of the great joys of my parents’ summer was raising a garden behind the house.  Due to age and failing health, they have not had a garden for the last couple of years.  Up until a couple of years ago, my mom and dad could both be found outside during spring and summer days working in flower beds or in the garden, mowing the lawn, or sitting on the porch, “Listening to the plants grow.”

In the summer rain and run, I believe they have actually been attuned to the sound of growing things.  I’m not sure if what I hear are the same sounds they listen for, but the rustle of corn in the wind, the sound of buzzing bees, and the breeze itself carries a different sound in the summer than in the dead of winter when nothing is growing.

They miss their freshly grown produce and I miss the canning and enjoying the fruits of their labor.  There is nothing more flavorful than fresh food from the garden.  Neighbors have been kind enough to share with them, as they shared with others in the past from their bounty.

I’d love to have a day near someone’s garden when I could be still enough to sit and listen for the sound of plants growing.



Sayings: Ears – Eyes (from the book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • He has long ears. (eavesdrops)
  • How close to the floor do I have to put my ear to hear the devil?
  • She has rabbit ears. (large ears)
  • He has ears like a fox. (hears well)
  • Lend me your ear. (listen to my idea)
  • The money has already been earmarked for a project. (designated)
  • He looks like Dumbo! (big ears)
  • His ears stood up when he heard what they were saying. (eavesdropping)
  • Her ears perked up. (listened to something she wanted to hear)
  • When he talks, I let it go in one ear and out the other. (don’t take it to heart)
  • Will you be my ears? (listen for clues; eavesdrop with a purpose; tell me what goes on)


  • The early bird catches the worm.
  • Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise.
  • I’m up with the crows in the mornings.
  • He gets up before the chickens.
  • He gets up before the crack of dawn.
  • Better early than late!


  • Easy come, easy go!
  • That’s as easy as pie!
  • That’s a piece of cake!
  • It’s like taking candy from a baby!
  • It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
  • He’s living the life of Riley.
  • It’s as easy as falling off a bike!
  • It’s easier said than done.


  • He eats like a pig. (no manners)
  • The smell of that ham roasting really whetted his appetite. (made him hungry)
  • You better eat before you cave in! (die)
  • He ate a big bait of fresh salad greens. (large amount)
  • If you don’t eat, you’ll dry up and blow away! (get too thin)
  • He’ll eat anything that doesn’t crawl off his plate! (indiscriminate eater)
  • If that boy got paid to eat, he’d be a rich man!
  • We always make enough for a second helping.
  • I’ll take seconds on those potatoes!
  • That smells so good, I can hardly wait to chow down!
  • I could make a meal out of poke sallet! (can apply to any favorite food that a person likes well enough to eat it and nothing else with it)
  • I guess I’ll have to eat crow. (apologize)
  • He’ll have to eat those words. (admit he was wrong)
  • If he wins that race, I’ll eat my hat! (don’t expect it to happen)
  • She acted like she could eat him up alive.       (adore)
  • I’ll eat you alive. (beat, defeat)
  • Eat your heart out! (be envious)
  • Any time you can get something to eat is a good time to eat.
  • If somebody offers you something to eat, you take it!       You don’t have to be hungry to eat.       You eat to keep from getting hungry.
  • If you don’t work and make you something to eat, old Pete will be sitting on the table! (hunger)
  • She doesn’t need a plate, just give her a trough!
  • She eats like a bird. (eats very little; picky)
  • I ate until I’m foundered. (overate)
  • He didn’t do more than smell his food. (ate little)
  • She picked at her plate. (finicky)
  • You’ll eat those words! (retract; regret)
  • He licked the platter clean!
  • This is a Duke’s mixture. (combination of foods; leftovers)
  • He ate like a ravenous wolf. (starved)
  • I’ve got an appetite like a bear waking up in the spring.
  • I’m so hungry I could eat an elephant.


  • She has a lot of book learning. (self taught)
  • He has book smarts. (reads a lot)
  • He didn’t have an education, but he had plenty of common sense.
  • I had no formal learning. (self taught)
  • Boys, get an edumacation!
  • You need to be edumacated.
  • I wish I had more schooling.
  • He got his letters from the university.       (degree)
  • Education is a great equalizer between social classes.
  • The best way up the ladder is through education.
  • Education brings change.
  • True change starts with education the public.
  • If you get an education, you can hold your head up in any crowd.
  • Get an education so you will never have to be ashamed


  • I will do my level best. (maximum effort)
  • I will do my dead level best.
  • I know you can do better.
  • I gave 100%. (all I had to give)
  • My get up and go got up and went.       (tried but failed)
  • I’m tired of trying. (discouraged)
  • Try, try again. (don’t give up)
  • Third time’s the charm.
  • Give it your best shot.
  • Give it all you’ve got.
  • You get an “A” for effort. (tried but didn’t succeed)
  • He didn’t give half an effort. (didn’t try)
  • Can’t you try a little harder?
  • It took me some doing, but I managed to get my doctor’s appointment changed.


  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.       (diversify)
  • Why don’t you go fry an egg? (leave me alone)
  • He’s a bad egg. (bad reputation)
  • She’s an egg head. (very smart, studious)
  • I have a little nest egg tucked away.       (secret savings)
  • You have egg on your face! (mistaken and embarrassed about it)
  • She’s a good egg. (a good person)
  • I’ll break him from sucking eggs! (break a bad habit)
  • Honey, that egg is already scrambled. (a mistake/decision that can not be undone)
  • You’ll not find a goose egg in a hummingbird’s nest. (some things are illogical; won’t happen; doesn’t fit)


  • Contrary to what your parents may have told you, your name is not Sunshine, and the universe does not revolve around you!
  • She always has to be the center of attention.
  • He’s a cocky simp of a man. (not as good as he thinks he is)
  • Little Smarty went to a party.  No one came but little Smarty!
  • That boy is getting too big for his britches!       (thinks more highly of himself than he has a right to)
  • She thinks she’s something the cat covered up.       (important enough for a cat to bury)
  • He thinks he’s high and mighty.
  • She thinks she can walk on water, but I know better.
  • He’s a real glory hound!
  • If you could buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth, you’d be rich for the rest of your life.
  • I’m being totally selfish. I’ve talked about “me” for the last hour. Why don’t I stop and let you talk about me?
  • He’s a regular pack of smarties!
  • He thinks his poop don’t stink! (superior to others)
  • He’s a legend in his own mind.
  • He thinks he’s the Grand Poo Bah.
  • He’s about as slick as snot on a doorknob.
  • He thinks he’s something on a stick.
  • She needs to eat a slice of humble pie.
  • He’ll be eating crow for a long time over that!       (humbled)
  • He’s got a chip on his shoulder. (defensive)
  • He thinks he’s a Big Ike. (one with great authority)
  • He thinks he deserves a standing ovation every time he passes gas.
  • Someone needs to take him down a peg.
  • Someone needs to put her in her place.
  • Your mom might think you’re going to be President, but trust me – you never will.
  • She acts like she’s the family princess.
  • You’re not worth as much as you think.
  • She thinks she’s all that and a bag of chips.
  • He thinks he’s better looking than a store front window.
  • He thinks he’s worth more than a store front window, but I didn’t ask how much one costs.
  • You don’t ever fly so high that you don’t have to come down.
  • Get off your high horse! (opinion of one’s self that is superior to others)


  • Have you paid the juice bill? (electric bill)
  • He got juiced. (electrical shock)
  • Turn the power on. (plug in; flip a switch)
  • Hit the switch. (flip the switch on or off)
  • It felt like electricity coursing through my body.       (pain)


  • No one wanted to discuss the elephant in the room.

(big problem that everyone knows and no one wants to deal with)

  • She has a memory like an elephant.
  • Oh, if only elephants could dance! (a comment about an impossible situation)
  • I thunk I’ll ride an elephunk, but, no it is an elepho.       He thought it was an elephought. She says we can’t ride that elephant. (who is right and who is wrong; does anyone know what they’re talking about?)


  • Throw it in the yard. (get rid of something)
  • Three strikes and you’re out. (rules of baseball)
  • Better pull the plug on that idea. (forget about it; kill it)
  • He’s going down for the third time. (a drowning man)
  • I’ll get you, my little pretty! (get rid of)


  • I was mortified!
  • She turned red down to her toes.
  • He turned red plumb down into his shirt collar.
  • He turned as red as a gobbler’s snout.
  • She really rubbed your nose in it!
  • I wanted to dig a hole and crawl in!
  • I could have gone through the floor.
  • I wanted to disappear right there and then.
  • I could have died down dead right on the spot!                                  

emotions (or lack of)

  • She’s as cold as ice.
  • He’s as cold as stone.
  • It hurts my heart.
  • She’s tightly wound. (very emotional; nervous)
  • She’s high strung. (emotional)
  • He’s wired. (highly emotional)


  • There’s nary a drop left!
  • That has a hollow ring to it. (empty, insincere words)
  • My head is empty. (out of ideas)
  • There’s nary a one in that box.


  • All will be well.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Keep your chin up.
  • If the good Lord put an idea in your head, He will help you get it done.
  • Tomorrow is another day.
  • You can do it!
  • Remember the little engine. I think I can. I think I can!
  • You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t give up!
  • Keep trying. You’re bound to get it right eventually.


  • Elvis has left the building.
  • You haven’t heard the end of this.
  • We don’t get fairy tale endings in this life.
  • All good things must come to an end.
  • That’s all she wrote!


  • They won’t last any longer than Pat stayed in the Army.
  • He’ll give out before he gets started.
  • He’ll hold his own.


  • Do not strive to make enemies, to keep them, or befriend them.
  • Smile a lot. It aggravates your enemies and drive them crazy trying to figure out what you’ve been up to.
  • Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
  • Deliberately make an enemy of no man.
  • Always give your enemies an opportunity to save face.


  • I’ve had about enough of you!
  • Enough is enough!
  • I can never get enough of you!
  • Enough is enough and too much is nasty


  • I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!
  • What in ‘tar nation are you talkin’ about?
  • He was in the middle of the whole shebang.
  • He’s got the whole world in His hands.


  • She is green with envy. (jealous)
  • The green-eyed monster is on the loose.


  • What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
  • All men are created equal except for the ones who come out with a silver spoon in their mouth. (wealthy)


  • I gave him the slip. (snuck away from)
  • He’s off the hook! (has been released)
  • I’m saved by the bell! (rescued just in time)
  • He’s flown the coop. (ran away)
  • Beam me up, Scotty. (transport me to safety)
  • He got off Scot free! (didn’t have to pay)
  • I turned in my walking papers. (get away from – as in a bad relationship or job)


  • I sat thinking in the gloaming.
  • Lightning bugs come out long about dusky dark.
  • I watch for the first stars to shine at twilight.
  • I love to sit on the porch at evening time.
  • My favorite time is the eve of the day.
  • It’s sitting on the edge of dark.
  • It is evensong. (the time just before dark when the night creatures begin to be heard, i.e. – whip-oor-wills, frogs, crickets, etc.)
  • I’m waiting for the moon ball to rise.


  • It went plime blank like he said it would.
  • It turned out pine blank like you predicted.
  • Nobody can be exact all the time.
  • ‘Xactly what do you mean by that? (explain yourself)
  • Now that’s just plain speakin’. (be exact and say what you mean)
  • I don’t have the zact change to pay for the pop machine. (precise)


  • He dressed that story up a little.
  • The more it’s told, the bigger it gets!
  • That’s a fish tale if I ever heard one.
  • That’s making a mountain out of a mole hill.
  • What a whopper!
  • You don’t have to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
  • Don’t make such a big deal out of it!
  • He ain’t just whistling Dixie.
  • Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill!


  • Too much of anything is nasty.
  • Too much of a good thing is just too much.
  • You could take what she wastes and bake a cake!


  • You’ve got ants in your pants!
  • Hot ziggety!
  • Golly bum!
  • I’m beside myself.
  • I’m shaking like a leaf!
  • I can’t hardly live and stand it!
  • You’d be gaga over a grandbaby!
  • She went nuts when she heard the news!
  • He is gung ho and ready to go


  • But me no buts.
  • I couldn’t help myself.
  • The devil made me do it.                
  • A poor excuse is better than none at ll!


  • Policy comes from higher ups.
  • The uppity ups run the place.
  • He’s just a stuffed shirt.
  • He’s a fat cat.
  • The suits are coming.
  • high falutin’ bunch
  • The gray suits will be here.
  • He’s upper crust.
  • The muckity mucks are making an inspection of the factory today.
  • He’s a big cheese.
  • The hoity toities are visiting today.
  • He’s a big fish in a little pond.                                
  • He thinks he’s a big shot, but he’s not.
  • He is bringing in the big buck


  • I am worn out.
  • I’m worn to a frazzle.
  • You wear me out.
  • That tired me out.
  • I’m all done in.
  • I’m pooped.


  • That price is out of this world.
  • That cost a fortune.
  • He had to shell out a lot of money to pay for that!
  • It costs a king’s ransom.
  • That will cost an arm and a leg.
  • That will cost you a pretty penny.
  • That’s highway robbery!
  • That place is very posh.
  • You’ll pay through the nose for that.


  • He was a man of the world.
  • He has been a Jack of all trades.
  • She wrote the book on that subject.
  • He’s street smart.
  • He’s world wise


  • She was caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
  • He was caught with his pants down.
  • It will all come out in the wash.
  • She blew the lid off of that story.
  • He gave the low down on the whole event.
  • She kept digging until she got to the bottom of things.
  • She was caught red handed.
  • His cover was blown.
  • Can you shed a little light on this situation?


  • Her eyes sparkled like diamonds. (in love)
  • His eyes sparkled like stars in a midnight sky. (happy)
  • I was a goner from the first time I laid eyes on him. (love at first sight)
  • Keep your eyes open. (be observant)
  • Her eyes flashed like lightning. (anger)
  • A storm was brewing in his eyes. (anger)
  • Her eyes twinkled with mischief. (sneaky)
  • His eyes spoke volumes. (emotions showed in his eyes)
  • Keep your eyes peeled. (be watchful)
  • You’re a sight for sore eyes! (someone that hasn’t been seen in a while)
  • He has snake eyes. (not trustworthy)
  • You stop that eye rolling right now! (said to a child who is giving an insolent look)
  • He rolled snake eyes. (rolled two on the dice)
  • His eyes were bottomless pools. (thoughtful)
  • Her eyes were placid pools. (peaceful)
  • He’s as blind as a bat. (can’t see either physically and/or emotionally)
  • Don’t roll your eyes at me! (sign of contempt; disgust)
  • Don’t roll your eyeballs at me like that! (same as above)
  • His eyes rolled back in his head. (shock; near death)
  • She couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. (can’t see well)
  • He wears Coke bottles for glasses. (thick glasses)
  • Look at four-eyes. (insult to someone who wears glasses)
  • She has eyes in the back of her head. (watchful and catches misbehavior)
  • He’s cross-eyed. (physical condition – lazy eye)
  • His eyes are sigoggledy. (crossed)
  • Her eyes were like two puddles of mud. (dull)
  • Her eyes are like tires. (surprised)
  • My eyes were bigger than my stomach. (not as hungry as I thought)
  • His eyes were as big as saucers. (surprised)
  • She’s got the pink eye. (infection in the eyes)
  • We see eye to eye. (have similar beliefs/values; agree)
  • I’ve got the big eye. (can’t sleep)
  • He has a single eye until he gets it finished. (focused on the task)
  • His eyeballs rolled back in his head when he saw her standing there. (shock; surprise)
  • He has eagle eyes. (good vision; aware of everything)
  • I saw her cutting her eyes at me. (giving me angry or dirty looks)
  • Don’t be rolling your eyeballs all over him! (looking lustfully at his physique)
  • He’ll look at you with the snake eye. (mean)
  • He’s looking at me with the stink eye. (mean)
  • You’d better keep an eye on him. (watch carefully)
  • Keep an eye out for one of those for me. (watch for)
  • That’s a poke in the eye! (something unpleasant)

Sayings: Do – Dynamite (from the book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • They are having a big to do this week-end. (party)
  • If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you got.
  • How do you like my new do? (hair style)
  • It was all I could do not to! (forced myself not to do something I shouldn’t do


  • What’s up doc?
  • He’s a life saver!
  • That doctor’s a quack.
  • He’s a regular horse doctor.
  • That leech will run all kind of tests on you.
  • He’s a blood sucker!
  • That doctor is knife happy. (frequently recommends surgery)
  • I wouldn’t take a good dog to that doctor.
  • You know what they say about doctors. They bury their mistakes and the ones that survive live to sing their praises.
  • The love doctor is in.
  • Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. You cannot have all leaders without some followers.


  • A dog is man’s best friend.
  • He’s a regular water dog. (loves water sports)
  • You can’t turn a good dog down. (accept something given for free; a good deal)
  • Unconditional love is spelled D –O – G!
  • He took off like a scalded dog. (fast)
  • You’d give a dog a bad name! (guilty by association)
  • He walks around like a blind dog in a meat house.       (unaware)
  • He’s a dirty dog. (untrustworthy)
  • My dogs are barking. (feet are tired)
  • Every dog has its day. (everyone gets a chance to succeed)
  • The sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s butt every day. (popularity doesn’t last forever)
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. (can’t change old people or old ways easily)
  • He’s an egg sucking dog! (worthless)
  • Call your dogs off! (someone sent to harass)
  • It is a dog eat dog world. (take care of yourself)
  • It’s a dog’s life. (difficult)
  • It’s raining cats and dogs! (pouring)
  • Let sleeping dogs lie. (Don’t agitate an already troublesome situation. Leave well enough alone.)
  • That is a dog eared book. (worn; well read)
  • He’s a lap dog. (eager to please; wants attention; a favorite)
  • Barking dogs seldom bite.
  • If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.
  • You can’t stick an old dog’s head on a pup.       (applies to pups and people – the young have to have time to learn what the old already know)
  • He’d give a good dog a bad name. (ruin someone’s reputation)
  • He ran like a scalded dog! (very fast)
  • You are whining like a whipped pup!
  • You can’t turn a good dog down.
  • She’s puttin’ on the dog. (showing off; acting superior)
  • I was sicker than a dog! (very sick; nauseated)


  • He wobbles around like a bobble-headed doll.
  • She’s a doll. (good person)
  • The only date he can get is with an inflatable doll.
  • They live in a doll house. (cute; small)


  • Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
  • I’m doomed if I do, and doomed if I don’t.


  • He’s hen pecked. (dominated by a wife)
  • He’s cow towed. (told what to do)
  • He bows and scrapes to her whims. (tries to please)
  • He is hag ridden. (dominated by a female)
  • I’ve got him by the scruff of the neck.       (completely control)
  • He needs to cut the apron strings. (dominated by a mother)
  • She wears the pants in her family.
  • She wears the trousers in her family.
  • When they get up of a morning, she puts the britches on. (implies role reversal of authority in man and wife)


  • Have you heard the latest dope? (gossip)
  • He’s hooked on dope. (prescription drugs)
  • We don’t use none of that dope on our garden. (chemicals; manmade fertilizer)
  • He’s a real dope. (stupid; gullible)


  • It’s doubtful that she’ll even remember that she promised to do it, much less get it done.
  • I don’t reckon he will. (doubt of someone doing something)
  • That will happen when pigs fly!
  • Just hid and watch. That won’t last two minutes!


  • She’s down in the mouth. (sad)
  • He’s down and out. (going through a hard time)
  • She’s down in the dumps. (sad)
  • We’re down to the wire. (almost at a deadline)
  • She is a down to earth kind of   girl. (simple, wholesome)


  • Dreen that glass of milk.
  • I’m dreening my oil pan.
  • Don’t let it go down the dreen pipe.
  • I am drained. (tired)
  • All my money went down the drain.       (lost)
  • That relationship is down the drain.       (over)
  • I feel like someone pulled a stopper out of the bottom of my feet and let all my energy drain out. (very tired)
  • This car payment is a real drain on my finances. (costly)
  • This problem is a brain drain.       (difficult/complicated)


  • I dreamed a dream and it was sweet. (unlikely to happen, but wishful)
  • She’s building castles in the air.       (dreaming about impossible things)
  • She’s chasing rainbows. (impossible to achieve)

dress – inappropriate (also see attire)

  • You’ll catch a cold where you can’t take medicine.
  • Scratch where it itches if it isn’t in your britches.
  • That outfit leaves nothing to the imagination.
  • She’s certainly advertizing in that get up.
  • She might as well wear a neon sign that says, “Cheap!”
  • If she bends over, it’s all over!
  • Looks like her momma would teach her how to dress.
  • She looks plumb trashy.
  • He’s showing his plumber’s crack.
  • He goes around slouchy with his pants falling off.


  • Always drink upstream. (to avoid drinking polluted water)
  • Now there goes a tall drink of water!       (tall person)
  • That drink will sour on his stomach.       (bad choice made)
  • Drink ‘til you founder! (get your fill)
  • Whisky was not made for shot glasses. It was made for chug-a-lugging.
  • Did you ever tank 10-69? (drink deer urine – a primitive hunter’s practice after killing a deer)
  • I don’t drink and I don’t chew. I don’t go with them that do! (don’t date people with bad habits)


  • Let’s go cruising. (driving around for entertainment)
  • Your lead footing it. (driving too fast)
  • She’s driving me to distraction. (getting on my nerves)
  • You drive me crazy. (irritation; lustful)
  • You could drive a preacher to drink.
  • You can drive a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. (you can give someone advice, but they don’t have to take it)
  • Put the pedal to the metal. (drive faster)
  • You’re driving like my granny. (too slow)
  • Lay rubber. (pull out fast)
  • He was burning rubber. (speeding)

driving comments

  • Why don’t you just crawl up my back end?       (being followed too closely)
  • Move over Bozo!
  • Where’d you get that driver’s license – out of a Cracker Jacks box?
  • Where did you learn to drive?
  • If you don’t stop criticizing my driving, I’m going to put you out beside of the road and let you walk home!
  • If you got a drivers license, they must have been handing them out for free on the sidewalk.
  • Road hog!
  • Dim your lights, buddy! This ain’t no runway!
  • You’re a back seat driver!


  • He marches to a different drummer. (follows his own beliefs)
  • His drummer plays to a different beat. (out of the ordinary)
  • The drummer came by this week.       (salesman)

drunk (also see intoxicated)

  • He’s drunk as a skunk.
  • She’s a bar fly.
  • They were as drunk as Cooter Brown.
  • He’s three sheets to the wind.
  • He’s rip roaring drunk!
  • He’s drunker than a Lord!


  • I’m drier than a desert.
  • It is drier than a popcorn fart.
  • My mouth is as dry as toast.
  • My throat is drier than dirt.
  • I’m dry as a bone.
  • I’m parched. (thirsty)
  • I’m scorched.
  • He left her high and dry. (abandoned)


  • He’s a lucky duck!
  • Walks like a duck, talks like a duck – must be a duck!
  • Crap, crap, crap! Her mouth goes like a duck’s butt all the time. (talks negatively)
  • You need to get your ducks in a row.       (set priorities)
  • He took to it like a duck to water.       (did something new very well.)
  • He walks around like a duck looking for thunder.
  • She drove her ducks to a dry pond.       (made a bad decision; marriage that did not turn out well)


  • She’s a little dimwitted
  • She’s a blonde.
  • That’s a bird brained idea.
  • He’s as dumb as a bridge.
  • That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard!
  • He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.
  • He’s a starn naked fool!
  • You’re a bungling idiot!
  • He’s a dumb thumick.
  • Her gates are down, lights are on, and the bell is ringing, but the train’s not coming.
  • His wheels are spinning, but he’s not going anywhere.
  • He’s dumber than a doorknob.
  • I believe your light bulb has just about burnt out.
  • Hello! No one’s home.
  • He’s a real knuckle head.
  • He is full of hair brained ideas.
  • He is so stupid, his brain moved out a long time ago.
  • He’s so dumb, someone said the weather is chilly outside and he ran for a bowl and spoon!
  • She’s so dumb, she tripped over a cordless telephone.
  • He’s dumber than a knot on a log.
  • She’s dumber than a fence post.
  • He’s not playing with a full deck.
  • He’s too dumb to come in out of the rain.
  • She doesn’t know whether to use the bathroom, fall down, or wind her wrist watch.
  • You’re dumber than a cat under poop.
  • His body has outgrown his brain.
  • That boy doesn’t know whether to pee, fall down, or go blind..
  • The biggest job your brain does is keeping your ears apart.
  • He’s about half baked.
  • If your brain was rocket fuel, you’d never get off the ground.
  • He’s so dumb, if you gave him a penny, he’d try to give you back change.
  • If your brain were made of ink, you wouldn’t have enough to dot an “i.”
  • She’s dumber than a box of rocks.
  • She’s dumber than a coal bucket!
  • He’s not playing with a full deck.
  • Her elevator doesn’t go to the top floor.
  • You are dumber than dirt.
  • He’s as thick as mud.
  • His body has outgrown his mind.
  • She’s dumb as a brick.
  • Her dough didn’t rise to the top.
  • He’s about a brick shy of a load.
  • I believe her light bulb has gone out.
  • Not a one in that family will ever set the world on fire.
  • That whole family crawled out of the short end of the gene pool.
  • There are no brain surgeons in that bunch.
  • If you had a brain, you’d be dangerous.
  • He is so dumb, he got hit by a parked car.
  • He’s a few fries short of a happy meal!
  • He wears his shoes on the wrong feet.
  • His brain is like a b b rolling down a four lane highway.
  • She’s as blank as a clean sheet of paper.
  • He’s not firing on all cylinders.
  • He’s a little short of a cup.
  • She’s not the brightest color in the crayon box.
  • He’s not the brightest bulb in the pack.


  • It’s built to last!
  • He’s tougher than nails.
  • That car will outlive you!
  • He’s tougher than shoe leather.
  • She’s tougher than whip leather.


  • I always do my duty by my husband.       (keep house, prepare meals, etc.)
  • He’s been called to active duty.       (military service)
  • It’s my civic duty to vote.       (responsibility)
  • My call to duty is not the same as yours.       (act in a responsible way)
  • I took my post. (place of duty)


  • It’ll take a lot of diddymite to blow that tree stump out of the ground.
  • DY-NO-MITE! (Yay;       Hurray)
  • He’s ready to blow like a keg of dynamite.       (angry)


Sayings: Diamond – Dizzy (from the book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • He’s a diamond in the rough.
  • Her eyes sparkle like diamonds.
  • Diamonds are a girl’s best friends.
  • It’s not official ‘til I’m wearin’ the diamond.       (engagement)


  • He’s got the runs.
  • She’s got the trots.
  • He’s got the squirts.
  • She’s got the Johnny trots.
  • She has the back door trots.


  • He pinched the dickens out of her.
  • What in the dickens is going on here?
  • What a little dickens that one is! (mean child)
  • If I don’t get this job done, the boss will give me the dickens when he sees it undone. (get reprimanded)
  • You scared the dickens out of me!


  • One turns one way, one turns t’other.
  • They are as different as night and day.
  • They couldn’t be more polar opposite.
  • We’ve had a difference of opinion.       (quarrel)
  • What difference does it make?       (irrelevant)
  • They’ve put aside their differences. (come to an agreement)
  • That’s a different kettle of fish!       (different story than what I’ve been told)
  • There goes a horse of a different color!       (unique)


  • That’s a tall order to fill.
  • Life gets tegious. (tough; tedious)
  • That’s a long row to hoe!
  • You are walking on thin ice.
  • His back is against the wall.
  • That’s just the nature of the beast.
  • I’ve painted myself into the corner.
  • Teenagers are hard to live with.
  • It’s an uphill battle.
  • It’s like pulling teeth.
  • That will be a tough time.
  • That’s like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree.
  • She’s a little fussbudget! (difficult to please)
  • You are pushing my buttons. (deliberately trying to annoy)
  • If it’s not one thing, it’s another! (a succession of difficult situations)
  • We’ll have to fight tooth and nail.
  • The news of his death sure didn’t go down easy.


  • You’re trying to dig yourself out of a hole.
  • Nice digs! (dwelling place)
  • Dig a little deeper. (try harder
  • Reach into your pocket and dig a little deeper.       (give more to a charity.


  • Don’t beat around the bush.
  • Get to the point.
  • Point blank, tell me the truth.
  • Don’t sugar coat it.
  • Don’t mince words.


  • He was standing smack dab in the middle of the road.
  • It’s about a mile as the crow flies.
  • She couldn’t find her way out of a paper bag.
  • My folks live up the creek.
  • When I got married, I moved down the creek.
  • My friend lives over yonder.
  • Over hyander is where we are going to put the barn.
  • They live at the head of the holler.
  • You’ll find it just around the corner.
  • Head over the hill. (go downhill)
  • It’s about a country mile. (long)
  • You will come to a little snake in the road… (curve)
  • There’s an old mountain goat way to get there, but I’d say the path is grown over and might be hard to find. (a trail that hasn’t been used in a long time)


  • Your room looks like a pig’s pen!
  • You look like you’ve been drug up a stove pipe.
  • You couldn’t be dirtier if you’d been sucking a sow!
  • That child goes around like a ragamuffin.
  • She looks like an orphan child.
  • What pig pen were you playing in?
  • Behind your ears are so dirty, you could plant a garden back there.
  • You’re so dirty a fly would be ashamed to light on you.
  • You could plant potatoes between those dirty toes.
  • Your room looks like it’s been hit by a cyclone.
  • You’re as nasty as a dumpster.
  • What did you do – let a pig loose in there?
  • That’s plumb cyarny.
  • You look like you’ve been wallowing in the pig pen.


  • He’s an ornery old coot!
  • And just suppose I take a notion not to?
  • Quit beating around the bush.
  • Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.
  • You are trying me.
  • You are testing my patience.
  • Get to the point.
  • Do you want to bury the hatchet?
  • You are always digging up bones. Everyone has a few skeletons in their closet. You’d better think twice if you don’t want me to unlock your closet door.
  • If you were to shake your family tree, it’s untelling what might fall out.
  • I bend over backwards to try and please you, but you can’t be pleased.
  • I didn’t open my mouth against him.
  • That goes against the grain!
  • You are throwing yourself away.
  • I don’t think so! (I disagree.)


  • Her hopes were dashed.
  • She was let down.
  • It was no big deal.
  • Things could’ve been better.
  • Not so much. (in response to the question, “How do you like _________?”       could apply to anything)
  • It sure wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
  • People went on and on about it, but I didn’t think it was that great. (praised it)
  • Try not to break down. (cry because of frustration)
  • Been there, done that, never want to do it again!
  • Let’s don’t and say we did!
  • I’ve had better.
  • I’m sorry it rained on your parade.
  • All the air went out of his tires.

disastrous event (something gone wrong)

  • Well, this is a pretty piece of business.
  • Isn’t this a pretty kettle of fish you’ve gotten us into?
  • This is a fine mess we’re in!
  • This is a pretty pickle we’re in.
  • This is a quanundrum.
  • That sure followed Murphy’s Law.       (whatever can go wrong will go wrong)


  • You don’t say!
  • Upon my honor!
  • I pawn my honor!
  • Surely not.
  • My word!
  • My foot!
  • Tell me it isn’t so!
  • Oh, sure! (said in a negative tone)
  • If I believed that you’d try to sell me swampland.
  • I’m not falling for that!
  • Crymanies! Do you think I’m that dumb? 


  • She poured cold water on his idea.
  • You sure put the dampers on me!
  • She certainly knocked the wind out of his sails!
  • He put the kibosh on the project idea.


  • She found out the truth.
  • I’ve finally seen through him.
  • She’s been uncovered.
  • The jig is up.
  • He’s been found out.
  • He’s been caught on to.
  • We need to get to the bottom of it. 


  • That is double gross!
  • You make me want to vomit!
  • Gag a maggot.
  • That would make a dog puke.
  • Grossioso!


  • She’s quite a dish. (pretty woman)
  • You can dish it out, but you can’t take it.       (teasing; criticism)
  • Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. (don’t be critical if you don’t want to be criticized)
  • What’s the latest dish? (gossip; news)


  • That man is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg!
  • He’s about as slippery as a greased dog.
  • He’s as slippery as a greased pig.
  • She’s as crooked as a creek bed.
  • You’re lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.
  • I wouldn’t trust her any further than I could throw her.
  • You’re as crooked as an oak tree.
  • You’re a goose egg.
  • He’s so crooked, you’ll have to screw him in the ground when he dies.
  • You lie like a rug!
  • He was crooked from the beginning.
  • He crooked me right out of my land!
  • He’s about as straight as a broken stick.
  • You lie like Pinocchio.
  • That boy is as crooked as a barrel of fish hooks!


  • He was like poop in a punch bowl.
  • She was a fish out of water.
  • I felt like a bull in a china shop.
  • He’s like a fish in a pickle dish.


  • Don’t sass me.
  • No back talking.
  • Don’t disrespect me!


  • It caused quite a ruckus.
  • What a racket! (lots of noise)
  • What’s the commotion?


  • He busted the swimming hole wide open. (verb form)
  • What a dive! (unpleasant place to live or work)
  • That was his swan dive. (last performance)
  • He moved into some dive in the city. (apartment)


  • Their marriage fell apart.
  • They went under.
  • Their marriage broke apart.
  • They’ve dissolved their ties.
  • They’ve split up.
  • They’ve broken up.
  • Their walls have broken down.
  • There’s a Jack for every Jenny, and your first one was a Jack ass.
  • I’m getting rid of that man. He don’t put no pork chops on my table. (doesn’t provide for me)
  • He hung her out to dry. (filed for divorce)


  • She’s a dizzy dame. (scatterbrained)
  • I’m feeling a little swirly jiggy.
  • I’m as dizzy as a three legged dog chasing his own tail.
  • You are dizzy. (silly)
  • My head feels like a whirly gig.
  • The ground is about to come up and smack me in the face.

Sayings: Dance – Devil (from the book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • You’ve got to dance with the one who brung you. (be responsible for your choices)
  • You don’t have to dance with the devil. (You don’t have to choose to do wrong.)
  • Are you going to the frolick? (social dance)
  • They are frolicking to the music.
  • They are having a hoe down.
  • She can really cut a rug!
  • She’s strutting herself around all over the floor!
  • He can cut a jig!
  • She was really puttin’ on a show.       (drawing attention to herself)
  • He was really giving them a show.       (using fancy dance moves)
  • We are going out high stepping.
  • Would you like to trip the light fantastic?
  • She loves to kick up her heels.
  • He’s as loose as a long necked goose.       (limber dance moves)


  • She’s a dandy. (a very good person)
  • He’s a dandy. (feminine acting)
  • That’s a dandy dog you’ve got there. (a fine example of))
  • He acts like a dandy.       (fussy/fussbudget; homosexual)


  • Danger! Danger!       Danger, Will Robinson!
  • There’s a bad moon rising.
  • There’s no danger in just looking.
  • You’re in danger of making him fall in love with you.
  • She’s drawn to danger like a hog to slop.


  • How dare you speak to me that way!       (outrage)
  • She’s daresome to go against anything he says.       (afraid; doesn’t want to deal with the consequences)
  • I dare you to walk up to him and say hello.
  • I double dog dare you! (really dare you)
  • I triple dog dare you! (really, really dare you)
  • I dare say it was so. (true)


  • It was as dark as a moonless night.
  • It was as dark as the grave.
  • It was as dark as a starless night.
  • The room was pitch black.
  • He’s in a dark mood. (sullen; angry; troubled)
  • It was so dark you couldn’t see a hand in front of your face.
  • It was pitch dark outside.
  • It was so dark you couldn’t see the nose on your face.
  • It was dark as a dungeon.
  • His humor is a little dark. (macabre)
  • Don’t let anger take you to the dark side. (cause bitterness to take root in your heart and grow there)
  • His people are dark complected. (skin color)


  • I need to dash out to the store for a minute. (quick trip
  • This soup needs a dash of salt. (small amount)
  • It’s a dash to the finish line. (burst of speed)


  • They are sweethearts.
  • They are courting.
  • They are sparking.
  • They’ve found their split apart.
  • They are canoodling.
  • They’ve found their better half.
  • They claim each other.
  • They are exclusive.
  • They are going together.
  • They are committed.
  • They are testing the waters.
  • They’re a perfect fit.
  • They are riding out together.
  • He’s out slue footing. (looking for a date)
  • They’ve found their destiny.
  • They are real fond of each other.
  • They are made for each other.
  • They are a match made in Heaven.
  • I’m going to see a man about a dog.
  • They are stepping out together.
  • They are walking out together.
  • They are going up to watch a double feature.
  • They will soon be wearing the Mr. and Mrs.


  • When the sunball peeks over the mountain, you should have your day well under way.
  • You need to go out about smoky daylight.
  • Just before daylight is the time I sleep best.
  • Just before bird song is the quietest time of morning.
  • He gets up at the butt crack of dawn.
  • When the sun breaks over the mountains, it’s time to be up and attending to chores.
  • I’ve got to get up in the morning at day bust.        


  • When the Weeper comes, you have to go.       (the death angel)
  • Speak kindly of the dead.
  • He went skudoodle.
  • She’s gone to glory.
  • He is reaping his reward.
  • She passed off recently.
  • God rest her soul.
  • She’s gone home.
  • He kicked the bucket.
  • Speak no ill of the dead.
  • She croaked.
  • Do not speak ill of the dead.
  • May the dead rest in peace.
  • He’s pushing up daisies.
  • She checked out a week ago.
  • He’s six foot under.
  • He’sfinished for good.
  • She passed away
  • He bit the dust.
  • Dead men tell no lies.
  • He gave up the ghost.
  • Old habits die hard.
  • She up and died.
  • She’s gone on.
  • She’s gone on to glory.
  • God rest his soul.
  • He’s gone on to be with the Lord.
  • That cat is as dead as a door knob.
  • You are dead meat! (in serious trouble)
  • He’s in bed, dead to the world. (fast asleep)
  • He’s deader than a doorknob.
  • You look like death warmed over. (very sick)
  • Dead men can’t defend themselves.
  • He’s a dead duck! (going to be in trouble)
  • I did my dead level best. (tried as hard as I could)
  • My cell phone is as dead as a door nail. (useless)
  • That project is dead in the water. (not going anywhere)
  • She’s dead from the neck up. (not smart)
  • She fainted dead away. (out cold)
  • The air was as still as death. (silent; no breeze)
  • Her mood was like death. (solemn; serious)
  • His love had her in a death grip. (abusive relationship)
  • That hair style has been done to death.   (too frequently)
  • He’s gone to meet his Maker.
  • He’s on his last legs. (almost dead.
  • This spring, the old folks have been dropping like flies. (frequent; numerous deaths)
  • She passed on a couple of months ago.
  • He’s gone home to be with the Lord.
  • He is reaping his reward.
  • He has changed his permanent address.
  • He stripped out and left us.
  • They’re dead even. (tied) 
  • You’ll catch your death! (dress for bad weather or you’ll die of pneumonia)
  • Only two things are certain in this life – death and taxes.
  • Death comes to us all.
  • Death is the great equalizer.
  • I don’t wish death on anyone… but…       (said about someone you really don’t like or who has treated you horribly)


  • He’s a deaf as a post!
  • She’s as deaf as a rock!
  • She’s deaf and dumb. (mute)
  • He’s deef.
  • He’s only deaf when it suits him.       (selective hearing)                                                                 


  • He was gas lighting her.
  • she was deliberately misleading him.
  • He was leading her down the wrong path.
  • He’s always trying to use that hocus pocus to trick someone.
  • All that glitters is not gold.
  • She really pulled the wool over his eyes!


  • His fate is decided.
  • Case closed.
  • I took a notion to bake an apple pie.
  • You can’t straddle the fence forever.       (You must decide.)
  • It is a cut and dried case.
  • It is a done deal.
  • I’ve made up my mind.
  • I’ve got a mind to write him a letter.
  • The last curtain call is over.
  • Consider your options.
  • Don’t be hasty.
  • I believe I will… (made a decision in favor of)
  • The die is cast. (things are already in motion that can’t be changed)
  • Shake the dust off your feet and move on.       (move forward without regrets)
  • Don’t look back. (consider future goals instead of past failures)
  • If you are bound and determined to do it, go right ahead and you’ll reap the whirlwind! (said when a person is making a bad decision against advice)
  • I’m agreeable. (I agree with a major decision.)
  • They turned me plumb against it.       (pointed out the negativities)
  • Hang ‘em high and be done with it.
  • Settle on an answer before you act.
  • What’s the worst that can happen? If it should, can you live with it? (advice to someone making a decision)
  • Jump on in, feet first. (be fully committed)
  • He went into it with his eyes open.       (knew there would be difficulties)
  • Don’t buy a pig in a poke. (don’t buy what you can’t see)
  • Don’t make rash decisions. (hasty, emotional decisions that may not be wise)
  • Poop or get off the pot. (make up your mind)
  • Fish or cut bait. (make a decision; stop flirting with someone if you have no intention of forming a relationship)


  • Let your good deeds go unspoken.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • The deeds of the wicked are oft done in darkness.
  • A good deed is never lost.


  • She is really deep. (has much understanding; thinks philosophically or spiritually)
  • Still waters run deep. (Quiet people may have great emotions beneath the surface.)
  • You can’t tell how deep a river is until you try to cross. (Looks can be deceiving.)
  • He has a deep voice. (sings bass)
  • There’s a deep valley between them.       (serious difference of opinion)


  • I will not be cow tailed. (come in last)
  • I won’t give in.
  • I’m done in.
  • I won’t go down without a fight!
  • He went down swinging! (fighting until the end)
  • He went down like a lead balloon. (suddenly; hard)
  • I’ve hit rock bottom.
  • There’s nowhere to go from here but up!


  • You have a chip on your shoulder the size of a house.
  • She wears her feelings on her shoulders.
  • He always expects a put down.
  • He stays on the defensive. (expects negative things)


  • Absolutely! You are more than welcome to come.
  • Absotively posolutely! I will go with you.
  • Without a doubt it happened just that way.
  • Undoubtedly, he will be there.
  • For sure and certain! I’ll be there if it doesn’t rain.

deflated (ego)

  • Somebody let the air out of his tires.
  • He got shot down.
  • She put him in his place.
  • She got brought up short.
  • He put her back on the shelf.
  • It’s about time he got brought down to size.
  • She popped his balloon.
  • He got brought down a notch or two.
  • He popped her bubble.
  • It’s about time somebody put him in his place.


  • It was scrumdiddlyicious!
  • Now that’s a tasty morsel!
  • Her meatloaf is delicioso!
  • The salad is delectable.
  • This meal is fit for a king!
  • This cheesecake is absolute perfection.
  • I could eat this three meals a day!
  • That tastes so good, you can’t sit still and eat it!
  • This is so good, I think I’ll marry the cook if she’ll have me. (a compliment to the hostess)


  • She has a steady hand.
  • He’s like clockwork.
  • You can count on him.
  • You can set your clock by him.
  • With her in charge, you don’t have to give it a second thought.


  • She’s in a funk.
  • He’s in a dark place.
  • Don’t despair.                
  • She’s got the blues.
  • She is downhearted.
  • He’s a gloomy Gus.
  • He’s down in the mouth.
  • He’s down in the mully grubs.
  • She’s got the can’t help its.
  • He’s got that hang dog look.
  • I’ve got a bad case of the “can’t help myselfs.”
  • I’d be downright disheartened.
  • She has a dark and gloomy spirit.
  • She’s caught in the Doldrums. (not going anywhere – stuck in a situation she doesn’t want to be in)
  • Gloom and doom. Gloom and doom is all she ever talks about.


  • After supper, I like a bite of sweetening.
  • Stick your finger in my coffee and sweeten it up.
  • You’re all the desert I need.


  • I’ve been hankering for a mess of fried chicken.
  • She is pining away over him.
  • I’d give my eye teeth for a good cold drink of water right now.
  • I’d give my right arm if I could take back what I said.
  • I’m hungry for a new car.
  • I’m longing for the day when I see him again.
  • I’m yearning for the sight of home.
  • I’m craving a day in the sunshine.
  • You could do it if you had a mind to.


  • It was blown to smithereens.
  • It looks like a wrecking crew has been here.
  • I’ve got to do some chores. My house is destroyed!
  • Your room is in complete shambles!


  • After supper, I like a bite of sweetening.
  • Stick your finger in my coffee and sweeten it up.
  • You’re all the desert I need.
  • Desert is always the best part of a meal.
  • I’m saving room for desert.


  • Do or die.
  • I’ll do it or die trying.
  • I’m going strong.
  • I mean business!
  • Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
  • I’ll do it if it hair lips the governor.
  • I’ll do it if it hair lips Rachel.
  • You just hide and watch, and see if I don’t do it!
  • I won’t take no for an answer.
  • You’ll just have to buckle down and do it!
  • He’s hell bent for certain.
  • Where there’s a will there’s a way.
  • What part of “NO” don’t you understand?
  • Don’t try to stop me. I’m bound and determined!
  • I’ll get it done if I have to move heaven and Earth.
  • I’ll be there, come hell or high water.
  • You couldn’t run him off with a stick.       (deter a suitor)                                        


  • The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.
  • You little devil! (mean child)
  • That’s such a mess the devil wouldn’t have it!       (big mess)
  • He likes to devil people. (tease)
  • Old slue foot is always lurking about.
  • The serpent deceived the children of Eden.
  • Speak of the devil and there he is!
  • The old dragon is always on the prowl.
  • The enemy of my soul tempts me.
  • Even the devil got his start as an angel.       (Some people start out good and end up evil.)
  • The evil one is working overtime in this day and hour.

Sayings: Crazy – Cute (From the Book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • He’s as crazy as a bird in a room full of cats. (extremely nervous)
  • He went berserk. (out of control angry)
  • He’s crazy like a fox. (sly)
  • She’s as crazy as a March hare.
  • He’s as crazy as a Mad Hatter.
  • You’re a nut.
  • She has bats in her belfry.
  • He’s crazy as a bess bug.
  • She’s crazy as a loon!
  • He’s coo-coo.
  • She’s caught in a web of thoughts.
  • He’s nuttier than a fruit cake.
  • The whole world has gone mad.
  • You’ve gone off the deep end.
  • His whole world is topsy turvey.
  • You crazy Americans! You boil your tea to make it hot, then you put it in ice to make it cold.       You put lemon in it to make it sour, and then put sugar in it to make it sweet!


  • He split the creek dry. (run or ride very quickly up the creek)
  • We are up the creek without a paddle.       (in trouble)
  • Stay out of the creek! (avoid trouble)
  • There’s a crick running past their cabin.


  • He was billyfying her.
  • She was vilifying him.
  • If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.
  • She has a critical spirit.
  • He never sees anything right with the world.
  • He was putting her down.
  • He’s an armchair critic.
  • Stop bad mouthing her!


  • That is the crookedest road I ever saw. (curvy)
  • He’s as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.       (dishonest)
  • That picture is sigoggled. (uneven)
  • He hung the curtain sigoggledy.       (uneven)
  • He is sigoogled. (cross-eyed)
  • He is crooked. (dishonest in business; has the law bought off)
  • Her teeth are crooked. (uneven)
  • He had a crooked cat that caught a crooked mouse and they all lived together in a crooked little house. (refers to someone deceitful)
  • That road is so crooked, you could meet yourself coming and going!
  • That sign is hanging cock eyed.


  • People were packed in the church like sardines.
  • The theater was jam packed full.
  • There wasn’t room to turn around in.
  • I couldn’t breathe in there, it was so tight.


  • Cry baby!
  • Bawl baby!
  • Please stop bawling.
  • There’s no use crying over spilt milk! (what’s done is done)
  • She’s cried “wolf” once too often. (insincerely needed help)
  • She bawled like a baby.
  • Go ahead and cry! The more you cry, the less you pee.
  • You better stop that crying before I give you something to cry about!
  • I cried myself to sleep.
  • She cried until she was blue in the face.
  • Crying does a body good every once in a while.
  • She cried buckets of tears over him.
  • The baby cried like a dying panther.
  • Now, that would be a crying shame!       (unfortunate)
  • Why don’t you cry me a river?
  • I couldn’t turn the tears off.
  • I started crying and it was like a dam let loose.
  • You are whining like a whipped pup.
  • Cry me a hand full why don’t you, and see if I care!
  • If you cry me a river, I’ll build you a bridge.
  • She’ll be dashing the tears away.
  • She’s squawling like a newborn baby.
  • She’s been on a crying jag. (crying over a period of days)
  • She’s crying crocodile tears. (insincere)
  • She can cry at the drop of a hat! (easily)
  • She can cry at the drop of a handkerchief! (easily)


  • He’s as cool as a cucumber.
  • She’s as calm as a cucumber.
  • I guess she’ll be eating cucumber sandwiches. (moving up in society)


  • That road is a real stomach churner.
  • That is a snaky road.
  • You can meet your own tail lights going down that road.

cuss (often used instead of the word curse)

  • He’s an ornery old cuss!
  • She’ll cuss you out and call you everything but a white child!
  • Excuse my French.
  • He was cussing a blue streak.
  • He was cussing like a sailor.
  • She was cussing up a storm!


  • That baby is as cute as a button.
  • She’s too cute for words.
  • He’s so cute I could sop him up with a biscuit! (refers to soaking bread in gravy and eating it)
  • Pretty as a picture, busy as a bee, she’s the cutest little thing, that you ever did see!
  • You are not being cute. (clever comments that are inappropriate in the setting)
  • Cute – very cute! (said in response to a smart aleck comment)

Sayings: Clean – Coward (from the book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • Clean your plate. (eat it all)
  • He’s as clean as a whistle. (very clean; nothing incriminating in his past)
  • He has a clean bill of health. (very healthy)
  • I’m making a clean break. (leaving something/someone behind and starting afresh without looking back)
  • Our team made a clean sweep! (won everything)
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness.
  • We’ve got this place spick and span. (very clean)
  • That’s as clean as a hound’s tooth. (very clean)
  • He cleaned out his wallet. (spent all his money)


  • You can see spang through that t-shirt when it gets wet!
  • It’s as plain as the nose on your face. (obvious)
  • Your idea is about as clear as mud. (totally unclear)
  • Your meaning is perfectly clear. (understandable)
  • She has such a clear complexion. (blemish free skin)
  • It’s a clear day. (fair weather)
  • I’ll clear the way for you. (remove any hindrances)
  • Clear the table. (clean up after a meal)
  • Clear your mind. (calm down; stop worrying)


  • Even a broken clock is on time twice a day!       (Everyone is right occasionally.)
  • He’s watching the clock. (waiting for time to quit)
  • She’s on the clock. (working)
  • He clocked out a long time ago. (left emotionally, or left work)


  • Look in the closnet .
  • I got a new shift robe.
  • I hid it in the chiffarobe.
  • Your coat is in the wardrobe.
  • Don’t you wonder what skeletons are in his closet? (secrets)
  • Everybody’s got something in their closet they’re trying to forget. (past hurts)
  • He came out of the closet. (publicly announced being homosexual)
  • I’d like to clean out her closet! (expose things she has hidden)
  • My closet looks like the Good Will store.       (too many clothes; old clothes)
  • Stick it in the closet, lock the door, and throw away the key. (a significant event that needs to be covered up; never reveal information you have about a particular person or event)


  • I’ve got to put my glad rags on. (dress up)
  • I always get my sister’s cast offs.       (outgrown clothing)
  • I grew up in hand me downs. (garments passed from an older sibling to a younger)
  • I’ve got to strip. (Change clothes.)
  • I like my new duds.


  • She’s on cloud nine. (very happy)
  • Every cloud has a silver lining. (look for the good in a bad situation)
  • She believes in cotton candy clouds.       (gullible)
  • Your meaning is a little cloudy.       (unclear)
  • If the water is cloudy, don’t drink it!       (impurities in it)


  • He’s like a bull in a China shop.
  • Butterfingers!
  • Watch out! Bush hog coming through.
  • She’s all thumbs.
  • He’s like a porcupine in a balloon shop.
  • You’re stomping around like a mule in a barn stall.
  • He has two left feet.


  • He’s working at the coal face. (where the real job is done – not in an office.
  • She was raked over the coals.       (reprimanded by a boss)
  • Do you really want to rake over old coals? (bring up the past and cause trouble)


  • I need a cup of Joe.
  • Pass the java.
  • That coffee is strong enough to get up and walk!


  • That snake is quiled up and ready to strike.
  • Hand me that quile of rope.


  • I feel like I’m thawing out of the deep freeze.
  • A cold wind rode down from the North.
  • I’m colder than a well digger’s behind on a snowy day.
  • It’s colder than a well digger’s butt on Christmas morning.
  • I’m colder than kraut!
  • I’m colder than a witch’s chest in a brass bra.
  • It was so cold it was like sliding naked down an icicle.
  • It’s cold enough to freeze a brass monkey to death.
  • The cold cut through me like a knife.
  • She’s as cold as ice. (unemotional; unfeeling)
  • It’s cold enough to hang hog meat in here.       (as cold as a butcher’s refrigerator)


  • Give me some of that good smellum stuff.
  • I’ve run out of my smell good.
  • Mmmm. Me smellum good!
  • I need some man smelling stuff.


  • I went over it with a fine tooth comb. (took great pains to discover any errors or flaws)
  • Comb those rats out of your head! (Get the tangles out of your hair!)
  • I’ve been combing the woods looking for you.       (searching for)
  • I’d like to introduce that child to a comb!
  • Her head looks like it’s never seen a comb in her life. (matted, messy, nasty, or unkempt hair)                                                      


  • Who started this big rumpus?
  • A brawl broke out in the bar.
  • Who started this ruckus?
  • Stop that racket! (noise)
  • What is this shenanigan?
  • He started a bru-ha-ha.
  • The hooligans are at it again.


  • Give me a ring.   (call)
  • Drop me a line. (write
  • He sent word that he’d be here soon. (letter; message)            


  • Company’s a comin’! (visitors are on the way)
  • Come and keep me company. (pay a social visit)
  • She’s runnin’ with bad company. (people who will get her in trouble)
  • You are known by the company you keep. (Your reputation will be affected by the reputation of those you spend time with.)


  • That’s comparing apples to apples. (similar things)
  • You can’t compare apples to oranges.       (unrelated things)
  • He can’t hold a candle to his dad. (not held in the same esteem)
  • That boy doesn’t know his head from a hole in the ground!
  • Some people can’t tell the difference between skunk weed and cabbage.


  • Have compassion on one another. (be kind)
  • Have you no compassion for their plight?       (sympathize with someone during a difficult time)
  • He has a heart of compassion. (helps the needy)
  • Why is it that some people have no compassion for anyone else, but think they’re entitled to get it when it’s their turn to need it?


  • He’s moved out – lock, stock, and barrel. (entirely)
  • I’ll take the whole kit and kaboodle. (the whole thing)
  • I stayed for the whole shebang. (event)
  • That new dress comes with bag and baggage.       (accessories)
  • Get it done! (finish a task)
  • Get ‘er done! (win a game)


  • Her skin is as clear as a baby’s hide.       (blemish free)
  • Her skin is as soft as a baby’s behind. (youthful)
  • Her face is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. (clear)
  • Her skin is as rough as sandpaper.


  • Does she come with instructions?
  • Well, you’re durned if you do and durned if you don’t. So what is a feller to do?
  • It says to put the thingamabob in the whatchamacallit, but there are no pictures included.
  • It’s more than just a matter of want to.
  • That’s just adding fuel to the fire.


  • Give my compliments to your mother and father.       (greetings)
  • You’re as sweet as blackberry pie.
  • You’re as sweet as molasses.
  • This cake would melt in your mouth.
  • She’s put together like a brick house.
  • Your hair is soft as silk.
  • He/she’s hot.
  • That’s good enough to write home about!       (delicious)
  • My compliments to the chef! (great food)
  • You’re as cute as a bug’s ear.
  • Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
  • That’s a left handed compliment. (a statement that on the surface sounds like a compliment, but was really an insult)
  • My compliments to your folks.       (greetings)                                              

comprehend (or lack of comprehension)

  • I can’t wrap my head around it.
  • I don’t get it. (failure to understand)
  • My head is too thick. This math is not sinking in.
  • Gotcha!
  • That doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.


  • I need to get something off my chest.
  • It will eat him up inside until he tells it all.
  • You need to own up to the truth.
  • He needs to take responsibility.
  • You’ll feel better when you let it out.
  • I need to make a clean breast of it.


  • She has no faith in herself.
  • He knows what he’s about.
  • She lacks confidence.
  • He’s confident he can handle it. (take care of a task)
  • She has no confidence in him. (doubts his abilities)


  • You’d better not throw in with that bunch!
  • Which side are you on?
  • Mind your own bees wax.
  • Mind your own business.
  • They’ve stirred up a mess like a sack full of bobcats.
  • I’m going to keep my oar out of the water.
  • Keep your chickens at home.
  • Keep your opinion to yourself or you’ll be square dab in the middle of the mess.


  • I can’t make heads or tails of it.
  • I’m as confused as the kid who dropped his gum in the chicken lot! (gum and chicken droppings look similar in the dirt)
  • She doesn’t know a diaper from a dishrag.
  • She acts addle pated.
  • I have no idée what you’re talking about.
  • I’m bumfuzzled about the whole thing.
  • I can get no sense out of it.
  • That was a bewildering comment!
  • I am befuddled as to what to do.
  • I feel like I’m cruising on the big ship of fools.
  • I can’t straighten it out in my mind.
  • Excuse me. I’m discombobulated at the moment. (distracted; confused about something I’m supposed to be doing at this moment; lost my train of thought)
  • I can’t wrap my head around it.
  • I’m feeling foggy headed.
  • It looks like a bird’s leg in an oatmeal box to me.
  • Her head stays in the clouds.
  • It has got me stumped!
  • I’m losing my marbles.
  • She’s running around like a chicken with its head cut off!
  • You can’t see the forest for the trees!
  • It makes no sense to me.
  • Thinking about it makes my head swim.
  • I can’t think straight.
  • Her thoughts were muddied. (unclear)
  • Her mind was muddied. (unclear; troubled)


  • Time to face the music.
  • You reap what you sew.
  • Let the punishment fit the crime.


  • I’m contemplating my next step.
  • I’m trying it on for size.
  • I’m thinking about changing my ways.
  • She’s studying on it.
  • Are you figuring on going?
  • I will, if I take a mind to.
  • I’ve been thinking on it.
  • That would give a fellow pause. (a reason to stop and think carefully)
  • I’m pondering the idea.
  • I’m weighing it out in my mind.
  • I’m looking at the pros and cons.
  • Should I or should I not?
  • I’m negotiating it in my brain. (trying to discover the best idea or the best plan of action)


  • My pipes are clogged.
  • If I don’t go soon, my head is going to pop off.
  • I’m backed up.
  • My sewer is backed up.
  • I feel like I’ve got some blockage in my gut.
  • I need a good dose of working medicine.
  • I’m all bound up.


  • I wouldn’t spit on him if he was on fire.
  • Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!
  • Take this job and shove it!
  • I wouldn’t help him if he was the last man on earth.


  • I’ve had this job forever and a day.
  • She is with her children twenty -four /seven.
  • Every day and all the time you’ll find me at home.
  • It’s the same old, same old.
  • I feel like I’m living in groundhog day


  • She took the bull by the horns.
  • Don’t worry. I’ve got the situation under control.
  • He’s a control freak.
  • She has a Jezebel spirit.
  • It’s time for me to put my foot down!
  • You’d better get control over that child while you can!


  • That might come in handy to use again. (useful)
  • The store across the street is right handy. (useful)
  • It’s as easy as one, two, three.
  • It’s as easy as pie.
  • That’ll do just fine.
  • That’s as handy as pockets on a shirt.
  • That’s as handy as a shirt full of pockets.


  • You’ll have to do more than that to convince me.
  • I was taken with the idea.
  • The more I thought about it, the more sense it made.
  • I’m not convinced, but I’m considering it.


  • You have cooked your own goose. (got yourself in trouble)
  • Too many cooks spoil the pot. (too many opinions are not helpful)
  • Hey! What’s cookin’? (What’s going on?)
  • You’re going to have to make friends with the cook.       (said to someone who receives a very small portion of food at a restaurant or in someone’s home)


  • I haven’t seen you in a coon’s age! (long time)
  • The miners had to coon walk out after the rock fall.       (feel their way along the tracks back to the opening of the coal mine)
  • There he sat, like a coon on a log! (smug)
  • They are as happy as two coons. (content with each other)


  • You’d better get yourself in gear.
  • It takes a team to win a boat race.
  • One for all and all for one.
  • Trying to get them to cooperate was like trying to herd cats!


  • You are right on.
  • You’ve got it down pat.
  • Correctamundo!


  • I thought he was going to cough up a lung.
  • I coughed up an ovary
  • She coughed her head off.
  • You sound like a frog croaking.
  • Cough it up! (pay up; confess; tell all)

country (rural)

  • That boy is as country as cornbread!
  • That girl is as country as gravy and biscuits.
  • He’s plain country.
  • She’s countrified.
  • He’s as country as whang!
  • You can take the girl/boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl/boy.
  • I enjoy his country ways. (simple)
  • This country mouse does not belong in the city.
  • He’s a big Goober. (country boy)
  • He’s/She’s a hick. (country girl/boy)
  • I’m in need of a good dose of country! (need a vacation)


  • He shows courage in the face of danger. (bravery)
  • Take courage. (brace yourself for what you must face)
  • Why don’t you grow a backbone? (develop courage)


  • I’d like to court your daughter. (date)
  • It’s a kangaroo court. (not official, no power to render a valid decision)
  • Looks like we’ll have to take that to court.       (can’t reach a decision)
  • I’ll see you in court. (ready to take legal action)


  • It’s cold in here. You may need some more kivver. (bedding)
  • Kivver me up, please. (tuck me in)
  • He reads the Bible kiver to kiver oncet a year. (completely)
  • Don’t blow my cover. (false identity)
  • He was born on the wrong side of the cover.       (illegitimate)


  • Don’t have a cow! (don’t get upset)
  • That cow will have to lick her calf twice! (do something again)
  • That is a muley cow. (cow with horns)
  • That’s my cash cow. (money maker)
  • Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?       (refers to not marrying a promiscuous girl)
  • You’ll be waiting ‘til the cows come home. (a long time)
  • He’s cow towed. (dominated by a female)
  • Everything that comes out of a cow ain’t milk!
  • Girls who are too particular in finding a boyfriend are like the little butterflies who flit past all the pretty flowers and then land on a cow pie.
  • Don’t step in the cow pies. (cow poop)


  • You’re a yellow bellied sap sucker!
  • You lily livered coward!
  • He’s a yellow bellied coward!
  • He’s afraid of his own shadow.
  • If trouble comes, she’ll be the one who has to protect him!
  • He’s got a yellow streak right down his back.
  • She’s scared of every little thing.


Sayings : Calf – Choices (from the book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • You’ll have to lick that calf over again.       (repeat something you’ve already done)
  • She’s as pretty as a spotted calf.
  • Stop bawling like a calf separated from its momma. (whining and complaining about something)


  • I’m calling the shots! (in control)
  • Why don’t you call a spade a spade? (be totally honest)
  • He’s calling the tune. (making important decisions)
  • She got called in on the carpet.       (reprimanded by a boss)
  • I think I’ll call it a day. (quit working for the day)

calm/calm down

  • I am as calm as the ocean on a sunny day.
  • She is as calm as a butterfly floating on the wind.
  • He’s as cool as a cucumber.
  • She was as calm as steady water.
  • She is always unfrazzled.
  • No matter what happens, she remains unruffled.
  • Breathe deep and count to ten.
  • You need to cool your jets.
  • Get hold of yourself!
  • Pull yourself together.
  • Take a chill pill.
  • Sit down beside yourself and be still. 


  • He’s burning both ends of the candle.       (working too hard)
  • Life is like a candle in the wind.       (quickly over)
  • She can’t hold a candle to her sister.       (can’t be compared to, inferior to)


  • I’ve never seen anything to cap it. (top it; beat it)
  • Cap off that jar of mayonnaise. (put the lid on)
  • Make sure you wear your cap. (hat)
  • Put your noggin on! (knitted hat for a boy)
  • She wears a fascinator. (knitted hat for a girl)
  • He’s a real cap buster! (likable person)
  • Cap off that glass of milk. (finish drinking it)


  • I was taking care of business.
  • He’s footloose and fancy free.
  • She acts like she has not a care in this world.
  • No worries.
  • She goes lightly off on her way and lets the rest of us handle reality.
  • He’s as free as a bird. (carefree) 


  • Can you carry me to town? (give me a ride)
  • Isn’t that too heavy for you to tote?
  • She carries herself well. (elegant walk)
  • Don’t carry that anger around with you.
  • Don’t sack your troubles in your pocket.
  • She carries a fine tune. (sings well)
  • He couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket!       (sings poorly)
  • He’s carrying that team on the back.       (star player)
  • She’s building castles in the air.
  • (setting unrealistic goals)
  • A man’s home is his castle. (his place where he’s the boss)
  • He’s the King of his castle. (boss of his family)
  • She’s looking for a handsome prince complete with his own castle. (fantasizing about her prospective husband – a wealthy one)


  • Scat Yeller! Tail’s in the gravy. (Can be said to an animal that is underfoot or to a person that needs to get out of the way.)
  • You’re the luckiest cat I’ve ever seen – used up nine lives and still going strong. (a fortunate person; may be said to one who is accident prone)
  • Who let the cat out of the bag? (told a secret)
  • Letting the cat out of the bag is a lot easier than trying to put it back in! (It’s difficult to keep a secret, once it’s been told.)
  • There’s more than one way to skin a cat. (more than one approach to getting things accomplished)
  • He’s a fat cat. (wealthy)
  • What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue? (won’t talk; shy)
  • There’s not enough room to sling a cat in this place. (tiny space)
  • You can’t sling a dead cat without hitting a church around here. (plenty of churches)
  • There he sat, grinning like a Cheshire cat! (smug; self-satisfied)
  • When the cat’s away, the mice will play.       (People behave differently with the lack of an authoritative figure.
  • Curiosity killed the cat. (Trying to find an answer to something might prove to be dangerous!)
  • All cats look black in the dark.


  • Measure once, cut twice.
  • Never buy a pig in a poke.
  • Anybody who buys a car checks under the hood first.
  • Go easy.


    • No two ways about it.
    • Sure enough.
    • There’s a sure fire way to get that job done.
    • You can depend on it.
    • You can bet your sweet bippy!
    • For sure and certain it will happen.
    • Without a doubt.
    • I’ll be there come hell or high water.                          


  • A chain is as strong as its weakest link.
  • How’s the old ball and chain? (refers to a spouse – usually the wife)


  • Take a chance on love.
  • Sometimes you just have to take a chance.
  • Let the chips fall where they may.
  • Let it fall where it falls.
  • You’ve got about one chance in a million!
  • By happenstance, have you seen my hat?       (perhaps)
  • I ran into him by happenstance.       (unexpectedly, unsought)


  • A leopard can’t change his spots.
  • He couldn’t change if he wanted to – and he doesn’t want to.
  • You’ll never change!
  • He hasn’t changed since the day he wasborn!
  • Don’t change horses in mid stream.
  • Change just for the sake of changes is not always a good thing.


  • She’s a jewel.
  • She’s a gem.
  • He is an upright and honorable man.
  • He’s been brought up right.
  • She is a well brought up young lady.
  • I put no stock in him.
  • He won’t amount to a hill of beans.
  • I wouldn’t trust him any further than I could pick him up and throw him!
  • He’s a pistol!
  • He’s a corker!
  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  • Don’t do as I do! Do as I say!
  • He’s a sorry, good for nothing biscuit eater!
  • Speak of the devil!
  • He casts a long shadow.
  • He’s the kind of feller that would kick you while you’re down.
  • I wouldn’t touch her if she was dripping with diamonds.
  • She’s headed down the wrong road.
  • She’s keeping bad company.
  • He’s running with the wrong crowd.
  • Birds of a feather flock together.
  • One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.
  • Sorry is as sorry does.
  • He’s an old sneaky snake.
  • He’s nothing but a sneaky old rat.
  • He’s a no good bum.
  • He’s a skunk.
  • The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  • I wouldn’t have him if he was hanging in gold.
  • You’ll be judged by the company you keep.


  • He could charm the buttons off a snake.
  • True charm is born – not learned in a school.
  • It’s easy to charm those who want to be.


  • I may not catch her, but I’ll enjoy the chase. (pursue romantically)
  • I chased him until he caught me. (enticed)
  • Cut to the chase. (give the real reason)
  • He’s like a dog chasing his tale.       (getting nowhere)
  • She took out after him. (pursued in order to catch up with)


  • Girls like that are a dime a dozen.
  • That was a cheap shot. (unnecessary cruelty)


  • He’s such a cheater, I’m not even sure this baby I’m carrying is his! (unfaithful husband)
  • I’m gonna have to turn my rooster into a hen if I want to keep him home.
  • I’ve been hoodwinked.
  • They sure took me to the cleaners.
  • They saw you coming.
  • I got the short end of that deal.
  • I got fried like potatoes.
  • I’ve been scalped.
  • I’ve been duped.


  • Turn the other cheek. (forgive; give someone another chance)
  • She’s awfully cheeky. (disrespectful)
  • Pull your pants up. Your cheeks are showing. (buttocks)
  • He said it with tongue in cheek.       (insincere)


  • You’re awfully cheery this morning! (in a good mood)
  • How can I cheer you up? (make you feel better)
  • She brings cheer where ever she goes.       (pleasant personality)
  • Hi ho, cheer-i-o, and a way we go!       (can be said before going anywhere)
  • Spread a little cheer where ever you go.
  • Sit down with me and let’s share a cup of cheer.


  • Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. (Don’t assume anything.)
  • You are a chicken heart. (coward)
  • That’s chicken feed! (low cost)
  • That old hen’s little dittlers will come home to roost one of these days. (if you are deceitful, your lies will catch up with you)
  • There’s a chicken graveyard sittin’ in my middle.       (fondness for eating chicken)
  • This chicken is finger lickin’ good.       (delicious)
  • Lies, like chickens, come home to roost.       (Lies catch up with the liar.)
  • You big chicken liver! (coward)


  • My rug rats are on the war path again!
  • I’ve known you since you were a tadpole.
  • The little cookie crumblers are in the kitchen.
  • His offshoots look just like him.
  • Her offspring are all intelligent.
  • You little knot heads need to get in your seats!
  • All of your little sprouts look like their parents.
  • Can you get your young un to stop crying.
  • Those acorns didn’t fall far from the tree.
  • Well, chillum, it’s time for bed.
  • Where are your munchkins going to school?
  • You little devil!
  • You little skunk!
  • When they’re young they tread on your toes; but they’ll tread on your heart when they grow old.
  • God protects the children, the innocent, and fools.
  • Children and fools tell the truth.
  • Hello there, whistle britches! (said to a younger child)
  • Every mother’s child is beautiful to her.
  • He’s a little tow headed thing.       (blonde-white hair)
  • Children can see what they cannot put into words.
  • Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of children.
  • Children are a blessing from the Lord, but sometimes I wish I hadn’t been so blessed!
  • I hope when you grow up and get married, your children treat you just like you have treated me. (said by a parent to an unruly child)
  • I hope when you grow up and have children, they act just like you do and you get a dose of your own medicine.       (said by a parent to an unruly child)
  • You little booger!
  • You little heathern!
  • You little monkey!
  • Don’t cry honey child… (term of endearment; also said as “honey chile”)
  • You little yerker! (spoken to a misbehaving child)


  • It’s up to you. (You decide.)
  • I chased a squirrel down the wrong path. (made a bad choice)
  • That’s a real Hobson’s choice. (if you want something, make it happen) or (there is no other alternative)

Sayings: Big – Busy (from the book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
  • What’s the big deal?
  • He thinks he’s the big cheese.
  • Big Brother is watching you.
  • He’s got the big head.
  • His head is so big he can hardly get through the door!
  • He thinks he’s big. (important)
  • You’re a little fish in a big pond.       (insignificant)
  • I have bigger fish to fry. (more important matters to attend to)
  • Dream big.
  • You can’t ever dream too big.
  • She’s the big giant head. (bossy)
  • The big moment has arrived.
  • This is the big day.


  • The early bird catches the worm.
  • You are bird brained.
  • A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
  • Everyone keeps staring at me like I have a big black bird on my head!
  • That’s killing two birds with one stone.       (accomplishing two things with one effort)


  • Lee County, Virginia is my borning ground .
  • The place of my birth is Blounte County, Tennessee.
  • My borning place was at the head of the holler.
  • I’ll always find my way back home.
  • Our old home place has fallen down.
  • Corbin, Kentucky is my hometown.
  • Where did the stork drop you off?


  • I believe I’ll try a bite. (sample of food)
  • I need to fix me a bite to eat before I do ary other thing. (snack)
  • Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. (Be kind to those who are kind to you.)
  • His bark is worse than his bite. (sounds mean but isn’t)
  • I believe I’ll take a bite out of that.       (attempt something)
  • Lies will come back to bite you in the butt.
  • I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.       (attempted something that is too complicated to complete)
  • He’s been bitten by the love bug.       (falling in love)


  • His mood was blacker than death.
  • You have a black mark against you. (ill will from someone)
  • It was a black out. (power outage; block on information)
  • He’s a black guard. (evil)
  • He’s not as black as he’s been painted. (not so bad)
  • It’s black as Satan’s heart out there.
  • The house was blacker than a moonless night.
  • It was blacker than burnt toast.
  • It vanished into the black hole of Calcutta.
  • Your clothes are as black as soot.
  • Your socks are as black as tar.
  • Her hair was blacker than a burnt shadow.
  • That’s blacker than a burnt homemade biscuit.
  • His stomach was a black hole. (big eater)
  • His head was a black hole. (empty
  • I’ll beat you black and blue.
  • All cats are black in the dark. (commonality)
  • His hair was as black as a raven’s wing.
  • It’s a black day. (a tragedy)


  • He’s holding that little bit of information over my head.
  • She’s holding that little bit of information for a rainy day.
  • You can’t use truth that’s told openly to blackmail anybody.
  • You can’t use common knowledge for blackmail.
  • Blackmail has a way of having the tables turned.


  • Dad blast it! (frustration)
  • You couldn’t blast me out of here with a keg of dynamite. (determined to stay in a designated place)
  • He is a blast from the past. (a good memory)
  • We’ll have a blast! (good time)
  • He got blasted. (drunk)
  • He was blasted to smithereens!       (utterly destroyed)
  • I’ll blast you into next week! (an angry threat)


  • With great blessing comes great responsibility.
  • Count your blessings. (gratitude)
  • He’s my little blessing. (my child)
  • May the sunshine always be at your back.
  • May the road rise up to meet you.
  • Bless his little heart! (this phrase can be added to the beginning or to the end of any comment and get away with it. “Bless his little heart; his mother never taught him how to act.”       “She’s as ugly as a mud fence, bless her little heart.” It turns a negative comment into an acceptable one.) “I’d like to bust his bottom, bless his little heart.”
  • Bless your little pea picking heart!
  • Bless your pointy little head!
  • Well, bless my time!
  • That boy is such a blessing to his mother.       (helpful)
  • She will bless you out over that.       (quarrel at you)
  • I just got blessed out. (told off)
  • Well, bless my soul! (said on hearing good news)
  • Walk in the light.
  • Peace be with you.


  • You are as blind as a bat! (can’t see the obvious)
  • Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. (continued trying pays off)
  • When I talk to you, you act as if you are deaf, dumb, and blind! (being ignored)
  • I’ve been blind- sided. (taken by surprise)
  • He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn


  • It’s in your blood. (something a person feels passionately about)
  • Blood is thicker than water. (family comes first)
  • There is bad blood between them. (feud or disagreement)
  • We’ve always had good blood between us.       (friendly)
  • He’s a blue blood. (royal; wealthy)
  • He’ll want you to sign in blood. (a contract or covenant that can never be broken)


  • Her eyes were as blue as the sky.
  • I’m lonesome, blue. (sad)
  • I’ve got the blues. (melancholy)
  • You’re as blue as huckleberry pie. (poor circulation)
  • He’s as blue as a swimming hole. (hypothermia)
  • Her lips are blue. (cold; bad circulation)
  • You can talk to that boy until you are blue in the face and it won’t do a bit of good. (you talk, he doesn’t listen)
  • They’re kickin’ the blue blazes out of the other team. (easily defeating)
  • The idea came to me out of the clear blue.       (unexpectedly)


  • He’s all bark and no bite.
  • His bark is worse than his bite.
  • He always has his poker face on.
  • He roars a lot, but he’s harmless.
  • She’s a squawker.
  • He’s just quacking.
  • He’s a big talker.
  • He’s nothing but a big bag of wind.
  • He’s nothing but a blow hard.
  • You’re full of beans!
  • You’re full of baloney!


  • She just blurts out any old thing without thinking it through.
  • It seems like the wrong thing just spills out of my mouth.
  • He’s got the can’t help its.
  • She has hoof and mouth disease.
  • I stuck my foot in my mouth.
  • She stuck her foot in her mouth so far she just about bit her leg off.
  • Take that foot out of your mouth so you can stick the other one in.
  • She opens her mouth and whatever falls out, falls out.                                               


  • He’s all blow and no show.
  • He’s always tooting his own horn.
  • Somebody else might brag on you if you’d give them a chance!
  • He boasts a big house. (owns an admirable property)


  • My bidey is tired.
  • My bidey hurts all over more than anywhere else.
  • Everybidey is welcome.
  • Somebidey is at the door.
  • Nobody loves me.
  • You’re nobody ‘til somebody loves you.
  • I wish I had a body like that.
  • Now there’s a body to write home about.
  • His body is pure art work, chiseled by the hand of God.
  • That girl’s body is a work of art.
  • The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
  • We are many members, but one body.
  • Offer up your bodies as a living sacrifice.


  • She had the brass on her face to say it.
  • He’s got a lot of brass.
  • He decided to take the bull by the horns.
  • How dare you raise your voice to me!
  • He has brass knockers.
  • He had family jewels like a washtub.
  • She was full of sass and vinegar.
  • You’ve got a nerve to come here asking for anything!


  • I have a bone of contention to pick with you. (disagreement)
  • I need to bone up on Algebra. (study, review)
  • He’s rotten to the bone. (poor character OR likably mischievous)
  • I don’t need you to throw me a bone.       (do me a favor)
  • You are bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. (very close relationship)
  • I’ll make no bones about it. (say what I think and don’t care if it offends anyone else)
  • My car was bone dry. (completely out of fuel)
  • My check book is bone dry. (out of funds)


  • He’s twiddling his thumbs.
  • I’m so bored; I could fall off a log!
  • She was so bored; she started finding people in the ceiling.
  • He was as bored as a cat on the sidewalk watching cars.
  • He was so bored, he started blowing spit bubbles.
  • That show was kind of hokey.
  • He only has one tone – monotone!
  • That preacher could put a saint to sleep.
  • I’m so bored I could dry up and die.
  • I’m bored out of my mind.
  • I’m bored to distraction.
  • I’m bored as a gourd.
  • His speech was a real snoozer!
  • She is duller than dishwater.


  • He owns a big boundary of land. (Large acreage.)
  • The law has put a boundary on him. (Bounty)
  • Know your boundaries. (your rightful place)


  • There’s a bounty on his head. (A monetary reward offered by the law for the capture of a criminal.)



  • Don’t get your bowels in an uproar! (Don’t get so upset!)
  • Don’t get your bowels in a bind. (Don’t get so upset.)
  • His bowels are blocked. (constipated)
  • I’d go to the bowels of the earth for you! (do the impossible to please you)
  • I’ve been to the bowels of Hades and back. (been through a very traumatic experience)


  • Hey, boy! You’d better do as I say. (an unknown child or someone subservient to the speaker)
  • Boy, oh boy! I sure am thirsty. (used for emphasis)
  • He’s more man than boy. (a teenager)
  • That will separate the men form the boys!       (said about a difficult task that must be done)
  • Boys will be boys. (bad behavior is expected from boys)


  • He got braces. Now he’s a brace face.
  • I feel like a metal mouth with these braces on.
  • You look like you have railroad mouth.
  • I like the new grill!


  • He sure likes to toot his own horn.
  • She tried to steal his thunder.
  • Let’s make sure it works before we brag on ourselves.
  • Who’s got bragging rights? (credit for a successful endeavor)

brain (See also dumb)

  • Her brother is so stupid, his brain moved out a long time ago.
  • If you had a brain, you’d be dangerous.
  • Don’t sit down too hard. You might mash your brain.
  • If your brains were gasoline, you wouldn’t have enough to drive an ant half way around a b.b. on a motorcycle.
  • If your brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t have enough to blow your nose.
  • If your brains were sitting next to a pea, it would be like sitting the moon next to the sun.
  • If your brains were ink, you wouldn’t have enough to dot an i.
  • If you wanted to sell your brain for a transplant, you could probably get a million dollars for it, since it has never been used.
  • If your brain was bug spray, you wouldn’t have enough to kill a gnat.
  • The biggest job your brain does is keeping your ears apart.
  • If your brain were made of rocket fuel, you’d never get off the ground.
  • When the Lord was handing out brains, you forgot to get in line.
  • When the Lord was handing out brains, she thought someone said rain and put up her umbrella.
  • If your brain was made of heat, you wouldn’t have enough to keep a snake warm at high noon in the Sahara desert.
  • If your brain was made of stone, it would be just another gain of sand on the beach.
  • This road is so curvy, if you’re riding in the back seat, it could pert near sling your brains out.


  • He has a stout heart. (courageous)
  • Call him Brave Heart. (courageous)
  • I can brave whatever storm comes with the Lord’s help. (survive; overcome)


  • Who’s going to break the ice? (speak first)
  • Break a leg. (good luck wish before a performance)
  • She is breaking. (showing her age)
  • Give me a break! (opportunity; stop demanding so much of me)
  • This trip is going to break the bank.       (cost a lot)
  • Break it down. (simplify; dance)
  • She’s having a breakdown. (mental illness)
  • They’ve had a breakdown in communication.       (misunderstanding)
  • The project had a breakdown. (fell apart; failed)
  • You might as well break down and enjoy yourself! (stop being so formal or stand-offish)


  • They’ve split up.
  • He split.
  • She shook him loose.


  • Whose briar patch have you been in?       (trouble)
  • Don’t get all briared up! (worked up; angry; out of sorts.
  • He’s a briar. (hick; of rural origin)


  • She’s dumber than a brick.
  • She’s a brick house. (voluptuous)
  • I’ve been hitting the bricks. (looking for a job)
  • Hit the bricks! (get out!)
  • He got hit with a ton of bricks! (huge surprise) 


  • I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. (don’t worry until necessary.
  • This is a bridge to nowhere. (lost)
  • Don’t burn your bridges. (don’t permanently break relationships)
  • I’m burning all of my bridges behind me.       (starting over, won’t try to go back to the past)
  • We need to bridge the gap. (make amends)
  • We need to bridge the learning gap.       (discrepancy between performance and expectation)

bright (also see smart)

  • The room was as bright as the morning sun.
  • It was as bright as a brand new light bulb.
  • The day was as bright as the morning star.
  • This is a bright child. (intelligent)
  • She’s as bright as a button. (stands out from the rest)
  • You’re about as bright as a burnt out light bulb.
  • The sun was so bright, it hurt my eyes.
  • Her smile was so bright, it filled the room.       (radiant)


  • If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!       (don’t meddle with what already works well)
  • I’m so broke; I don’t have any coins to jingle in my pocket.
  • We are broker than convicts.
  • I’m so broke next payday is already gone.
  • I’m clean busted.
  • I’m flat busted.
  • You may be broke, but you’ll never be flat busted.
  • He’s broke out all over. (rash; measles)
  • He broke out of jail. (escaped)


  • He’s brown as a biscuit. (very tanned)
  • She’s a brown nose. (flatters someone or does things for them in order to gain approval or favors)
  • How now brown cow. (said to imitate someone with a northern accent and poke fun at it) 


  • I’m lathering up my hair.
  • This water is so hard it won’t make a lather.
  • Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. (be careful about a decision you must soon make)
  • He’s always blowing bubbles. (playing instead of working)


  • The trees are putting out.
  • She’s a budding singer. (just starting)


  • He’s henpecked. (dominated by his wife)
  • She’s punkin’ me out. (picking on me)
  • He tush hogged his way over everybody. (recklessly dominates)
  • Sometimes you have to just hunker down and take it. (don’t resist authority – even excessive authority)
  • He goes around like a whipped pup. (may refer to an abused person – child or adult)
  • He is cow towed. (dominated by a female)
  • She doesn’t open her mouth without his permission to speak. (dominated by a male)
  • She doesn’t dare have a thought without his permission. (may refer to someone too eager to please OR to someone who is fearful of disagreeing)
  • He’ll be riding you like a blue pack mule.


  • She sure burned him. (Broke his heart)
  • He got burned. (Cheated in a bad deal)
  • When he took that test, he burnt it up. (Did well)
  • Lord, you’re burnt up! (sunburned)
  • What he said burnt her up! (made her angry)
  • I’m as red as a lobster! (sunburned)


  • Jump on the bus, Gus! (Let’s go!)
  • He just got off the bus. (new in town)
  • Do you have to get hit with a bus?       (something obvious) 


  • Locks are his stock and trade. (what he does for a living)
  • Mind your own business. (Don’t be nosey in other people’s affairs.)
  • What business is it of yours? (Why do you want to know?)
  • Keep your nose in your own business.       (Take care of your own affairs and stay out of the affairs of others.)


    • She’s busy a bee. (works all the time)
    • We’re as busy as a swarm of bees! (very busy)
    • Her hands are busy all the time.       (always working at something)
    • I have too many irons in the fire.       (too busy)
    • He has too many pokers in the fire.       (trying to be involved in too many things)
    • He’s busy as a beaver. (works hard)
    • That pattern is too busy. (too complex; too bright; too many colors)

Sayings: Beat – Between (from the book: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • She looks like someone beat her with an ugly stick. (hit)
  • Now that’s beating a dead horse.       (pointless to discuss)
  • Stop beating around the bush! (avoiding the main topic)
  • I’d rather take a beating than apologize for something I didn’t do.
  • He’s beating the bushes trying to find work. (searching everywhere)


  • Beauty is more than skin deep.
  • A girl like that gives beauty a bad name.       (pretty but despicable; cruel)
  • She’s a sight for sore eyes. (lovely; beautiful)
  • Beauty is as beauty does. (Behavior is more important than physical beauty.)
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Beauty on the inside never fades.
  • Only God can trade beauty for ashes.
  • Inner beauty lasts when outer beauty is long gone.
  • A think of beauty is a joy forever.


  • When you make your bed, you’ll have to lay in it.
  • Don’t take that to bed. (take care of today’s business today)
  • Don’t go to bed angry. (settle problems before you go to bed)
  • That boy’d druther lay in the bed than eat.       (lazy)

bed time partings

  • Good night.
  • Sweet dreams.
  • Good night John Boy.
  • See you in my dreams!
  • Good night! Sleep tight!  Don’t let the bed bugs bite!
  • See you in the morning!
  • Sleep fast. Morning comes early.


  • I’ve heard that afore.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Back whenever we didn’t have computers or TV, people spent more time together. (before the time)
  • Before you say no, just listen.
  • His grandpa died back before I came into the family. (prior to becoming an in-law)


  • We’re back to square one. (start over)
  • Begin at the beginning.
  • We will commence directly.
  • I begin to understand.
  • I’ve been involved since the get go.
  • They’re off to a flying start. (great beginning)
  • We’re back to the drawing board. (start over)
  • We’ll have to start from scratch. (begin again)
  • I don’t like to have to chew my backer twice. (start over)
  • I don’t intend to chew that pork chop twice.
  • He commenced to talking and couldn’t quit! (began)


  • I allowed that you did… (believed)
  • He’d believe anything you say.
  • I still believe in fairy tales and happily ever afters.
  • I never allowed you did. (didn’t believe)
  • I have confidence in the fact.
  • Believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear.
  • Believe the impossible and you can make it happen.
  • If you can believe it, you can do it.
  • Anything is possible to the one who believes.
  • I took it to heart. (believed something that has been told)

belly ache

  • It feels like I’ve been eating little green apples.
  • My belly feels like Montezuma’s revenge.
  • Little Mary ate a snake and woke right up with a belly ache.
  • I think I ate rectal rockets for dinner.
  • Oh, Lordy. Somebody slipped me a belly bomb.
  • I’ve got the rumbley tumbleys.


  • You might bend me, but you’ll not break me!       (I might have to learn to compromise, but I will never give in completely!)
  • I bend over backwards for you and you don’t appreciate it. (I do everything to please you and care for you.)
  • He’s got the bends. (severe belly ache; diarrhea)
  • It’s just another bend in the road.       (life’s road is unpredictable; seldom straight)
  • She will bend him to her will.       (manipulate; force)


  • He sidled right up beside of me. (got as close as he could)
  • She’s beside herself. (distraught)
  • Pull up a seat and sit down beside yourself.


  • I’d best be getting back to work. (I’d better…)
  • Whatever you think is best… (I trust your judgment)
  • The best is yet to come.
  • The best is yet to be.
  • You let him best you! (beat)
  • I love you best. (more than anyone else does)
  • You’re the bestest friend in the whole entire world!


  • I bet you a dime for a dollar!
  • Heads I win. Tails you lose! (unfair wager)
  • It’s a sure bet. (certain)
  • I’ll bet you a brass nickel!
  • All bets are off. (no deal)
  • You bet your sweet bippy! (why, certainly; of course)
  • I’d bet my bottom dollar on it. (sure of the outcome)


  • You’re a Benedict Arnold!
  • You Judas Iscariot!
  • You’re a back stabber.


  • We’re in it for better or worse. (regardless of the outcome)
  • For better or worse… (marriage vows)
  • Don’t get bitter. Get better!


  • I’m betwixt and between houses right.
  • He’s between a rock and a hard place.
  • I feel like my life is suspended somewhere between heaven and earth.