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Local expressions and what they mean

 
 
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 06:21 pm
Many areas of the US (and I assume the world) have local expressions which aren't often clear to outsiders.

Give an example of a local expression you are familiar with, what it means and an example of its usage.

Expression: "Cooters on a log"

In the southern US, turtles are called Cooters. Turtles frequently climb onto logs to sun themselves.

Usage: "You shoulda seen them politicians, all lined up like Cooters on a log".
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 19,723 • Replies: 47
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 06:23 pm
Expression: "Frog strangler" or "Gully washer"

These southern (US) expressions both refer to a strong downpour of rain.

Usage: "Ooowee, that was a real Frog Stranger we has last night".
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Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 06:28 pm
Grockles crossing the border

(tourists into Devon)


Emmets crossing the border

(tourists into Cornwall)


Climbing the apples and pears
(stairs) oh whole world of cockney expressions!
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 06:46 pm
"Two-boat Irish"

An immigrant from eastern Canada (usually Newfoundland) whose family
was originally from Ireland. One boat to Newfie, one boat to Boston.

Jimmy McGinn is two-boat Irish; he thinks a six-pack and a potato is a
seven-course meal.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 08:59 pm
And a bug zapper and a six pack are entertainment.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 09:06 pm
"Happy as a gopher in soft dirt" - Oklahoma, but understood everywhere.
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 09:19 pm
In the Hinge household we call waves of tourists, briefly allowed out of their buses, 'Green Eights'. This is because they are usually have stickers on them all with the same colour and number (so that their tour guide knows if a particular tourist is one of theirs).

You can tell they're green eights from a distance because they herd and follow a leader who is holding something odd aloft (like a stuffed flower, brightly coloured rag on a stick, closed umbrella - see image below).

http://img6.travelblog.org/Photos/42859/264047/t/2179017-Vatican-tour-group-0.jpg
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 09:49 pm
"scared my mule" Favorite of my Papaw. Self explanatory...

"they law" sometimes shortened to just " theyyyyyy" (Eastern Tennessee - older folks) - well, I'll be

I know there are more..I'm thinking...
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 10:00 pm
'Is my face red?' very common in Sydney 20-30 years ago.

Etymology: used as a retort when someone ask you if you know where something or someone is and you don't. The implication being that your face would be red if that something or someone was shoved up your ass.

Strikes me as completely weird now.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 10:07 pm
My step father used to say, "That'll cut your water off." Later on, I heard Woody Guthrie use the phrase in his collection of Dust Bowl Ballads.
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 10:39 pm
My dad used to say 'Funny as a circus' and 'Right said Fred'

I never found circuses funny - and who the heck is Fred?
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:22 am
Right Said Fred
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:35 am
"He couldn't buy a frog a jacket" refers to a person it is inadviable to grant credit to.

That was a sad one hinge. Have you seen Eraserhead?

BTW-Great idea ros.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:42 am
Northern Minnesota: "That's interesting."

You think you know what that means but you don't. Sample usage:

"Solveig is pregnant by her best friend's dad and just robbed a bank."

"That's interesting."
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:50 am
"Having a hair over your can" was a favorite saying in my husband's Boston family. It means you are in a snit with a hair over the entrance to your vagina.

I'm unable to find any reference to the saying on google so I don't know how widely the saying was in practice.

BBB
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:55 am
I swuny! - spelled like you say it - I have no clue how to spell it

"I don't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt." - I'm confused

"Well, she's got the same britches to get glad in" - not sure what it means...but it was generally said when I was being a brat.
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George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 09:55 am
Boston area
"So don't I" means "so do I".

I like jimmies on my ice cream.
So don't I.
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raprap
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 10:09 am
A few from my grandmother (SW Indiana)

Slicker than snot on a doorknob--self explanatory

Slicker than snot on a glass doorknob--superlatively self explanatory

Green apple quickstep-diarrhea

Built like a brick outhouse--statuesque

Useless as tits on a boar--self explanatory (I've heard this on all over the Midwest)

Cute as a Beagle puppy--self explanatory


Rap
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 12:55 pm
Ugandan adventures. Rumpy-pumpy.
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 01:06 pm
That dog won't hunt. (that makes no sense)
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