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 Old Time "Colloquial" Sayings

   About Intelligence - (or the lack of)


"a few kangaroos short in the top paddock"

"dumb as a load of coal"

"two sandwiches short of a picnic"

"not the sharpest tool in the shed"

"one brick shy of a load"

"toys in the attic"

"the lights are on but there's nobody home"

"not the sharpest knife in the drawer"

"not the brightest bulb on the string"

"one French fry short of a Happy Meal"

"one donut short of a dozen"

"he couldn't make a noun and a verb agree if his life
depended on it"

"if brains were dynamite, he'd be dangerous"

“he's a quart low in the crankcase"

"dumb as a box of rocks"

"if you had a brain you'd be dangerous!"

"can't put a square peg in a round hole"

"he’s always going to be a day late and a dollar short"

"dumber than a sled rack"

"dumber than a sledge hammer"

"dumber than dirt"

"dumber than a June bug on a string"

"too dumb to pound sand in a rat hole"

"slow as mud"

"ain't got both oars in the water"

"porch light is on, but there ain't nobody home"

"so confused he don’t know whether to scratch
his watch or wind his behind"

"if you were twice as smart, you would be a half-wit"

"dumb as a post"

"the engine's runnin' but ain't nobody driving"

"two bricks shy of a full load"

“he's crazier than a road-runnin' lizard”

"crazy as a loon"

“if all his brains were dynamite, he couldn't blow his nose”

“dumb as a stump”



Quotes and Sayings about - Blind

"blind as a bat"

"if it had been a snake, I would have been bitten
"a blind man could see that with his cane"

"Ray Charles could see that"


Quotes and Sayings about - Exclamation - Excitement

"great day-in-na mawnin!!" - great day in the morning!

"well, I'll swannie!"

"slick as a whistle!" - said when something went well

"I'll be cow kicked by a mule!"

"wouldn't that just dill your pickle?” - Used to express dismay over something that has or might happen.

"wicked awesome!”

"wicked cool"

“wicked awful good”

"some wicked awful good"

“bless her heart” - You can say anything about someone, however unkind, as long as you bless her when you're done. "She's dumb as a bag o'hammers, bless her heart."



Quotes and Sayings about - Experienced - Not dumb

"I like to think that I've 'been around the block few times, just so I don't look that way."

"do I look like I just fell off a turnip truck?"

"well don't that just beat all"

"smart as a whip"

"sharper than a tack"
"This ain't my first rodeo"

Quotes and Sayings about - Slow, Fast

“high-tailing it” – running fast

“fast as a rabbit”

"like green corn through the new maid"


Quotes and Sayings about - Poor, Rich, Money

“don't have a pot to p___ in or a window to throw it out of”

"poor as a church mouse"

“he may be good looking but good looking won't put food on the table”

"you've got champagne taste with a beer pocketbook" - expensive taste

"don't have one penny to rub against another one"

"tighter than bark on a tree" - not generous

“tighter than Dick’s hat band” – real penny pincher

"don't have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out" – poor

"he's got enough money to burn a wet mule"

“filthy rich”
“dirt poor”


Quotes and Sayings about - Ugly, Pretty


"uglier than the south bound end of a north bound donkey"

"uglier than a burnt stump"

"you're purtier than a glob of butter meltin' on a stack of wheat cakes"

"prettier than a blue-nosed mule."

"uglier than the east end of a horse headed west"

"cuter than a speckled pup"

"he looks like the dog's been keepin' him under the porch" - Not handsome

"when I was a kid, I was so ugly that my mother had to tie pork chops to my ears so the dog would play with me."
"ugly as sin”


               Comments Made About People

"you could grow potatoes in those dirty ears”

"sweet as honey"

"got off like a fat rat with cheese"

"as full of wind as a corn-eating horse" - prone to boasting

“he's got a ten-gallon mouth” - talkative

"low man on the totem pole"

"cool as a cucumber"

"flat as a pancake"

"workin' like a dog"

"meaner 'n a rattlesnake"

"hair as black as coal"

"deaf as a doorknob/blind as a bat"

"so skinny they have to stand up twice to make a shadow"

"couldn't hit a barn if you were on the inside, with the door closed"

"ants in her pants"

"so windy he could blow up an onion sack"

"so useless if he had a third hand he would need another pocket to put it in"

"lower than a snake in a wagon track"

"sly as a fox"

"strong as an ox"

"dishwater blond"

"he/she sure has hay on his/her horns today" 

"sat there like a bump on a log"

"actin’ like she's got bees in her bonnet" 

"you look like you have been drug through a knot hole backwards."

"ugly as sin"

"straight as an arrow"

"as sweet as pie"

"skinny as a bean pole"

“cant carry a tune in a bucket” – cant sing

"butter wouldn't melt in her mouth" - cold woman

"as loose as a goose"

"over the hill"

"can't burn both ends of a stick (or candle) at the same time"

"stubborn as a mule"

"naked as a jaybird"

"I hope she lives to a 150 and looks it"

"she should get some shoes to go with those bags" - said when someone looks really tired

"do you have shoes to go with my bags?" - if I am looking really tired

"doesn't know his behind from a hole in the ground"

"slicker (or cleaner) than a hounds tooth."

"more slippery than snot on a glass doorknob"

"colder than a well-digger's feet in Alaska"

"dead as a doornail"

"fit as a fiddle"

"quiet as a mouse"

"looks like the cat that swallowed the canary"

"two ax handles wide across the behind” – fat

“two ax handles and a rain barrel” – fat

“like a fish out of water”

“lying like a snake in the grass”

“lies like an old rug”


Quotes and Sayings about - Dating

“sure you can date; in fact I’ll be waiting for him in the front yard while I sharpen my machete”

“yes, he has to come to the door and pick you up… how else will I get the chance to interrogate him?”

“if he wants to date you, he has to get through me first!!”  - refering to a date who blows the car horn for you

“now just wait a minute, you’re movin’ so fast you look like one of Pavlovs dogs runnin’ for the bell”

“well that is rude. How rude? I’ll tell you how rude….”

“well he can just stay out there and blow his horn, and maybe he’ll get some cows to come home”

“don’t stay out later than when the cows come home”



Quotes and Sayings about - Stop Yer complainin’

“well, it’s better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick!”

“want in one hand, spit in the other, and see which one gets full first.” – reply to someone that wants something

“it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye”




Telling Someone to Get Lost

"take a long walk off a short pier"

"away and boil your head" - telling someone to get lost


Yes, No, Maybe, Never......

"I might could do that" - maybe

"when pigs fly" - never

"If the good Lord willin' and the crick don't rise" –

“does a bear mess in the woods"


Being Loud

"You kids are noisier than a fox in the henhouse"

"You're so loud you could wake the dead"

"Speak up, I think that mountain goat in Tibet did'n hear you!"


Cussing - Cursing

"son of a gosh darned sassaffras root!" - cussing around children


Bless Her Heart &
He's a good ole boy, ...he'll do anything for you!

If you live in the South you have both heard these phrases and regretfully probably used them while talking about someone you know. Somehow we think that we can slam someone as long as we follow it up with one of these phrases.


                  Miscellaneous Sayings


"it's comin' a gullywarsher" - raining hard

"it's a real frog strangler" - raining hard

"you see some sights when you haven't got a gun" - when you see someone really weirdly or badly dressed

"you're fixin' to get a whippin' or I'm fixin' to ..... (go to town or whatever)"

"pretty is as pretty does"

"well don't feel like the Lone Ranger" - you are not alone

"when you find the money tree be sure and tell me."

"right now, a pig on a plate is worth two in the pen"

"I'm not as green as I'm cabbage looking" - when we try to pull the wool over someone's eyes

"the cow is out of the barn"

"slower than molasses in January"

"as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs"

"colder than blue hell"

"scarce as hen's teeth"

"knee high to a grasshopper"

"thigh high to a mule"

"runnin' around like a chicken with its head cut off"

"hotter than the hinges of hell"

"jumping from the frying pan into the fire" - from one bad situation into something worse

     "like the kettle calling the pot black"


"tougher than a baked owl"

"tougher than a bag of hammers"

"slick as a smelt"

"that dog don't hunt" - bad idea or flawed logic

"slick as a ribbon"

"happy as a tick on a fat dog" 

"not worth the bait in a rat trap"

"shakier than and old coon"

"heavier than a dead preacher"

"skinny as a raffle turkey" 

"like fleas on a dog"

"as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party"

"big hat, no cattle" - all talk and no action

"he thinks the sun come up just to hear him crow" - he has a pretty high opinion of himself

"she's got tongue enough for 10 rows of teeth" - that woman can talk and talk.

"it's so dry the trees are bribin' the dogs" - We need some rain

"just because a chicken has wings doesn't mean it can fly" - appearances can be deceptive.

"they ate supper before they said grace" - Living in sin

“you can put your boots in the oven, but that doesn't make them biscuits” - you can say whatever you want about something, but that doesn't change what it is.

“cold as a well digger's knee”

“don't get your panties in a wad” – patients
“he'd argue with a wooden Indian” - argumentative

“he'll squeeze a nickel til the buffalo screams.” - cheap

“don't trip over the outhouse.” - caution

 “don't squat on your spurs.”

“if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.”

“more fun than a barrel of monkeys!”

"it's better than a sharp stick in the eye."

"off like a herd of turtles"

“between a rock and a hard place”

"shootin' the breeze" - talking with friends.

“when the cows come home”

“slept like a rock”

“eat like a pig”

“clean as a whistle”

“fresh as a daisy”

“the boob tube”

“knock it off”

“picture perfect”

“a bunch of malarkey”

“cute as a bug's ear”

“knock your socks off”

“the early bird gets the worm”

“better late than never”
"aren't you just the cat's pajamas!" – all dressed up


"jacking their jaw" – talking a lot

"ah, button your lip” – shut up

"shootin' the bull."

“going to town" – going shopping

"in the boondocks" – out in the woods.

"way out in the boonies" - way out in the woods

"goosepen" - a burned out stump



"ain't fit to tote guts to a bear"

"rode hard and put up wet"

"fixin' to learn big wood from brush" – learn a lesson

"whipped like a rented mule" – lose the game

"I didn't come up the Clyde in a banana boat"

"I was born at night, but not last night!"

"my train fell off the track"

"kick a bush" - go to the 'powder room' when you're out in the woods

"wool choppin'" - hair cut

"ear bobs" - earrings

"ran sacked the place”

     “I work like a slave to bring in the bread”

"She's uglier than a mud fence”

"It'd be a dark night at the well before she'd get a drink” (In other words, she's so ugly she'd only get her water from the well at night to avoid being seen.)

”I'm hotter than a popcorn fart”

”I'm too pooped to pop.” - very tired

”I'm a stuck duck in a dry pond” - meaning a very difficult situation to get out of

”It's so noisy in here, I can't hear myself think.”

“It's about as useless as a sore thumb”

” It's colder than a well digger's shovel in Idaho.”

” I'm worn to a frazzle” - very tired

”It came a real gully-washer last night.” - lots of rain
”Don't just sit there like a frog on a log”

     ”I'm so thirsty I could drink the well dry”




“he's so crooked that when he dies they’ll have to screw him in the ground”

“he knows more ways to take your money than a roomful of lawyers”


Eat, Drinking and Cooking

"wetting your whistle" - getting a drink

"gooder 'n candy and better 'n snuff" - grandma's cookin'

"he eats like a pin in a swaller"

“stump water” – weak coffee

"don't swallow watermelon seeds or you'll wake up one morning with vines growing out of your ears"

"tad, smidgen, dab" - Granny’s cooking measurements

"tough as shoe leather"

“grub's on” – food is ready


How Are You Doing?

"oh, I'm circlin' the drain"

"fair to midlin" - I am told that this has to do with grading cotton

“if I had a tail, it'd be waggin'”
”well, better 'n gettin' poked in the eye, I suppose”


                   Miscellaneous Sayings

"off like a herd of turtles"

"love in a cottage is he__ in a hut" - love may be rosy some times and rough the others.

"don't spit in the air, it may fall on your nose" - watch what you say, you may have to retract your statement

"dont cut off your nose to spite your face"

"all ashore that goin' ashore!" - we are here

"daaaayyyyylight in the swamp!" - wake up

"don't put the cart before the horse"

"six of one, half dozen of another" - it's all the same

"greenhorn" - someone is just starting to work in the woods or as a fisherman

"skunked" - If you go fishing or hunting and come back empty handed

"God's rolling logs around up there" - thunder

     "marble orchard" - cemetery
 "may be small but he's wound tight"

"shaking the dew off the lily"

"it takes a big boy to whip a little man"

"smell bad enough to gag a maggot off a gut wagon"

"a wit of the nit type"

"don't let your mouth run off 'til your brain's in gear"

"shinier than a new penny"

"grinning like a Cheshire (Chessy) cat"

“grinnin like a mule eatin briars
"a knife so dull you could ride it to New York"

"a chip off the old block"

"leave a dead dog lie"

"pitch black" -dark

"as common as house dust"

"right as rain"

"more fun than a barrel of monkeys"

"more than one way to skin a cat"

"not worth a hill of beans"

"like water off a duck's back"

"shotgun wedding"

"madder than a wet hen"

"you can't get blood out of a turnip"

"useful as a pogo stick in quicksand"



"haven't been there for a coon's age"

"charge it to the dust and let the rain settle it." - used when someone wanted something but had no money to buy it

"yun side." - the other side of where you may be standing

"nothing goes over the devils back that don't come out from underneath his belly" - if someone does wrong to someone.....they in turn will have something done wrong to them.

"what goes around, comes around"

"he/she is showing his true colors"

"might as well be spittin' in the wind" - to no avail; not doing any good.

"never buy a pig in a poke"

"a hard nut to crack"

"she (or he) has been around the teacup looking for the handle." - very experienced

"bury the hatchet"

"sweatin' bullets"

"where there's a will there's a way."

"no point of closing the barn door after the horse is stolen."

"raining like pouring pee out of a boot."

"a knife so dull it won't cut hot butter"

"raining like cats and dogs"

"you're pulling my leg"

"you're yanking my chain"

"grin and bear it"

     "slick as a whistle"
“hind site is better than fore site”

“waiting for my ship to come in”

 “kick the bucket”

“six feet under”

“in my prime”

“early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

“slow as molasses”

“nice as pie”

“hit the hay”

“rise & shine”

“smooth as silk”

“moxie” – a lot of guts

“can't see the forest for the trees”

“well he’s got some brass ones don't he?”

“that makes about as much sense as a jar of dirt.”

“too bad, too sad, life goes on.”

“fell out the cracker tree.”

“over yonder”

“one gene short of a marble”

“fit as a fiddle”

“flat as a "flitter”

“low as frozen molasses going up hill”

     "o dark thirty"

“chompers” - false teeth

“neat as a pin”

“cool as a cucumber”

“ride like the wind”

"gettin' your ears lowered" – hair cut

"dishpan hands"

"if the devil don't find me and the crik (creek) don't rise"

"if the good Lord willin' and the crick don't rise"

"in a pig's eye"

"can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"

"spit quick or die."

“numb as a hake” - hake is a fish

“can't get theyah from heah” - can't get there from here

“finer than froghair”

“plain as a mud fence”

“tougher than a cob”

“tighter than dick's hatband”

 “older than dirt”

“he/she "would lie for a nickel and the truth worth a dime"

“cuter than pink slippers”

“gayer than a birthday tablecloth”

“randier than a boar coon”

 "He'd gripe with a ham under each arm”
” Whew, I'm hot as a bear!”

”There were so many people, you couldn't stir 'em with a stick.

 “he’s pretty as a speckled pup”

”He’s drunker than Old Cooter Brown”

”He came in 3 sheets in the wind” (to describe someone drunk)

”He's tighter than a fiddle string” -very conservative with money”He doesn't know "You’re gettin' just a little bit too big for your britches -- I may have to take you down a notch or two."

"Oh, it's too far and snakey."