#TopTenTuesday: Favorite Words or Phrases

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt was simply “Favorite Words.” I added phrases to that as well, and my words/phrases all come from the South. My list is below.

Y’all: Y’all is a southern word meaning “you all.” It is meant to be used to address a group of people. It annoys me to no end when I’m watching tv and some actor says “y’all” to one person. No. Proper use: “Y’all come in and get some cornbread,” as long as “y’all means at least three people.

“Fixin to”: “Fixin to” is a phrase that means you’re about to do something. Proper use: “I’m fixin to go make some cornbread.” Speaking of cornbread, since I’ve mentioned it twice now, true Southern cornbread does not have sugar in it. If there is sugar in it, it’s cake. It also must be made in a cast iron skillet to get the crunchy sides and bottom.

“Holler: Holler has two meanings. It can mean to yell at someone, but in Appalachia it is also a dip in the mountains where one might reside. For example, Loretta Lynn was born in Butcher Holler, i.e. Butcher Hollow.

“Bless Your Heart”: “Bless Your Heart” as a phrase can be either a sincere sentiment or a slight dig. In the South, it often means, “well that was a slightly stupid thing you just said or did!”

“Hissy Fit,”: A grownup temper tantrum. Proper use: “Granny’s done had a hissy fit.” “Done” in that sentence can be described as “already had” or “just had.”

“All Get Out”: All Get Out is the top of the top. ” He was as mad as all get out.” As far as reactions, it’s hard to get higher than “all get out.” I was shocked as “all get out.”

“A Month of Sundays” This means a very long time. “I haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays!”

“Mess” Mess could mean untidy or disorderly, but in the South it also refers to a large quantity. “I’m fixing a mess of collard greens.” “I’ve got a mess of beans on the stove.”

“Sam Hill.” This is a substitution for a curse word. “What in Sam Hill are you doing?” I tried to find the origin of this, and there may have been a man named Sam Hill who was such a notorious swearer that others just substituted his name for a curse word. A dubious honor in my opinion. There was also a Kentucky general named Samuel Ewing Hill, who was sent to investigate the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys, and then the expression “What in the Sam Hill is going on up there? was born. There are also several other origin stories, and in other parts of the country. EDIT: I would put my money on “What in Sam Hill” being a safe substitute for “What in the hell,” and there is probably not really a person named Sam Hill associated.

“Son of a Biscuit”: This is another popular substitution for a curse word. “He’s a real son of a biscuit!”

American Biscuits.

So that’s my list of Southern Words and phrases. I hope y’all liked it. 😉 Can you think of any words or phrases from your part of the country or world that you especially like?

42 thoughts on “#TopTenTuesday: Favorite Words or Phrases”

  1. The western Pennsylvania (especially Pittsburgh) take on Y’all, is Yinz – “Yinz guys want to watch the game?” I have an aunt in Virginia who can use “Bless Your Heart” with the best of them.

    Great list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was fun. I love colloquial words and phrases. When I lived in Vermont, there were a bunch of them. One of my favs that old-timers used to say (about people moving in from out of state and calling themselves Vermonters): “Just because the cat had kittens in the oven, don’t make them biscuits.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this list!! Even though I’m from way up north (which honestly doesn’t have any great regional phrases like the south does), I still say y’all when speaking to a group. And your post is making me crave cornbread now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve probably misused y’all but I hope not haha! 🙂 And oh my gosh that cornbread pic- I want some now! YUM. I’ve heard that about Bless Your Heart in the South too. 🙂 It can go either way maybe lol?

    I used to hear Sam Hill all the time…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think the “y’all” depends on where in the South you are. I’ve talked to some people that say you can use “y’all” for one person and “all y’all” for multiple people.

    I used “hissy fit” and “all get out” all the time. My dad’s from Texas and my mom grew up in a Southern household so I learned a few things from them.

    Thanks for stopping by my post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Super fun list! I’ve lived in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Mountain West, and Southwest all my life and have spent very little time in the South. However, I love the word “y’all” and the phrase “all of y’all.” They’re SO useful. Much easier than saying “you guys” or “all of you guys,” which is what I usually use.

    Happy TTT!



  7. Love this, Bonnie! As someone who was born and raised in the South (by a mother born in Alabama), I’m well familiar with all of these words and phrases. Y’all and fixin’ to are ones I use pretty much daily. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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