Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Wore slam out!

Posted February 18, 2009

Traffic and Internet ace Brian Shrader made me laugh during a commercial break this week when he uttered a Southern expression that I hadn’t heard in a while. Brian said “I’m wore slam out!” Translation if needed – highly fatigued. Brian’s a good ole Southern boy who has heard just about every colloquialism his native region has to offer. Another one of his expressions drew laughter. After consuming four or five hotdogs at The Roast Grill in Raleigh Brian will say “I’m about to bust wide open!”

Indiana native Kelcey Carlson cut her teeth on commercial television in Florence, SC. A favorite expression to come out of her experience along the Pee Dee River was “He’s as ill as a hornet.” Another one Kelcey liked was “He mashed the button,” versus “he punched the button.” Kelcey also likes the way Southern men call ladies “Sug” for short.

Elizabeth Gardner says her mom used to say “I Suwannee” when she was upset. My mother used to say: “It’s hot enough to make the devil sweat” or when the sun breaks through the clouds while it’s still raining: “The devil must be beating his wife.”

Singer Randy Parton coined a classic phrase for getting fired when he said: “Well, I guess I just got throw’d out of the place.”

What’s the funniest Southern expression you’ve heard? Please share.


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  • Dr. Sax Feb 27, 2009

    When my dad would see a really large person he would say "He/she was born when meat was cheap!" Also - when someone is really stressed I've heard it described as "Nervous as a whore in church!" And finally - I grew up hearing people say "let's go ON my car" instead of IN my car. I could always picture people riding on the roof!

  • luke Feb 19, 2009

    One I have never figured out is "all get out" (pronounced all git out. One can be as ugly as "all git out",or as fast as "all git out" or stupid as "all git out". Something can be as funny as "all git out". It's quite a useful phrase.As matter of fact,it's as useful as all git out!!

  • luvvaracers Feb 19, 2009

    When my brother and I were driving my mom crazy she usesd to tell us we were "gone(going to)send her to butner." My all time favorite is "how's momma 'n 'em?"

  • bleslie Feb 19, 2009

    I always heard "uglier than homemade sin." And from Vickie, this story:

    grew up in Knightdale, NC and I thought I had heard them all until my mother in law who is from Clinton, NC said it was a
    "bought n cake". She meant that it was bought at the store and not made from scratch. She has never made a box cake, she always makes homemade cakes.

    I enjoyed reading all the southern expressions


  • PAINFREE Feb 19, 2009

    How about "uglier than a mud fence"?

  • grammie27 Feb 19, 2009

    How about "as nervous as a long-tailed cat in room full of rockers" (rocking chairs) or "mad as a wet setting hen".

  • WildBullMoose Feb 19, 2009

    My father-in-law's favorite: when something is not up to standards.
    "Now you got a chicken you can't cook or eat!"

  • happy Feb 19, 2009

    I actually have a couple that I either heard somewhere or made up.

    Madder than a hornet stuck in mud
    Busier than a one armed paper hanger

  • happy Feb 19, 2009

    A friend of mine would always say, "I'm fixin to." As in, "Did you go to the store?" "I'm fixin to." meaning, I'm getting ready to.

  • CampbellGrad Feb 19, 2009

    My dad was from Chicago and used to tell us when things were ready busy in the house that we were all moving "like ducks with their backsides on fire" Never quite figured it out but I have used it on my children




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Bill Leslie