This past week, I was talking to a precious family friend. We always have good conversations because we have so much in common. We were talking about the sayings that we had heard in our lifetimes. There were many that we shared. These sayings have meaning and more wisdom than young people realize.
My Granddaddy had many and I loved hearing them. One of his favorites was “a little bird doesn’t fly so high that it doesn’t need to come down for water”. I always liked that one; it means we are all the same, no matter how highfalutin we may think we are.
Our friend has said “that just takes the rag off the bush”, or as my Mama says, “that just beats all”. We should remember that “what you pass to the left will come back to you from the right”, there is wisdom in that too. We should make sure that we are passing good things to our left!
“A dog that brings a bone carries a bone” is another favorite. That means that if someone is anxious to bring gossip to you, that person will gossip about you to someone else. Granddaddy said “that’s too much sugar for a nickel” many times, meaning that it is a bit more than you bargained for.
There were those sayings about the weather such as “wind out of the east isn’t good for man or beast” and “morning rain is like an old lady’s dance, soon over”. A childhood friend’s Big Mama said “more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of racking chairs” many times. I laughed the first time that I heard that one. My husband says “that dog will not hunt”. Mama always said “I’ll be John Brown”. I always wondered as a child, who he was and why Mama wanted to be him.
We have all heard and said these things many times as southerners. They are such a part of our everyday language that we often do not realize how many we use. These colorful sayings often say it better than just plain words. If you are “not from around here” you may not understand these bits of wisdom. If you don’t understand, we will explain it to you “directly”. Don’t be “bowed up like a Halloween cat”, these sayings are “handier than a pocket on a shirt”.