Weird History These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny  

Melissa Sartore
1.2k votes 266 voters 10.7k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the antebellum holler slang that makes you wish kissin' cousins were a thing again.

The regional dialect of the South is nothing if not unique, and much of it dates back to before the mid-19th century. Antebellum and Civil War conversations would have sounded foreign to modern observers. Even now, if you visit Appalachia or some parts of the Southern US, you may not be able to understand some of what is said if you didn't grow up hearing it.  

Here's a test: They're fixin' vittles for supper over yonder! What's your translation? If it wasn't "they're cooking dinner over there," then you need to brush up on your southern Appalachian slang. Many phrases are still used in the South today; others have fallen by the wayside but are just plain fun to say! Watch out though, pronunciation can be pretty tricky.  

Below are some phrases that will have you hankerin' to sing out some top rail and peart slang!

[Translation: Here are some phrases that will give you the desire to call out some top quality and fresh expressions!]

list ordered by

1
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Biggest Toad In The Puddle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Biggest Toad In The Puddle

Are you the "most important person in the group?"

2
77 20
Clodhopper is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Clodhopper

Later used to refer to a "bumpkin," the term previously meant anything from "blood clot" to "a really heavy shoe."

3
61 24
Quick Step is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Quick Step

A euphemism for diarrhea. Also known as the Tennessee or Virginia Quick Step.

4
52 22
Jackanapes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Jackanapes

Beware these "scoundrels or impertinent rogues."

5
44 17
Not By A Full Jug is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Not By A Full Jug

Nope, "no way," "not by any means."

6
37 15
Wallpapered is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Wallpapered

"Drunk" but you could also be "tight," "corned," have "a brick in your hat," "be a bummer," or "stagger and walk the Virginia fence." 

7
29 10
Honey-Fuggled is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Honey-Fuggled

Another way to express that you've been "hornswoggled" or "cheated."

8
54 31
Devil Is Beating Your Wife is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Devil Is Beating Your Wife

Here's a saying to use the next time "the sun is shining, yet it is raining."

9
36 16
Arkansas Toothpick is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Arkansas Toothpick

"A long knife," also known as a "Missouri Toothpick."

10
32 16
Lucifers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Lucifers

Matches, personified. 

11
22 9
All On One Stick is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
All On One Stick

Or a "combination" of many things. 

12
35 21
Mollygrubbing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Mollygrubbing

For next time you need to "rest, lay about, recline, relax, and dawdle."

13
33 21
Larrapin' is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Larrapin'

Use this next time someone makes you dinner to let them know that the food is "very good" or "really yummy."

14
33 25
Nuts For Us Boys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Nuts For Us Boys

When things are "easy for us!"

15
22 15
To See The Elephant is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
To See The Elephant

The elephant usually being "battle," you see action in some sort of fight or generally "see it all."

16
35 30
Come A Cropper is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Come A Cropper

It's best to avoid having "a serious setback or ruination."

17
21 18
Beat The Dutch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Beat The Dutch

When you "beat everyone" or "beat the Devil."

18
11 12
Wake Snakes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Wake Snakes

What you do when you "raise a serious ruckus."

19
15 19
Acknowledging The Corn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Acknowledging The Corn

By "corn," it means to admit the truth, to confess, to acknowledge one's own obvious lie or shortcoming.

20
18 23
Inexpressibles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Inexpressibles

When you're in mixed company, call your pants or trousers this generic term.

21
10 14
Backing And Filling is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Backing And Filling

A steamboat can move "back and forth" but so can a mind when it "waffles and changes."

22
13 18
Spondulix is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Spondulix

"Money" – greenbacks works too – but make sure the the "codfish aristocracy," or businessman, pays you in cash, or "planks up." 

23
11 16
Argie is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Argie

To "argue." 

24
10 16
Huckleberry Above A Persimmon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Huckleberry Above A Persimmon

When you're a cut above the rest, you can call yourself this fruity phrase. 

25
9 16
Anti-Fogmatic is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list These Slang Terms From The Civil War-Era South Are Actually Pretty Funny
Anti-Fogmatic

Make sure the bartender hands you a whiskey or rum when you place this order.