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!]
Are you the "most important person in the group?"
Later used to refer to a "bumpkin," the term previously meant anything from "blood clot" to "a really heavy shoe."
A euphemism for diarrhea. Also known as the Tennessee or Virginia Quick Step.
"A long knife," also known as a "Missouri Toothpick."
Nope, "no way," "not by any means."
Beware these "scoundrels or impertinent rogues."
Here's a saying to use the next time "the sun is shining, yet it is raining."
"Drunk" but you could also be "tight," "corned," have "a brick in your hat," "be a bummer," or "stagger and walk the Virginia fence."
Another way to express that you've been "hornswoggled" or "cheated."
For next time you need to "rest, lay about, recline, relax, and dawdle."
Or a "combination" of many things.
What you do when you "raise a serious ruckus."
Use this next time someone makes you dinner to let them know that the food is "very good" or "really yummy."
When things are "easy for us!"
By "corn," it means to admit the truth, to confess, to acknowledge one's own obvious lie or shortcoming.
When you "beat everyone" or "beat the Devil."
The elephant usually being "battle," you see action in some sort of fight or generally "see it all."
When you're a cut above the rest, you can call yourself this fruity phrase.
It's best to avoid having "a serious setback or ruination."
When you're in mixed company, call your pants or trousers this generic term.
A steamboat can move "back and forth" but so can a mind when it "waffles and changes."
Make sure the bartender hands you a whiskey or rum when you place this order.
"Money" – greenbacks works too – but make sure the the "codfish aristocracy," or businessman, pays you in cash, or "planks up."