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!]
Later used to refer to a "bumpkin," the term previously meant anything from "blood clot" to "a really heavy shoe."
Biggest Toad In The Puddle
Are you the "most important person in the group?"
A euphemism for diarrhea. Also known as the Tennessee or Virginia Quick Step.
Not By A Full Jug
Nope, "no way," "not by any means."
"A long knife," also known as a "Missouri Toothpick."
Beware these "scoundrels or impertinent rogues."
Another way to express that you've been "hornswoggled" or "cheated."
Devil Is Beating Your Wife
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."
All On One Stick
Or a "combination" of many things.
For next time you need to "rest, lay about, recline, relax, and dawdle."
What you do when you "raise a serious ruckus."
Nuts For Us Boys
When things are "easy for us!"
Use this next time someone makes you dinner to let them know that the food is "very good" or "really yummy."
Huckleberry Above A Persimmon
When you're a cut above the rest, you can call yourself this fruity phrase.
Beat The Dutch
When you "beat everyone" or "beat the Devil."
Acknowledging The Corn
By "corn," it means to admit the truth, to confess, to acknowledge one's own obvious lie or shortcoming.
To See The Elephant
The elephant usually being "battle," you see action in some sort of fight or generally "see it all."
When you're in mixed company, call your pants or trousers this generic term.
Come A Cropper
It's best to avoid having "a serious setback or ruination."
Make sure the bartender hands you a whiskey or rum when you place this order.
Backing And Filling
A steamboat can move "back and forth" but so can a mind when it "waffles and changes."
"Money" – greenbacks works too – but make sure the the "codfish aristocracy," or businessman, pays you in cash, or "planks up."