The South is a land of epic weather. In a single year, we can experience hurricanes, tornados, floods, droughts, a blizzard’s worth of snow, and a heat index in the triple digits.
But there’s something about Southern heat that speaks to us like nothing else. It’s our sweat badge of courage—proof, in our minds, that we can stand mercury levels which would surely undo our northern brethren. And we do it gracefully. Southern women don't sweat—we "glisten."
The epicenter of heat-tolerance pride is, of course, Texas. Move there from anyplace else, and soon you’ll be calling the folks back home, all full of yourself and spouting off about the cold snap you're having in Fort Worth, what with the temperature dipping down into the 90s. One Texan who was in the process of car shopping said she had two non-negotiable requirements for a vehicle: cruise control and air conditioning. And no wonder. It's entirely possible to get a February sunburn in Texas.
It's not enough, of course, for Southerners to bravely endure the heat. No, we need to talk about it—specifically, we search for ever more colorful ways of describing the heat's intensity. Now that spring has sprung, summer can't be far away. We should all prepare. Recently, we polled our Southern braintrust on Facebook and asked for things Southerners say when it's hot. Let us know if we missed any.
We appreciate the classics:
It's not the heat—it's the humidity.
It’s hotter'n blue blazes.
Is it hot enough for ya?
Man, it's hot as all get-out!
It must be 90 in the shade.
This one's gonna be a scorcher.
You could fry an egg on the sidewalk.
You could fry an egg on the hood of that car.
We can go all botanical:
It's hotter'n a blister bug in a pepper patch.
And then there's animal husbandry:
It's so dang hot that I just saw a hound dog chasing a rabbit—and they were both walking.
We consult the radio.
"Hotter than noon on the fourth of July," "hotter than a pepper sprout," and "hotter than a $2 pistol," came to us in song, thanks to Shenandoah, Johnny and June, and George "Possum" Jones, respectively.
We are reminded of the hottest place we've ever heard of (which we're not entirely comfortable saying out loud, so we sometimes spell it):
Hot as Hades
Hotter than H-E double hockey sticks
Hot as H-E double toothpicks
Hot as the hinges on the gates of Hades
Hotter than six shades of hell
Hotter than Satan’s house cat
Even Satan’s sweatin’ today.
Hotter than hell and half of Georgia
Speaking of Georgia . . .
Hotter than Georgia asphalt
But really . . . how hot is it again?
It’s so hot the swimming pool is boiling.
It’s so hot the ice cream truck melted.
It’s like a steam bath out here.
It’s like walking through soup out here.
If it gets any hotter, I'll have to take off stuff I really ought to keep on.
You could have a stroke out here.
Good Lord, I’m dying out here!
I’m burning slap up.
I’m sweatin’ like a hog.
Could I stick my face in your deep-freeze for just a second?
Somebody fan me.
Y'all mind if we just stay inside?
Have y'all got any tea?
How many days till fall?
This heat makes me tired.
Crank up that A.C. till it's blowing snowballs.
I'm just roasting!
I’ve never been a summer person.
Let's move to the mountains.
Now that we're all ready to talk about the heat, how about more things Southern? Watch this:
Got any only-in-the-South expressions to share? Let us hear from you in comments. We'd be willing to bet you've heard some that we missed.