We Southerners call ‘em like we see ‘em.
Southerners know a thing or two about compliments. We like to give them, and we sure do like to receive them, though we’d never admit it. For us, though, a phrase like “you look nice today” simply won’t do. You’re much more likely to hear “you’re as pretty as a peach in June” from a Southerner offering a compliment. And if you encounter a Southerner, you’re almost sure to receive a compliment. Compliments aren't reserved solely for friends and family. They're to be doled out to strangers near and far, on the sidewalk, in the checkout line at the grocery store, and everywhere in between. It's all about spreading a little joy.
Southerners know how to take a compliment up a few notches with some regional style and by utilizing more than a few nods to our favorite local produce. Yes, produce. (Have you seen a peach? It sure is pretty, hence the compliment.) We’ve also included a few distinctly Southern digs, because it couldn’t be truer: Southerners call them like we see them. These compliments and lighthearted digs have Southern flair aplenty.
She’s as pretty as a peach.
They’re as pretty as a pitcher. (aka: “Pretty as a picture” with a Southern drawl)
He’s a tall drink of iced tea.
They’re as happy as clams at high tide.
She’s as smart as all get out.
They’re finer than frogs’ hair split four ways.
She’s got gumption.
They're sweeter than cherry pie.
They’re like two peas in a pod.
He’s as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.
They go together like peas and carrots.
She’s got more style than Carter’s got little pills. (Or liver pills or little liver pills, depending on the era)
And let’s not forget: A few not-so-complimentary phrases with a distinctly Southern flair.
She’s as wild as a June bug on a string.
That dog won’t hunt.
She's madder than a wet hen.
He looks like he’s worn slap out.
He’s actin’ too big for his britches.
She’s gotten her feathers ruffled.
They’re slower than molasses in winter.
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
He's as crooked as a barrel of snakes.
She’s as jumpy as a cat on a hot tin roof.
He’s actin’ like a bump on a log.
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Which of these sayings have you heard? What Southern sayings would you add to the list? Tell us your favorite Southern compliments—we know you have some!