Our Favorite Southern Grandmother Quotes That Make No Sense At All
Nobody expresses herself quite like Memaw—can we get an amen?
Southerners are known for our colorful speech—so much so that visitors from Up North might require a translator. And when it comes to uber-Southern utterances, nobody can hold a candle to our grandmothers. In fact, even we don’t always understand some of the phrases grandmas say. But we pretend to. Because we don’t want to be cut out of her will—or worse, banished from her Thanksgiving table.
Herewith, some particularly colorful grandmother quotes from our Facebook Brain Trust:
“I’m cold. Put your sweater on.”
“Were you raised in a barn?”
“My grandmother would always say, ‘We’re here because we’re here!’ whenever we arrived at a destination. Never did understand why . . .”
“After my grandmother broke her hip, she would tell visitors, ‘You know I don’t have a spine anymore.’”
“I wasn’t asleep. I was just resting my eyes."
"I'm not hungry, but my stomach's weak."
“After spending three days preparing a feast for 30 or more family members, my grandmother would cast a critical eye over a perfect Southern meal and say: ‘Let’s eat and get it over with.’”
“Every time my grandmother finished putting food on the table and was ready for you to fix your plate, she would say, ‘Well, there it is if you can eat it.’”
“When my grandmother was feeling sorry for herself, she’d say, ‘I’ll just go out in the garden and eat worms.’”
“To a pouting me, my grandmother would say, ‘Stick that bottom lip out any further and I’ll sit on it.’”
“When a grandchild had a minor scrape, my grandmother would say, ‘It’s OK—they’re hard to kill.’”
“My stomach’s pinchy (pronounced ‘pAYnchy’).”
“If I raise my hands over my head, it will make the veins on them go down.”
“My dad loved tossing us into the air when we were babies/toddlers, and my great-grandmother would say, ‘Don’t do that—you’ll turn their liver over!’”
“You go ahead and have that last tomato.” (Translation: “Touch it and you’re out of the will.”)
“My grandmother would say, ‘You’re gonna break your neck!’ regardless of the extreme activity involved.”
“I’ve never seen the like!”
“You’ll catch your death o’ cold.”
“Hand me the clicker box. My stories (pronounced “STOH-rees”) are on the other channel.”
“I’ve got a hitch in my get-along.”
“Don’t let the screen door hit you in the backside on your way out.”
“This is boring as watching a rock grow.”
“If you’re so ready to leave, strike a trot.”
“Always make sure to wear clean underwear with no holes in it when you travel. You might be in a car accident and someone would see.”
“That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back, Miss Priss.” (Translation: You’ve pushed Memaw too far AND she thinks you’re full of yourself.)
“It’s getting cool in here. Raise that window down.”
“I can’t come to your ballgame. I’ve got a bone in my leg.”
“Once a man, twice a child.”
“I’m doing very well.” (But “very well” was said in a way that made it clear she meant “so-so.”)
“Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”
“I look like who shot Lizzie.”
“She looks like death eating a cracker.”
WATCH: Things Only Southern Grandmothers Say
Well, bless! You children need to wear nametags if you want her to keep up with who's who. And hey, that chicken casserole is pretty good, Memaw says—even if she did make it.