How to Talk Southern: The Can-Do Spirit of the Deep South

We southerners talk funny—not funny odd, but funny ha-ha. At least, that’s how we see it. God gave us a dry sense of humor, among other blessings, possibly to make up for all the humidity.

In this revamped piece from the Hotty Toddy archives, native Mississippian Tim Heaton offers up a list of “southernisms” that you may or may not have heard from your mama or your granddaddy or your granddaddy’s mama (if you’re lucky). They capture the independent, can-do spirit of the South—and that unique rural wit that helps us through the hard times (and the humidity).

Learn ‘em, memorize ‘em, make somebody laugh out loud with ‘em, and share ’em with your friends! Hotty toddy, y’all!

1. Easy as a can of corn

2. Ain’t no hill for a climber.

3. Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang.

4. Easier than falling off a greasy log.

5. Handier than a shirt pocket.

6. He could talk the dogs off a meat truck.

7. I wouldn’t trade her for a farm in Georgia.

8. If she says her hen dips snuff, you can look under the wing for a can.

9. No flies on them.

10. She could sell salt to a snail.

11. Smart as a tree full of owls.

12. Smart as a whip.

13. Useful as a prefabricated post hole.

If you or someone you know has a favorite southern saying, share it in the comments below or on Facebook! We may feature it in future articles!

Rick Hynum is editor-in-chief of and a proud native-born Mississippian. Email him at