Beth Jacks Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 8, 2008

Southmouth survives despite homogenization

(Editor’s note: Beth is on vacation and shares today these amusing comments from reader Sherry Hill. Beth welcomes your comments any time! Write: bethjacks@hotmail.com.

Sherry writes: “I enjoyed your grandmother sayings and want to share my granny’s wonderful expressions. Her name was Margaret Lucile Vandale Wheeler Morgan. A beautiful Southern lady, she was born in 1892, died in 1971, and she was my love. Here are some of my favorites that she said constantly.”

About herself:

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•We were so poor we couldn’t buy the echo off a steamship.

•I danced so hard my feet almost fell off.

• Around noon I’ll just fix me a dirty bite to eat.

• I ate so much I was plum P. H. U. L.

•These garters are too tight.

General advice:

• Vick’s Vapor Rub will make your cold better, but wash it off in the morning or you’ll get pneumonia.

•Be careful how you hang your clothes on the line; neighbors are watching.

• Always add a pinch of sugar when cooking vegetables.

• Right often, take your rugs out and beat the tar out of ‘em.

• Them that has, gets.

Observations on other women:

• That gal has a country mouth!

• She’ll spark on the front porch for all the world to see.

• A proper lady always carries a handkerchief in her pocketbook.

• Her mama obviously didn’t teach her not to be eating while walking down the street.

•Her bangs look like Mamie Eisenhower.

• She has legs like a piano stool.

• If she tells you her age, she’ll tell anything.

• She’s as cheap as a Cracker Jack prize.

Advice to her grandchildren:

•Now, honey, you’re sick. Doncha get up and fan around.

• If you cross your eyes, they will very well stay that way.

• That television is being turned off right now; you are not going to look at that Elvis Presley.

• Miss Priss, that’s too much rouge.

• Grandpa’s waiting! Shake a leg.

• Shut the door on the icebox.

• Don’t jump on the divan.

•Never ever chew gum in public.

•Sit here and help me tally up the laundry.

• Quit plundering in the buffet drawer!

• Don’t drink from somebody else’s glass – you’ll get trench mouth.

• Don’t bang the screen door and don’t let the flies in.

• You’re my little jellyroll!

……………………….

Beth says: That’s a terrific list, isn’t it? Robert Hendrickson, author of “Whistlin’ Dixie,” says that “despite the increased mobility of Americans and the homogenization of speech by television, it doesn’t appear likely that Southern speech will be quietly erased from the American tape, for it is too widespread and deeply rooted in the past.”

Let’s hope he’s right!

(Write: bethjacks@hotmail.com )