By Wilton Strickland
I lost my homework. -- I did not do my homework.
I'll be dog, I'll be doggone -- I'm amazed
In a bind, in a scrape/squeeze, in a tight -- in trouble, need money
to pay bills
In a family way -- pregnant
In high cotton -- got it made; doing very well
In hog heaven -- also doing very well - very comfortable
In the foot of the truck or car -- on the floor
In the short rows -- almost finished
I'm done. -- I've finished.
I'm fixin' da -- I'm getting ready to; I'm about to; I'm going to
In the heat o' d'day -- during the hottest part of the day, usually,
early to mid-afternoon
I put it right where I'd know where it is. -- I've lost it.
Irregardless -- regardless
I snibbed it -- I just brushed the side of it; almost missed
I stole it -- I paid hardly anything for it.
I swanny -- substitute for I swear
Itching like a man on a fuzzy tree -- itching really bad
It floored me. -- It astonished, surprised or baffled me.
It really got away with me -- It embarrassed me.
I yea'bout died or I near 'bout died -- I was so shocked, I almost died.
Jawl-P? -- Did you go to the bathroom?
Jeet yet -- Have you eaten yet?
Jes' like a sharecropper in a drought -- not doing very well
Johnny on the spot -- always on time
Jump from the fryin' pan into the fire -- get in even worse trouble
Just a hair -- a very small unit of measure; a hair's width
Kick the traces -- out of line; breach restraints
Knock on wood -- to prevent bad luck
Landlord -- landowner
'Lasses -- molasses
Layin' down -- lying down
Layin' by d'backa, hillin' d'backa -- final plowing of the tobacco
crop for the season
Leastwise -- at least
'Lectwisty -- electricity
Less is more. -- Don't over do it. Keep it simple.
Lick -- a brush with the tongue, a blow with a hand
Lick of work -- a token stroke of work
Lickity-split -- quickly
Light the fahr -- start the fire
Like something on a stick -- something special, such as a candy apple
or a lollipop
Loopin' d'backa, stringin' d'backa -- attaching the tobacco leaves to
sticks with cotton string (d'backa twine) to facilitate hanging it in
the curing or drying barn.
Mad as a wet settin' hen -- really upset, angry
Mad as fire -- very angry, violent temper
Mad as Hell -- even more angry
Makin' hay -- making good progress
Malarkey -- mess, foolishness, worthless stuff
Mash -- squeeze tightly, push a button or pedal; often done to
potatoes to "cream" them
'Matahs, 'maters, 'matussusses -- tomatoes
Mendin' up, puttin' on a little -- gaining weight
Mess of peas, beans, corn, turnip salad (salit), etc. -- enough to
cook for a meal
Messed up -- made a mistake; out of order
Might -- may
Might can -- may be able to
Might would -- may decide to
Mighty -- southern for very
Mitzibushy Zero -- Mitsubishi Zero, WW II Japanese fighter plane
Mommic or mommic up -- break or render inoperative, mess up
Monks, i. e., in 6 monks -- months - in 6 months
Moppin' cotton -- mopping arsenic-laced molasses onto cotton plants
using a mop of rags on the end of a short stick
Mud hole -- puddle of water
My ears are burning. -- Somebody is talking about me.
My left palm is itching. -- I'm getting some money.
My nose is itching. -- Somebody is coming.
My right palm is itching. -- I'm going to shake a stranger's hand.
My stomach hurts. -- I don't want to go to school this morning. I
don't want to drop soda. I don't want to sucker tobacco today. Etc.
Nab -- catch - The police will nab the killer.
Nabs -- small crackers with peanut butter between them, some square,
some round (disc-shaped), often made by Nabisco and available at
d'store with a cold Co-Cola, Pepsi, RC, etc., for a snack. Substitute
for a moon pie or a small bag of salted peanuts.
Nairn -- none
Nairy -- neither, as in, "Nairy one."
Name your poison. -- What would you like to eat or drink?
Naw, nawp, nope -- no
Nekkid -- naked, nude
Noggin' -- head
Not a lick of sense -- really stupid
Not worth a nickel ridin' or walkin' -- nearly worthless in any way
Nubb, nubbin' -- a very small ear of corn; the short part left after
part of a normally long object is missing. He stuck out his hand to
pet the large dog, and drew back a nubb.
Oh, Lordy! Oh Gosh!, Oh me! -- surprised, shocked
Onct -- once, one time
On the ball -- got it just right
Ourn -- ours
Out of something is to temporarily have none of it; to be slap out of
it is to have none of it and have little chance of having any more soon.
Ort to, orta -- ought to, should
Own -- on
Packhouse -- a building on the farm to store cured tobacco awaiting
grading and transport to market
Pallet -- bed on the floor usually made by spreading a quilt
Pattirolman -- state police - highway patrolman
Peaked -- sick, not feeling well
Peggin' d'backa -- transplanting tobacco using a hand-held wooden peg
to punch holes in wet soil
Percolator -- coffee maker
Picture show -- movie
Piffy -- pithy, soft
Pinhooker -- an individual who buys tobacco at the sales warehouse,
re-packs it and re-sells it trying to make a profit
Pitched/threw a fit -- really got upset
Plum tired, plum tuckered out -- very tired
Poker-upper -- one who stands on the ground and passes sticks of green
tobacco to the man on the bottom tier when hanging tobacco in the
Pot calling the kettle black -- You're both guilty.
Pretty as a button -- very pretty
Pretty is as pretty does. Beauty can come from good behavior or charm.
'Preshate it -- I appreciate what you did. Thank you.
Primein' or croppin' d'backa -- harvesting the lower two or three ripe
leaves on each tobacco plant one-by-one.
Prob'ly -- probably
Put on a little -- gained weight
Put on the feed bag -- eat a really big meal
Put up corn, peas, etc. -- can/freeze/preserve corn, peas, etc.
Quick as greased lightnin' -- extremely fast, very slippery
Quiet as a mouse -- sneaky quiet, very quiet
Rather climb a light pole and lie than stand on the ground and tell
the truth -- compulsive liar
Really goin' to town -- going fast, working hard and fast
Remember Pearl Harbor. -- WW II rallying cry - stay vigilant and
Rench it out -- rinse it. He renched (rinsed) his mouth out wid warda
and spit it in da zink (sink).
Revenooer -- federal (ATF) agent looking for bootlegger
Ridin' bare-back -- no saddle on the horse or mule
Ridden hard and put up wet -- looking really bad
Rigch hieanh -- right here
Right off, right away -- immediately
Right smart -- a good amount; a reference to quantity, not intelligence
Ring leader -- usually, the person causing the most trouble
Roast'near -- an ear of sweet, tender corn
Rough as a cob -- the roughness of a cob from an ear of newly-shelled
corn, very rough
Rumble seat -- a seat outside of the enclosed passenger cabin of a car
and in what is normally the trunk
Runnin' around -- cheating on the spouse
Runnin' board -- horizontal, board-like shelf on the outside of a car,
beneath the bottom of the doors and between the fenders.
Run off with -- eloped
Seemint - concrete
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