Like We Say Back Home, Vol. 3

Martha Rebecca Johnston Alexander

In the past couple years my mom has taught me and reminded me of a few more of my Texan granny’s favorite expressions. Some highlights:

  • Quiet as a little mouse peeing on cotton. (Usually used when someone reacts with stunned silence to some sort of diatribe or revelation.)
  • You can’t get all your coons up one tree. (You can’t get everything you want.)
  • Told them how the cows ate the cabbage. (Describes a serious dressing-down.)
  • Pitiful as a sick kitten on a hot rock. (Depressed and listless, very sympathetically so.)
  • She got her tail up over her back. (In preparation to sting, like a scorpion. Granny called scorpions “stinging lizards.”)
  • Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine. (In blissful unawareness of some terrible or embarrassing thing.)
  • Put that in your pipe and smoke it. (A phrase she often used when schooling my father on the ways of my mom, i.e., the intractability of Texan women in general.)
A lot of my favorites are in the prior installments, here and here. The second one is also a goldmine of contributions from readers.