Over dinner the other day my husband and I were telling our teenage son about old insult sayings, to see if he could figure out what they meant. We were saddened to learn that phrases we’ve known since childhood were no longer common knowledge. Are they dying out completely? Some of the more colorful ones we asked about were:
- She couldn’t hem a pig in a ditch – meaning she’s bowlegged.
- He could back a buzzard off a meat truck – meaning he’s ugly.
- She could eat an apple through a picket fence – meaning she has buck teeth.
- He has summer teeth (some are teeth) – meaning he has bad/missing teeth.
There are probably many many more such colorful turns of phrase, not just insulting ones, that are missing from conversation now. They’ve been replaced with the likes of “Someone should punch him in the throat” and “You got pwned!” and even those are already dated. And somehow, they just don’t compare.
– Wendy Clyde
High school teacher. Soccer fan (Werder Bremen, yeah!). Knitter and book-binder. Devotee of mathematical puzzles. German.
My mother has a great one to describe someone with a belly and skinny legs: Looks like he/she swapped legs with a killdeer (called a killdee in the south) and stole its paunch.
Are these maybe unique to Texas or the South? Because I hadn’t heard them either. Maybe in general it is not so much insults dying out as regionalisms dying out because of television and the internet.
Wow, I’ve never even heard of the ones you mentioned. I must really be out of it.