“Dog Gone It” and Other Weird Things I Say
Today I said, “Dog Gone It,” and then I wondered where that expression came from. It sounds innocent enough. Like someone got mad because the dog was gone, but it really doesn’t make sense. So I decided to ask Google and boy, oh boy, was I surprised to learn that it’s slang for an awful swear word that I would never use in a million years.
How did that expression find it’s way into my vocabulary? I know I heard my parents and grandparents say it, so I’m going to blame them.
More About Words
Then I started thinking about other expressions of frustration my parents verbalized, like “Dagnab it,” and “Dadgum it,” and low and behold they are associated with swear words, too.
It seems my ancestors (and maybe yours too) didn’t want to use profanity so they made up expressions to use in place of them.
Fun Southern Phrases It’s Okay To Say
My parents used some of these phrases but my grandmother was the source of more southern sayings than you can shake a stick at. (There’s the first one for you)
“I’m fixing to,” meant she was going to take some sort of action. “I’m fixing to go to the store.”
“I reckon,” replaced the word “think.” “I reckon it’s going to rain because my knee aches.”
After she’d eaten a big dinner she was “full as a tick.” Gross, I know, but very descriptive.
If my parents or grandparents felt like I was over confident about something they would tell me, “Don’t count your chickens before your eggs are hatched.”
If someone lost their temper they were described as, “mad as a wet hen.” My grandparents raised chickens but I don’t remember ever seeing wet hens. I do remember being scared of their rooster; he had a nasty disposition. Maybe the expression should have been “mad as a wet rooster.”
“Pretty is as pretty does,” didn’t originate with Forrest Gump because I remember my grandmother saying the same thing. In other words, to be attractive you have to be nice!
The Power of Words
My grandmother was as sweet as a big glass of southern sweet tea and I know that when she said “Dagnab it” or “Dadgum it,” she had no idea that those words came from what we call “bad words.”
I almost wish I didn’t know what it meant because now if it slips out I’ll think to myself, “Oh my word, I ought not be saying that!”
What expressions do you remember your grandparents saying that aren’t common today?