I never realized just how many "isms" - colloquialisms, Americanisms, what have you - I use until I had to sit down and talk with the new boss on Friday. He is a Brit (still living in the UK) and we are absolutely divided by a common language.

It isn't that we don't understand the words coming out of each other's mouths, it's the order of the words and the you-had-to-be-there cultural references that get in the way.

So I'm trying to explain something and I catch myself saying "right off the bat."Baseball reference, but that's okay because they play cricket, baseball's granddaddy, so I'm sure he gets that...Followed immediately by "hit it out of the park." Yes, spring training is in full swing - can you tell?

Five minutes later I'm saying, "apples and oranges." Stop! Then "thrown under the bus." STOP! Finishing with "jumped the shark," which absolutely had to be explained.

Christ on a bike (as Fab Boy says) can I HAVE a conversation without saying these things? I know that everyone does it, and it's worse - EXPONENTIALLY WORSE - in the South, but using these expressions, I am convinced, lowers a person's perceived IQ by at least 20 points.

When I first moved here from the Yankee-town I kept a list of the highly amusing colloquialisms used by my new friends and colleagues. Here are a few favorites:

Slicker than cat shit on linoleum
Useless as tits on a boar hog
Hotter than a whore on nickle night
Don't know if I'm washin' or hangin'
Better pack a lunch
He took the trash out and the hogs ate him

And my personal favorite: He went up a hog's ass to get a ham sandwich.

Please leave a comment and share your favorite "-ism"!


fatboyfat said…
Thanks for the "X on a bike" shout-out.

The "apples and oranges" one gets used over here, so I'm surprised he didn't get that. Although I've subverted it now; I say that comparing two different things is like comparing apples and pianos.

Favourites of mine (which may well have already leapt the pond) include:

He's as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

He's as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.
Anonymous said…
I'm sorry - i'm still laughing at "I fuck on the first date" t-shirt!!

Good luck City Girl!!
Rurality said…
I like, "finer than frog's hair"!
Country Girl said…
My kids know...mess with Mama and she'll jerk a knot in your tail.
Anonymous said…
My grandmother used to tell us grandkids when we were misbehaving
" I am going to cloud up and rain all over you!!"
Tom said…
The best one I ever heard was a friend of mine was looking at a motorcycle that was wired...um, in an interesting manner. He said it "looked like a monkey wired it with a hammer."

I haven't been able to get rid of that mental image yet.
Melissa said…
not sure if the first one took, soo...

here's another one to throw at the poor guy:

That dog ain't gonna hunt.