Thursday, June 13, 2019

Phrases Of Appalachia: Fit To Be Tied

Fit to be tied: An exaggeration referring to someone being so angry that they should be tied up to keep them from being aggressive.
Example: Tom was fit to be tied when he realized someone had shot his prize turkey. 

Just recently I wrote a blog post about a story that Granny had told me and while I didn't write the story down as she told it, I could almost hear her speaking as I recalled and typed it. "Fit to be tied" was a phrase that she used often and is something that I still say. 





I always try to add a picture to every blog post and as I immediately thought of this one of my son, Dude (not his real name). This was taken at our VBS when he was about 5 or 6 years old and from the looks of it, he was fit to be tied! There ain't no telling why he was so mad but he definitely was. 

If you are a visitor and hear someone use this phrase, proceed with caution! Other Appalachian phrases that refer to being mad: 

  • Ill as a hornet. 
  • Mad as an old wet hen. 
  • All riled up. 
  • Got my feathers all ruffled up.
  • All worked up. 
  • Having a hissy fit.
  • Pitching a fit. 
  • Got their panties in a wad.
  • Got a burr in their saddle. 
  • Puffed up like a bullfrog.
  • He's tore plumb outta his frame.
  • She's gotta a bee in her bonnet.
  • Mad enough to spit nails. 
  • Plumb fed up! 

    What are some other "mad" phrases that you've heard? 

    Tuesday, April 30, 2019

    How Black-Draught Cured Granny's Lonesomeness

    Spring makes me think about Granny. Back in April 2017, about a week before she passed away, we had an unusually warm, sunny day. She decided that she wanted to go out in the sunshine for a while so I went out and sat on the porch with her. "Granny, tell me a story." She pondered a minute or so, gave a little chuckle, and then the tale began...

    "When I started school, I'd become awful lonesome for my Mama. I'd get to school, get to missing her, and then get to crying. I decided that I'd tell my teacher that I had a bellyache."

    Now you have to remember that this was the early 1940s. A teacher or school secretary couldn't just pick up the phone and have her Mama come and pick her up. One, Granny and Pa Wilson didn't have a phone, and two, if they had a car or truck it would've been being used by her Daddy to get him to work.

    "My teacher went and found my older brother Keith and told him I was sick and that he would have to walk me home. So me and Keith set off for the five mile walk home, he told Mama I had a bellyache, and then he turned around and walked the five miles back. Mama loved on me and all was right with the world.

    The next day, I got to school and was missing Mama...again. I thought I'd be slick and use the bellyache excuse...again. My teacher went and found Keith and told him to take me home...again. Keith was fit to be tied because he knew I was fibbing. He marched me the whole five miles home, begrudgingly told Mama that the teacher sent me home with a bellyache, and turned around and walked the five miles back. Now Mama was no fool. She knew from the day before that I was perfectly fine. She had to do something to nip this problem in the bud. She went to the medicine cabinet and pulled out the Black-Draught. Whew, I never came home from school early because of missing Mama again!"




    For those of you who don't know, Black-Draught is a liquid laxative sold since the late 18th century. Much like castor oil, it was a commonly used folk remedy for many ailments.

    We had ourselves a good laugh over that one! Granny would probably whoop me if she knew I was telling this story but I also know that she would chuckle after she had done it. I'm thankful that, despite all she was going through, she NEVER lost her sense of humor or her ability to tell a good story. I hope that whenever I leave this world people will be able to say the same for me.