A friend of mine moved into a small Mississippi town from Chicago.
He noticed that an elderly man down the street mowed his yard with a push mover. He would do a few rows, then mopping his brow, go onto the front porch to rest. When rested, he would go to push the mower a few rows, then break again. Mowing the yard would take most of the morning. My friend confided to another neighbor that he was surprised no one helped.
The response was, “Oh yes, Mr. Jim. For many years we’ve all but begged to mow it for him. He won’t hear any of it. He wants to be self-sufficient.”
If you see Mr. Jim on lawn days, here are the Southernisms you might use:
A little long in the tooth.
Rather then: Older than dirt in dog years.
Grandpa goes to bed with the chickens.
“Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” – C.S. Lewis
He ain’t sawing logs, he’s clearing brush.
Meaning: The old man is snoring loudly. “Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” – Anthony Burgess
He was old back when Jesus was a boy.
Rather than: He knew dirt when it was still a rock.
He’s about two years older than baseball.
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” – Satchel Paige
He’s as old as Methuselah.
“Old age is when you know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions.” – Dr. Laurence J. Peter
I am as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw
If he had one more wrinkle, he could screw his hat on.
“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Older than the mountains and got twice as much dust.
Fact: The Saint Francois Mountains of Missouri are the oldest in North America and were formed 1.4 billion years ago.
Only thing alive at that house with all its teeth is the termites.
“She said she was approaching forty, and I couldn’t help wondering from what direction.” – Bob Hope
She has enough wrinkles to hold an eight day rain.
“I didn’t see it (old age) coming — it hit me from the rear.” – Phyllis Diller
They’ve been around since dirt was new.
Fact: Most of the dirt you see today is from the past two million years, the oldest sedimentary rocks are about 3.9 billion years old.
Way back when I was kneehigh to nothing.
“Years ago we discovered the exact point of middle age; it occurs when you are too young to take up golf and too old to rush up to the net.” – Franklin Adams
When grandpa was born, the Dead Sea was just sick.
Fact: An unusual feature of the Dead Sea is its discharge of asphalt. Asphalt coated figurines and skulls have been found locally.
Tim Heaton is an Ole Miss Alumnus from Southaven, Mississippi who supports The Flagship in a variety of public relations efforts. He is a contributing writer to HottyToddy.com and actively volunteers his technical, database and social media expertise to several community service organizations in his current home in Morristown, New Jersey and in his home state of Mississippi. He has been awarded over a dozen US Patents in technology and is also a published author, chef and physical fitness enthusiast.