The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mountain Sayings

By Kathleen S. Gordon © 1986

Issue: May, 1986

How many of these sayings are you familiar with?

There is no use having a dog and doing the barking yourself. (Means one should learn to delegate authority.)

There are more dogs called Watch than one. (Others may have the same name as yours.)

The apple never falls far from the tree. (We are like our parents.)

A right smart piece (a good distance away).

Be pretty. (Means behave yourself, a mother may tell her daughter.)

Pretty is as pretty does. (Judge a person more by their actions than their looks.)

Don't measure everybody's corn in your own half-bushel. (A half bushel measure was common on farms. It means don't judge others by your own standards.)

You couldn't run a billy goat through her house. (She is a poor housekeeper.)

There goes the last button on Job's coat. (This job is finished.)

Grinning like a possum. (Really smiling.)

He has other fish to fry. (His attention is engaged elsewhere.)

I'll pull your chain when I want you to bark. (You'll be called if you're wanted.)

Jump the broomstick. (Get married.)

If you see someone you know and don't recognize them, they will marry before the year is out.

If your dress gets wet while you are washing dishes, you will marry a drunkard.

If you bring a hoe in the house, you will have bad luck.

If you take the last biscuit on the plate, you will be an old maid.