Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fair to middlin'................

The South, probably more than any other area of the country, is known for its "southernisms" ......our quaint little sayings. Some phrases sound corny, or country, or just plain red-neck to those "not from around here".

In the post office the other day, a lady was attempting to stuff a wrapped package into one of the Express Mail envelopes. She told the clerk to "mash it down" as much as he needed to. In another part of the country, you probably would have heard "press it down" or "flatten it down". (We might also say "mash the button" - instead of "push the button".)

While on our trip I saw a book, by a North Carolina author, of Southern sayings. I chuckled at the notice in the front, which stated in part that nothing from the book could be copied, or quoted. I wondered if this 'Southern belle' thought she was the only one privvy to Southern expressions. Heck, we've been saying fixin' to, over yonder, set a spell, a mess of turnips, I reckon, and many other colorful sayings all our lives.

Bob and I stopped by the Pharmacy, on our way home from Dr. H's office, on Friday. As we walked into Fred's Express, the Manager exchanged greetings with us. I asked how he was doing and his response was "Oh, fair to middlin', I guess".

As I thought about it, I realized that's probably a great way to explain how Bob is doing . He's not as likely as I am to come out with these Southern sayings, so I doubt he'll ever tell anyone "I'm fair to middlin".  (And, for those of you just means average, or about as good as can be expected.)

Yep, bless his heart, he is fair to middlin' !!!


  1. It's so strange - I used expressions on my blog that are foreign to people - not necessarily just in the US but in the UK too but fair to middlin is actually one that wouldn't be deemed odd to come out with here in the north west of England! :D

  2. hi sarah - this is august, 2011, but i've just gone back and read ALL your posts! i love them, and this one made me smile; my dad had southern roots, and i can remember a very amusing way some of his people would refer to someone "not so smart" -..."hasn't got the sense God gave a soda cracker". ever heard that one?! this is karen - thanks for this post. warm hugs.