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Language as Purty as a Speckled Pup

One of the things I loved about growing up in the South was learning the colorful, poetic expressions and collaquilisms of the dialect.  I still remember sitting in the parlor at Mrs. Hanks' antebellum-style house, listening to her give my mother a recipe for cooking chicken. She ended her instructions by saying: "And I promise you, that chicken will be more tender than a mother’s love."  

That's why I was so delighted to discover Land of a Hundred Wonders by Lesley Kagen. Lesley is not from the South, so you'd think that she'd be crazier than a road-runnin' lizard to attempt to write a book where all of the characters speak "deep countrified South", but she pulls it off brilliantly. I usually read at night, just before bed, when I'm worn to a frazzle after a long day's work. Soakin' up the language in Land of a Hundred Wonders each evening felt like sippin' a cold mint julep on a breezy porch after a day that had been hotter than blue hazes.

Here are a few of my favorite phrases from the book:

If I don'’t get cracking, next week's front page is gonna have all the pizzazz of a piece of one-ply.

See ya in the morning, y'all.  Good willin' and the creek don't rise.

I always feel tail-waggin’'happy upon seeing her.

I suspect the two of them might be having hot sex, which I think doin' before you're married is a lot like eating supper before sayin' grace.

(She) stinks to high heaven in the mothering department.

I swear, you two gals have less sense than a penny!

He's madder than a sprayed roach.

Life sure is unrelentin', ain't it?

(That) boy looks like something the dog's been keepin' under the porch...

Quit hollerin’ like a stuck pig...

Dumber than a stick of chew gum, is what he is.

"How ya been?" "Fine as frog hair."

I'm thanking the Lord in all His glory that we made it this close...

Please accept my deepest apologies for getting ya’ all worked up.

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