Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit

By D. Jackson Leigh

Language is my music.

I’m not talking about the mechanics of grammar—a necessary evil in my affair with words. I’m referring to the inflection, the regional euphemisms and the quirky idioms that add texture to our conversations and communicate who we are and where we’ve been.

That regional texture—whether it’s a Northern England clip, a soft Charleston lilt or  California surfer dudette lingo—is  the icing on my cake, the milk in my Cheerios, the red on my candy.

If you think I’m just porch-sittin’ (being whimsical), then consider this:

When Texas Gov. Ann Richards delivered the keynote speech of the 1988 Democratic Convention, she offered example after example of why the Republican Party’s “trickle down economics” did not work. However, little of her astute research is recalled today. Instead, she is remembered for her “that old dog won’t hunt” declaration that plunged her into the national political spotlight and put her name in history books.

So, when my friend Phoebe gave me a daily calendar of Southern expressions titled “Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit,” my language-oriented brain latched onto a theme for the third in my Southern Secrets series.

Southerners love colorful euphemisms to soften the harsh realities of life. Instead of saying “she died,” we say “she passed on.” A man who has a wife and a mistress is “buttering his bread on both sides.”  To someone who has gone against your advice and then comes to you for help, you would tell them to “skin their own skunk” or “you made your bed, now lie in it.”

The world of quarter horse racing in Cajun-rich Southern Louisiana is fertile ground for the Southern eccentricities in “Hold Me Forever,” Hold Me Forever coverwhich is scheduled for a September release by Bold Strokes Books.

Clinton Casey is a grumpy old Texan who trains quarter horses at Louisiana racetracks. His daughter, Whitley, learned about horses from Pop and then got an education in lesbians and high-tech journalism at Louisiana State University. Mae St. John is an over-educated Georgia debutante with no job experience and no family … rather, no legitimate family.

They each have their own problems.

Clinton’s got more gravy than biscuits (more bills than money) after Alzheimer’s disease puts a leak in his crankcase (muddles his brain), so he takes out a sketchy loan against the farm and puts all his eggs in one basket—a promising bay colt named Raising the Bar.

So, even though Whit’s feeling like a sore-assed duck swimming in salt water (very hurt) after realizing her latest relationship was just spitting in the wind (going nowhere), she moves back home and works like a rented mule (you would never work your own mule that hard) to keep her dot.com business going and shoulder Pop’s training work, too.

Meanwhile, Mae is feeling like a hound dog without a porch to crawl under (a stray). She has neither home nor family since her grandmother, Big Mae, had too many toddies at the country club and drowned when she accidentally drove her Mercedes into a water hazard on the fifteenth fairway. When her grandmother’s will is read, Mae learns that the family fortune is gone and the bank has foreclosed on their house. Big Mae has left only a modest trust fund for the care of her poodle, Rhett, ten thousand dollars secreted between the pages of “Gone with the Wind,” and a letter confessing the father Mae grew up thinking was dead actually lives in Louisiana.

Seriously, while I had a lot of fun with the Southernisms, “Hold Me Forever”Hold Me Forever cover is about seeing people for who they are, not what they are. It’s about family, loyalty and trust. It’s about finding that person who fits perfectly in your life … someone who will hold you forever.

Leave a comment to enter the drawing for an autographed copy of “Hold Me Forever.” A winner will be drawn 5 days after the posting of this blog.

49 Responses to “Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit”

  1. 1 Devlyn August 27, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    What a hoot, I really enjoyed that and look forward to your latest release.


  2. 4 Jo August 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Just love your books, can hardly wait for the new one…thanks


  3. 6 Bookgeek August 27, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    D. Jackson, love your books and southerness – I am eagerly waiting for this one (and of course The Dragon Horse War )


  4. 7 S.A. August 27, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Fun blog; it’s fascinating how different regions develop their own vernacular. Thanks for sharing, and I’m looking forward to the new book!


  5. 8 onamarae August 27, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    I grew up in Kansas and we have our own form of regionalisims, so I really enjoyed your blog. Can’t wait to read your book and hear how similar or dissimilar they are!


  6. 10 PJ August 27, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    I have already pre-ordered your new book … and now I’m looking forward to reading it even more!


  7. 12 Erin Saluta August 27, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Those are some mighty fine sayings! Thanks for a fun introduction to Hold Me Forever.


  8. 14 Diane Mankamyer August 27, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    I absolutely can’t wait to get this book. I love your writing and, having spent time in the south as a child, I really enjoy stories about the south. I’ve already pre-ordered your book, but would love to have one autographed by you. I have some other autographed books by my favorites and would love to add you to my collection.


  9. 16 Donna MacArthur August 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    So I’m already to “You can never tell which way the pickle’s gonna squirt.” love the story and the sayings are really good… Thanks for my early copy. You have another hit..


  10. 20 Yvonne Heidt August 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Oh – I LOVED this! Ha-ha.


  11. 22 Terry Fountain August 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    I was hatched in Texas but Mom, Dad, and most everyone family wise are all from NC, so I too was raised around the crazy sayings. Your blog brought back some found memories of my Grandma and the kooky things she’d say…thanks for that!
    Look forward to reading this book and seeing what sayings I’ve missed out on…lol!


  12. 23 Lee Fitzsimmons August 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Can hardly wait. I grew up in southern Oregon and some of those migrated there. Loved the blog.


  13. 24 Melissa Reed August 27, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Being from Tennessee originally, I recognize most of those. They gave me a big smile.


  14. 25 tq August 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Great blog. Hilarious as always. Looking forward to your next release. Perfect timing as I catch up on all your others.


  15. 26 Tami August 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    What a great post! And language is a wonderful style of music! Can’t wait to read this one it sounds like a page out of life.


  16. 27 Beth August 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    LOL……thanks for the translations. Looking forward to the release of your book.


  17. 28 Marie Foose August 27, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    I love the southern idioms! It is a pretty way to trash talk someone when needed. The book also sounds great! Looking forward to reading it!


  18. 29 Lisa T. August 27, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    I enjoyed the introduction to Southern expressions and discussion of your new book. Hold Me Forever sounds great!


  19. 30 Widdershins August 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Love the blurb! 😀 … I hope it comes with a translation program


  20. 31 clifford henderson August 27, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Great blog! Thanks for the smiles.


  21. 33 Dora August 27, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    I enjoyed this! You used some sayings I haven’t heard in a while since some of my older family members have “passed on”.


  22. 34 RJ August 27, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Great blog! Please throw my name in to get a copy of your book. 🙂


  23. 35 Maureen Morris August 27, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I have read and loved all of your books. This one promises to be another great read. Heck, even your blog was a fun read!


  24. 36 M.-C. Henrichon August 27, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    No dogs bullocks in this one lol i love all of your previous books and i can’t wait to read this one !


  25. 37 Carol P. August 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    I can’t wait until Ptown. I’ll get my signed copy then.


  26. 38 Ali Spooner August 27, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Still smiling after reading this fantastic blog. Can’t wait to read the book!!


  27. 39 -Lisa W. August 28, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    I feel like the south has more idioms than we do here in Ohio. I love reading and hearing them. Can’t wait to finally read Hold Me Forever!


  28. 40 Sharon E. Owens August 28, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Looks like a great book. And there is a musicality to the regionalisms. Interesting about the rented mule Sportscasters at one-sided games sometimes refer to one team beating the other like a rented mule.


  29. 41 Lori Janos August 28, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    This book sounds like a hoot and a half. Drowning from driving the car into the swimming pool still has me laughing. Sounds like it’s just loaded with southern whimsy. Now “ya’ll just put that in yer pipe and smoke it.”


  30. 43 Jane Morrison August 29, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    Sounds like it is going to be another great book 🙂


  31. 44 Tina August 29, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Excited for the release, love your books.


  32. 45 Sharon Clark August 29, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Can’t wait to read it 🙂


  33. 46 vera August 30, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    great blog and blurb,looking forward to the book


  34. 47 Karen Martinez August 30, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Horse’s and the south. Can’t wait! Fun stuff! Your books are the bomb 🙂


  35. 48 Morgayne August 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Congrats on your new book. Love your colorful use of language. Warmest, Morgayne


  1. 1 Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit | D.Jackson Leigh Trackback on August 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

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