Southernisms & New Year’s Resolutions — Features from Atonement, TN

Southernisms and New Year’s Resolutions in Atonement, TN
1908 New Yr ClownsWelcome back to Atonement, TN – and happy New Year one and all!

WordPress sent around the yearly stats.  I’m pleased to say that the numbers for Teagan’s Books went up a little.  However, the interactions with all of you here are immeasurable to me.  Thanks to each and every one of you for all the heartening comments.  You know I always need the encouragement.

Here’s a special shout-out and a big thank you to the most active commenters for 2015:

2015 Top 5 Commenters

I hope you explore other blogs and make new friends while you’re here.  Following are links to the fab five WordPress listed.

John W. Howell

Tess Karlinski

Donna Parker

Inese MJ

Sally Georgina Cronin


1916 Toasting

I’m not going to give any words of wisdom for the close of 2015 because I’ll make myself cry.  I hate crying as much as I hate getting sick, and 2015 gave me too much of both.  So to ring in this brand new year I’m giving you a whimsical bit of nonsense.

People usually laugh when I toss out a “southernism.”  So this New Year’s Day I’m listing some southernisms and the Atonement, TN characters who might say them — along with the character’s New Year’s Resolution.  I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Atonement TN Characters, Southernisms, & Resolutions1915 New Yr

When Racine Mabry said “Well Butter my butt and call me a biscuit!” it was endearing.  However, Racine can be a difficult friend.  Racine’s resolution was to stop being a victim of circumstance. Although her methods for achieving this might be questionable.

Of Chip, who delivers pizza and newspapers in his classic 1971 Chevrolet Rally Nova, they’d say, “He’s so skinny, his pants had only one back pocket.”  (Give Chip time – he’ll be a fine figure of a man one day.)  Chip resolved to keep saving his tip money… to get chrome rims for the Chevy.  (Come on… he’s young.)

Dale and Donny (Annie Metatron’s handsome sons) are regarded by the women of the town as being hotter than Hell’s pepper patch.  Both young men resolve to travel the world one day.  Although they’ve begun to wonder if some danger underlies the caution of their protective mother and aunt.New YR faeries

Marge Tipton, is the owner of L.O.L.A. Lola’s Diner.  Her employees say she could start an argument in an empty house, but they’ll admit she’s fair.  Marge gets madder than a wet hen when she has to bail her brother Tracey out of trouble.  She resolved to make Tracey stand on his own two feet… if he’ll stay sober long enough.

When Tracey Tipton ran his houseboat aground after one beer too many while out on the lake, they said he was about as sharp as a mashed potato.  Tracey might have a reputation as the town drunk, but sometimes it’s the impossible things he sees that make him run off the road – no alcohol involved.  Tracey resolved to get professional help – if he could find anyone who’d believe what he’d seen.

Not to speak ill of the dead, but most anyone in Atonement, TN who knew old Mr. Pickens would tell you:  He had a mind dirtier than two ticks mud-wrestling in an outhouse.  Mr. Pickens resolved to leave his wife for the unearthly dark-haired beauty he’d met one night in the cemetery across the road from his house – if he ever saw her again.Baby New Year clock-hands

Mrs. Pickens, may the good Lord rest her soul, knew that most folks also said Mr. Pickens was so ugly his mama took him everywhere she went so she wouldn’t have to kiss him goodbye.  Mrs. Pickens loved him despite all his flaws.  She lived a good many years after her husband went home to be with Jesus.  She resolved to keep their old house across the road from the Sunhold cemetery in memory of her husband, because he said he enjoyed looking at the peacefulness of the cemetery.  And she did keep it, even though the things she saw in the graveyard scared the livin’ daylights out of her.

Ralda Lawton moved into the old Sunhold estate and townsfolk were a little shy of anyone who’d willingly live there.  So they said she was citified.  If they had their druthers, they reckoned they’d rather see a local person take over the place.  But she didn’t seem like such a bad sort, once they got to know her.  Ralda resolved to make her “sabbatical from relationships” permanent.  Who could blame her after the things she’d experienced in Atonement, TennesseeWish you all you wish-moon-New Year

Here’s wishing you all that you wish in 2016.  Say hello by leaving a comment.

Happy New Year from Atonement, Tennessee.  Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!



78 thoughts on “Southernisms & New Year’s Resolutions — Features from Atonement, TN

  1. These are hysterical!!! I grew up just outside of New York City, but spent time in Virginia and North Carolina before moving back to the northeast. The language and “isms” are amazing. I’m sure I was on the receiving end of more than one “bless her heart” as I felt like a fish out of water adjusting to southern culture. Hands down, the funniest phrase I heard was when I was teaching. It was delivered by an outraged six year old boy describing some unjustice done on the playground. Hands on hips, he quickly relayed the events and announced (quite accurately!), “Well, she just thinks she’s all that and a bag of chips.” All that and a bag of chips… not sure if the origins are strictly southern, but it was said with a twang, and certainly is in the same spirit as other phrases. Thanks for the giggles this morning!


    1. Welcome Jean — I’m delighted to see you here! Haha! Thanks for sharing that wonderful story and “ism.” Who knows what the true origins of any of them might be, but they’re a ton of fun. I’m so pleased that you took time to read and comment. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome Dyanna! I’m glad I could entertain you. I grew up with some of those too. Others were new to me. If someone completely made some up for a list somewhere, then they still made me laugh. Thanks for taking time to read and comment. Hugs!


  2. Love your Southernisms, Teagan! It is fun to live in a place where people adorn their language with such wit.
    Thank you for your comments and visits! Look forward to your always creative and entertaining posts!


    1. LOL, indeed! I imagine language gets local color in Ireland too. However, things (including accents and “isms”) are becoming increasingly global — losing the local color that adds such fun to life. While that is mostly true in large cities, I fear it becoming true of little towns all too soon. Thank you so very much for taking a moment to read and comment, Inese. Wishing you a beautiful New Year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hehe the part about his pants being so tight that they only have one back pocket makes me laugh 😀 Thanks for the morning giggle! I wish you a beautiful New Year, my friend! I’ve missed you and am so glad to be back in blog land see your post here xx


  4. Well, Happy New Year, Teagan. Thanks you for all those wonderful sayings. I love the mash potato one and will certainly be using that one during 2016. Here’s another for you.
    “You’ve as much energy as an asthmatic ant carrying fifteen suitcases up the stairs”

    Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year, Teagan. ❤


    1. Thank you David. It’s so nice to see you — and that you took time to comment. Your 2015 came to a glorious close with the arrival of the new granddaughter. Wishing you just as much joy through out this new year. Mega hugs!


    1. Well Shelley, a southernism I left off was “Florida is the only Yankee state south of the Mason Dixon Line.” I don’t care for the word “Yankee” and it’s not really fair — there are plenty of native Floridians. So their sayings would be about the same.
      Keep doing retirement right in 2016. Happy New Year hugs!


  5. Being from the South, I’ve heard most of these idioms. No one does the English language quite like we Southerners. 😀 When I was a youngster, and learned that the whole country didn’t say “y’all”, I remember wondered what they used instead. lol


    1. Haha! I had the same thought about ya’ll when I was a kid. And I grew up so “country” that it amazed me to know other people didn’t eat breakfast, dinner, and supper. If they had dinner for “lunch” then did they go to bed without supper? 😀
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Happy New Year hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing some insight into the characters, it’s a New Year and I look forward to reading more and more from you. In 2016 I hope all your hopes and dreams come true, that your enjoy good health happiness and an overflowing and abundant clarity of mind and creative energy, Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us.


  7. Happy New Year dear Teagan!!! 🙂
    I hope this year brings you less (I’d say no, but that one is hard to come by) stress, sickness, and crying. 🙂
    I’m so thankful that I can be here to comment and to read your amazing posts. Thank you for the lovely mention and I’m in great company!!! 🙂
    Loved the sayings and am proud to say I’ve actually used, if I had my druthers. 😉
    To a wonder-filled 2016, dear friend.


    1. LOL re the druthers. Thank you Donna for being one of my top 5 commenters. It means a lot, especially since you are always so encouraging. Wishing you a happy, health, wonder-filled New Year. Mega hugs!


      1. Just so happy to be here, even though today I’m feeling about as sharp as mashed potato lol 😉
        Hope this weekend is treating you kindly, Teagan. 🙂
        Megahugs. 🙂


  8. Oh, my gosh, but I love your Southernisms. Some I’ve heard–some I haven’t. Trust me, Teagan, a whimsical bit of nonsense is always worth it. 🙂 Nice to ring in the year with a bit of whimsy. Happy New Year.


  9. I love all of your Southernisms! I had heard a few, but some of the one’s I had never heard, left me laughing till tears rolled down my cheeks. I know a few people I could use this one on, “could start an argument in an empty house”. And I’d love to use this one on a few people, “about as sharp as a mashed potato”, but even though it’s true, I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face. But there is also this one, “dirtier than two ticks mud-wrestling in an outhouse.” Now that IS dirty. LOL.
    Happy New Year, dear friend. Hugs!


  10. I’m familiar with many of the sayings, but you have a few I haven’t heard. When I was a kid I was so tall and skinny my pants could have had one back pocket. Wishing you a Happy and prosperous New Year filled with lots of productive writing. BTW You are one of the top commenters on my blog. Thanks!


    1. It’s my pleasure, Tim. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos — and in doing, giving my a southwest craving-fix.
      LOL, well then you’re living proof that Chip will turn out just fine. 😀
      Happy New Year to you, Laurie, Tristan and the non-human crew. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Fabulous year! I must comment more! Love the sayings and they’ve reminded me I have a novel waiting to be read also set in a colourful Southern place. Happy 2016!


  12. I’m still laughing at: “Mr. Pickens was so ugly his mama took him everywhere she went so she wouldn’t have to kiss him goodbye.” Thanks for that – Happy New Year.


  13. Loved these sayings. It is a surprise I am even ranked as a commentator. You have so many who love your blog that I figured I would be near the bottom somewhere. Happy New Year Teagan and more blessings for the year to come. (The ugly child one made me laugh out loud. Bless it’s heart)


    1. John, you’re always at the top of my list. 😀 Thanks so very much for making the first comment on my first blog post of 2016!
      Yes, the “ugly child” is my favorite. LOL Glad I could give a guffaw. I smirk every time I hear “Bless your heart.” Wishing you and yours every blessing of the New Year. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha! Yes, there’s that.
          It always makes me laugh because I can’t forget a place where I worked in the mid 90s… the group of us got into a discussion about how when somebody says “bless your heart” they’re really just saying “Wow you’re stupid, aren’t you?” So naturally we went around blessing one another’s hearts for about a month. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

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