They Like The Way We Talk | Southern Idioms and Political Correctness

At a Christmas lunch with the extended family, our great aunt was telling a story about her granddaughter’s career success and used the idiom “work like a turk” in a complimentary explanation of her granddaughters’s work ethic.

Just the week before I had used the same old-time adage and wondered, “What does that even mean?” I called it to the attention of all at the table. Nobody knew its origin. We all had a good laugh, then did what people do now-a-days, Googled it. Even Google couldn’t definitively tell us. Even though we couldn’t get a definitive definition, we decided (in today’s world of political correctness) to remove it from our vernacular along with others like: Indian-giver, Jew ‘em down, and Call a spade a spade (which is actually referring to a hoe…not sure that’s any better!)

After careful assessment of my vocabulary, I decided that I’m keeping Bull in a china shop, More than you can shake a stick at, and As easy as falling off a log. After all, I’m a Southerner, like Mark Twain, and colorful expressions, like cursing and old idioms, are part of our language. It’s one of the reasons everyone wants to be a Southerner…’cause they like the way we talk.

Even children have trouble with political correctness Kerry McCoy with grandchildren Evy and Marshall