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Gooding in a western shirt

Strange sayings, silly puns, the rhyme game… With long hours to kill moving town to town, you’ll take anything to clear out the fog that sets over you after months on the road.

One of the best ways to keep things light is the use of colorful language. There’s so many funny and interesting sayings across the country, it’s always a joy to find a new one. Several of mine come from my mom’s family from Barnsdall, Oklahoma, and my wife’s family up in Montana, and now some of our new friends over in Tennessee.

Now this is a family show here, folks, so many of our favorite things will have to appear down the road or remain inside the camp. But today I bring you some of my favorite expressions and crazy colloquialisms. Most of these make Erin O’ Neill cringe, as she was raised in North Cali and not baptized in the way of the Midwest or Southern saying, but she has some great ones of her own, including country song titles like “Outlaws and In-laws” and her imaginary country side project “Lil Eon and the Country Pepperonis.” Doesn’t get much better than that. Next time you see her, have her do her impression of me saying this stuff. My lord.

Can’t wait to hear some of yours and add ’em to the road show, so please leave a comment and don’t forget to subscribe to @goodingmusic on all social media.





  • You got a face for radio and a voice for magazines (tour manager Tyler)
  • I’ve been playing with Jesse since I was “knee high to a grasshopper”
  • You crack the whip, and I’ll make the trip (stolen from Neil Young—love this one)
  • If brains were gas, you couldn’t drive a bumblebee’s go-cart around a dime (thanks, Jamie Sumner)
  • Beggers can’t be choosers
  • He could go bear huntin’ with a switch (my grandmother Estelle Bridgeford gave us this piece of magic—means someone is tough as nails)



  • You’re only two verses and one chorus shy of a hit (thanks, Scott Southworth)
  • Don’t bore us; get to the chorus
  • All killer, no filler (Tom Petty)
  • Get out the hook book! (thanks, Blue Foley)
  • Don’t sing it, BRING it! (thanks, Staci Mack)



  • I’m busier than a five-dollar hooker
  • I’m busier than a termite in a sawmill
  • I’m busier than a Jehovah’s witness at Doors Unlimited
  • I’m busier than a set of jumper cables at a country funeral



  • As the crow flies
  • Finer than frog’s hair
  • Madder than a wet hen
  • What’s good for the goose is good for the gander (good for the woman is good for the man—it’s high time one of these old-school sayings put the woman first)
  • You do that, and you’ll wish you was in a bathtub with an alligator



  • Busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kickin’ contest (nice one, Jesse)
  • Dumber ’n bag of hammers/box of rocks
  • Your elevator only goes to the mezzanine (thanks, Mom)
  • Easy as pie/piece of cake
  • To hell in a hand basket (personal fave)
  • Wish in one hand, spit in the other, and see which one gets full first
  • God willing and the creek don’t rise (Lamontage stole this from us all)
  • She’s homelier than a mud fence (my Aunt Esther)
  • Cash on the barrelhead (I say this to people all the time when I’m haggling over something—this one really drives Eon crazy)
  • Six of one, half dozen of the other (ditto for Eon)



  • I met him when he wad’n’t nothin’, and he ain’t changed a bit
  • He never fails to disappoint
  • Screw ’em—that’s what they get for moving next door to a star
  • If you need me, I’ll call ya
  • I didn’t come here, and I ain’t leavin’
  • We ain’t conceited, though we have every right to be


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