The Little Good Ride

embellished true stories of the south
JANUARY 16, 2010 4:17PM

"Well, I'll be John Brown!"

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My Nanny had a colorful vocabulary. She didn't swear often (and when she did she usually apologized beforehand so you could brace yourself), but she did have many expressions she liked to use.

One of her favorites was "Well I'll be John Brown!" She typically said this when she was amazed or impressed with something. When I called her my sophomore year of high school to tell her I was the only 10th grader to have made the yearbook staff, her reply was "Well I'll be John Brown! That's wundaful, dahlin'!" Not sure which John Brown she was referring to or why he was always so amazed, but I will always remember that as one of my grandmother's favorite, most-used expressions.

Another of her favorites was one she used when she thought we were making things up. If she didn't believe something we were telling her, she'd say "Kiss my foot," or, the full expression, "Well, anybody believes that can kiss my foot." If she truly thought that what we were saying was ridiculous, she'd follow it with "...and I don't see any feet going up."

How I miss that fine southern lady!


(c) 2010 Lisa Kuebler

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My mother was born in Richmond but was raised in the midwest, so I never heard any of those quaint Southern phrases from her. I was born in the midwest, but married a woman from Richmond, so in the middle of my life I was finally exposed to "Well kiss my foot!" and a few more colorful than that. Never quite understood the saying until now, so thanks!
Yes, we Southerners have a way of saying things, don't we?! Thanks for reading. :)