Folk Speech – Oklahoma

Kylie Sparks grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and began traveling to Los Angeles to pursue acting when she was 13. She moved to California permanently when she was 17 and graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Theatre in 2010.
When asked if she had any regional phrases (“Oklahoma-isms”) that she could share, she provided some of her favorites with an example of each.
“Naked as a jay bird.”-When someone is totally naked. Example: “Little Luke just decided to take his clothes off and he was as naked as a jay bird running around the yard!”

“How the cow was going to eat the cabbage.”-telling it like it is.
Example: “Ruby was the kind of dog who didn’t just bark. She held a conversation and told you EXACTLY how the cow was going to eat the cabbage!”

When asked if she ever had to explain what these meant in California, she replied, “I always use them and no one ever understands me until I explain them.”

Analysis: Oklahoma has a much stronger agricultural based culture than California does. While there is agriculture in California, it is largely restricted to rural and sparsely populated areas. Thus, it makes sense that regionalisms about cows and cabbage would not register with Angelenos.
As for “Naked as a jay bird,” the saying appears to stem from the observation that baby Jays are born with with very little down, thus leaving them essentially naked. Again, although Jays are native to most areas of the Unites States, California included, this phrase is unlikely to be understood by someone in a city like Los Angeles unless he or she had heard it from someone else. []