Category Archives: Proverbs


If it ain’t pig, it ain’t BBQ

Background: The informant was born and raised in Western North Carolina. He has lived in North Carolina his whole life. The following phrase expresses a sentiment of North Carolinians surrounding a classic Southern dish: barbecue. “If it ain’t pig, it ain’t BBQ” I was told that for most people in North Carolina, barbecue is specifically… Continue Reading »

Sometimes you just have to poke the frog to get him to move

Background: The informant was born and raised in Western North Carolina. He has lived in North Carolina his whole life. He wanted to share some Western North Carolina expressions and proverbs because he uses them frequently, liking their “local” nature. “Sometimes you just have to poke the frog to get him to move.” The informant… Continue Reading »

“The monkey in his mom’s eye is a gazelle” – Arabic Proverb

Context: She learned it from her mom and grandma in Jordan. She said that the proverb means that a mom never finds a fault in her child. Text: Original Script: القرد بعين امه غزال Transliteration: El ‘ird bi aine immo ghazal Literal Translation: The monkey in his mom’s eye is gazelle Smooth Translation: The monkey… Continue Reading »

“Them saying ‘coward’ a hundred times is better than them saying ‘God rest his soul.’” – Arabic Proverb

Context: He heard it in Jordan when he was around 15 years old, when he “started volunteering to do risky things.” “If someone wants to do something risky–so that even his life is at risk–his parents would ask him why, to which he would answer ‘they will call me a coward.’ His parents would then… Continue Reading »