Excuse me? Pardon? How’s that? Huh? M’aam? Say again? What’d you say?

That really drives me up a wall, know what I mean?  They went off the deep end that time.  He’s lost his marbles.  She’s got bats in the belfry.

Some phrases don’t need a translation, they paint a word picture that’s fairly easy to understand.  “Lower than a snake’s belly,” for instance.  Either someone is really depressed or they are very dishonest.  (Low down, no good crook.)

Other phrases need a bit of explanation to a non-Southerner.  Bats we know, but what is a belfry?

It’s a bell tower.

Well, don’t most bell towers have bats?  I see.  Belfry is slang for brains, bats come and go, flit around and make messes, so you should not have bats in your belfry.  Is that it?  No?  Why not?

It means nutty as a fruitcake.  

But shouldn’t fruitcakes contain nuts?  Yes, but this is different.  

There is a problem sometimes with good old Southern communication.  It doesn’t.  Do they make a dictionary for Southern slang?  We use it so much down here in the good old Pee Dee, we think it’s proper English.

I’m re-thinking my normal speech patterns these days, which is probably a good thing.