How Hot is it?

Families all have their little linguistic quirks.  My kinfolks have more than can possible be normal.  As far back geographically as I can trace the brothel Madams and stage couch drivers on Dad’s side of the family is Coffee County, Kansas.  The whole kit-and-caboodle of Fosters lit out for California right about the time of the War Between the States, there being more rustlers than patriots in that side of the family.

At any rate, Dad was the official king of odd phrases and peculiar analogies.  Today, with the temperature predicted to reach well over one hundred degrees in the shade, the family saying that has popped into my mind is:

“Whew!  It’s hotter’n a billy goat out there.”

Really?  A billy goat?  I mean, randy as a billy goat.  Okay, I get that.  But, how hot really could a goat of any gender be?

Another version of this billy goat theme and heat is:

“Whewie.  It’s hotter’n ole billy hell out there.”

While you ponder on the origins of such linguistic wonders, let me just tell you that my mother’s all-time favorite instruction was:

“Well, now, Pamela, you’ve got to remember, it’s a doggie dog world.”

What hope, really, did I have of growing up to be anything but a wordsmith?


About Author and Speaker Pamela Foster

Pamela Foster is a speaker and author. Her first book, Redneck Goddess, is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Her second book, Bigfoot Blues, will be available in August 2012.
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5 Responses to How Hot is it?

  1. Denton Gay says:

    Well, I thought I’d heard’em all – but not hot as a billy goat or billy hell. Whenever my farmer grandfather heard someone talk about how hot is was, he’d always say “The hotter it is the better I like it, in the shade.
    Were you related to some Fosters up in Joplin that ran a produce market for years?

    Let me know when I can get a signed copy of Bigfoot Blues.

  2. I loved this! I used to say “Goodbye TO Ever!” instead of FORever when I was little.
    So now I am a WriterMason (my little take on wordsmith… I need t’shirts!).

  3. Greg Camp says:

    What I call this heat is unprintable on anything less than an X-rated website. My Viking ancestors had it right–Greenland is looking better and better.

  4. LOL, that’s a first for me, too Pam. Maybe the billie is hot for the does? I love learning phrase and word origins.

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