Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Scatting Sneezes

My life in appalachia Scat

For the last week it seems I’ve been hearing sneezes everywhere I go: home, work, the grocery store. You name the place I’ve been and someone is sneezing. I guess its that time of the year.

Ever notice how people sneeze differently? You know some people have a cute little ‘achoo’ so faint you’re not sure if it was actually a sneeze. Then there are people who sneeze big and loud-I’m one of them. Actually so are Paul and Steve, I think we got it from Pap.

Have you ever known someone who sneezes every time they bend over-I mean every last time? I know someone exactly like that. I’m thinking of entering her in a contest for ‘on demand sneezing’. If you hear about such a contest let me know, she’d win it without a doubt.

When I was in elementary school and someone sneezed we would say Gesundheit. Using a word like that made us feel so grown up. These days I most often hear God Bless You or Bless You said to a person who has just sneezed. Unless Miss Cindy is around. Miss Cindy answers with ‘scat there Tom your tails in the gravy‘ or a shortened ‘scat there‘ when someone sounds off a sneeze.

I tried to find the origin of the ‘scat‘ saying for sneezes but came up with nothing. The Frank C. Brown’s collection of folklore had 18 different references to sneezing-all of which resulted in death. If they were all true there’d be no one left alive in Cherokee County in another week or two.

Ever heard someone say ‘scat there Tom your tails in the gravy‘ or a variation of the phrase when someone sneezes?

Tipper

 

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86 Comments

  • Reply
    David Porter
    February 2, 2020 at 10:01 am

    My grandparents in southwest Arkansas used to say, “Scat Tom Cat, your tail is in the gravy.” Their families came from Missouri and Tennessee.

    • Reply
      Elizabeth Landerman
      April 2, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      My dad always said “Scat kitty, your tails on fire” The family roots I know are Georgia and Alabama but we have waaayyy too many Scots Irish expressions for there not to be Appalachian roots. My husband is very knowledgeable about language and he is fascinated by how deeply ingrained these expressions are. They’ve survived both the passage of time and efforts of higher education

    • Reply
      Angela
      June 12, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      Yes! My Mamaw was born in 1919 in Southwest VA and said “scat there Tommy! Your tail’s on fire! The second time you sneezed ( if you were a frequent sneezer) she’d just say “Scat!” I miss that!
      I am in Northeast TN.

  • Reply
    sharon morgan
    November 12, 2019 at 12:12 am

    my family’s version is “scat out of the butterbowl!”

  • Reply
    Randy
    October 23, 2019 at 9:55 am

    My dad would always tell us. “scat puss youre tale is in the gravy” and so would nanny my grandma. never knew what it ment but ok. we have born and raised in Oklahoma 4 generations

  • Reply
    Katie Phillips
    July 13, 2019 at 2:39 am

    My mama says “Scat there” on the first sneeze and if there is a second, it’s “bless the baby”. I’m from East Tennessee

    • Reply
      Johnny
      January 24, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      I remember my grandmother saying scat when I sneezed. I never knew why. Thanks everyone for sharing. Brings back memories.

    • Reply
      Angela
      June 12, 2020 at 7:07 pm

      My Mamaw said “Scat there Tommy your tails on fire!” the first time you sneezed, the second time you sneeze she just said “scat!” I am also from East Tennessee.

  • Reply
    B.Crabb
    June 16, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Nice to run across this post. My is from West Tennessee and my fathers mum would say Scat when we sneezed. My dad would sometimes say Abba-scat. Not sure if it was just gibberish he made up or what. Fun reading this!

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    December 15, 2017 at 6:33 am

    My grandmother always said “Scat, muskrat, your tail’s on fire.” Never had any clue where she got that from – now I know thanks to one of my wonderful Sociology students sending me this link!

  • Reply
    PJ
    October 11, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Yes, my grandmother (Louisville Kentucky) always said “Scat Tom, your tail is on fire”
    I’d love to know how this originated!

    • Reply
      Jeff Thompson
      November 7, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      My grandmother said the same thing, “Scat there Tom , your tails on fire”.
      She was raised in the hills of Polk co. TN. A community called Greasy Creek.
      The daughter of a coal mining preacher.

      • Reply
        Angela
        June 12, 2020 at 7:10 pm

        Wow! I’m an East TN. My Papaw was a preacher. My Mamaw said “Scat there Tommy your tail’s on fire!” The second sneeze she just said “scat!”

  • Reply
    JLynch
    August 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Family from Booneville KY always said “Scat there, Tom. Tails in the butter!” Never heard the gravy one until today. We are of Irish decent. Then again, I grew up thinking “Irish potatoes” (i.e. RED potatoes) were called “arch potatoes.”

  • Reply
    Manda
    August 28, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I had never heard that term before my stepdad said it to me when I sneezed as a little kid, he usually just says “Scat there Tom!” he has family with Appalachian roots.

  • Reply
    Lacey
    August 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    My grandmother (who was raised in southern Missouri, but has family roots in Appalachia) has always said “Scat ya old heifer, your tail’s on fire” she assumed it was to keep evil from entering when someone sneezed. How interesting.

  • Reply
    Janet Johnson
    November 17, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I have a 91 year old friend who sneezed and said, “Scat, cat, your tail’s on fire–gonna burn the house down!” I had never heard any version of it before.
    Janet

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    October 4, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    My Dad always said ” scit scat kitty cat ” everytime we sneezed as kids. He was from Ohio

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    May 2, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    My grandmother and mother would say “scat”. I say it to my grandchildren.

  • Reply
    Donna King
    May 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    We always said “Scat, cat!”

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    May 2, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Mine grandmother said “scat, you rat”. Thank goodness I don’t sneeze when I bend over but I do have “serial sneezes” – often when I walk out into the bright sunshine and sometimes when I have a tickle in my throat and cough a certain way. I think my highest count was about 16 in a row and I, too, am a loud, hard sneezer. Once sneezed at a red light and saw the man in the next lane laughing at me. I told him it wasn’t funny, it hurt 🙂

  • Reply
    chris
    February 16, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    My great grandmother spoke intermingled irish and scott gaelic with english and i think the phrase is a mix of gaelic words that sound like english words. Weve just forgotten the old tounge so it sounds like a silly phrase today

  • Reply
    Joel Nelson
    December 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    My Grandma Nelson (102 when she passed), lived near Mickens Creek in Hiwassee, NC. She used “scat there”, dipped Dental Sweet snuff from a glass container (that we later used to drink), and made clothes for a lot of people in Hiwassee and surrounding area.

  • Reply
    mikki
    November 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    My mom would say “scat to the barn” she was Irish her parents came over on the boat.

    • Reply
      Patricia
      July 13, 2019 at 5:14 am

      I’m from Asheville, NC and My mother used to say “Scat There” ; my autistic son picked up on it. He heard it as “scat tay” and it was years later we found out he thought it was Spanish for “Bless You”. We now say “scat tay”

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    July 12, 2015 at 4:29 am

    My Granny simply said “scat” when anyone sneezed. I don’t know that I ever asked her why. But one day when I was much older and was at work, I sneezed. My coworker across the hall said, “scat.” I shared with him that my grandmother always said scat but I never knew why. He said it was an old superstition that when someone sneezed, demons were expelled. People around whould say scat to scare away the demons.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    December 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Vickie-thank you for the comment! Neat to know your mama used the saying too!
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Vickie
    December 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    From Sevier County Tennessee……my mama said “scat cat your tail’s in the gravy” and others
    ” scat cat your tail’s on fire (far)”

  • Reply
    Donna
    December 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    My grandmother would be over 100 years old now and she would always say, ‘Scat you old witch, your tail’s on fire’. I still say it today, usually condensed to simply, ‘Scat witch!’ She was raised in Western Central Alabama.

  • Reply
    Christine Osborn
    August 27, 2014 at 12:35 am

    My mom always said “Scat there yeller…your tail’s in the gravy.” She was from down in Ages Kentucky.

  • Reply
    robert ar
    August 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I know this young lady in morgantown wv, she says “scat ol’ cat ol’ rat”. When i asked her she said her whole family had a version. I always assumed it had something to do with dust.

  • Reply
    Joel
    February 27, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    My grandmother used to comment after a sneeze, “Scat Tom Your Tails in the Gravy” or “Scat – Tom”. She grew up in Hazard Kentucky and if she was still living she would have turned 95 on Feb 25th.

  • Reply
    MTShepherdess
    February 15, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Never heard the phrase, but I do know sneezing after exposure to sunlight /temp change is an inherited neurological response -there is localized congestion after light hits the optic nerve -reflexive response. AND I suspect those same folks also have family histories where people have multiple sneezes. I sneeze no less than 5 times each time (unless I try to suppress, which I’ve stopped doing). One of my brothers, my sister’s daughter, and my mother’s grandfather also had multiple sneezes. We also would get ‘cases of the hiccups’ from time to time. It wasn’t till I was an adult that I learned my grandfather was once put in hospital for hiccups. If you check the medical literature, both the sneeze response and the tendency for hiccups are genetic. I suspect Irish / Celtic heritage (which is mine). I also think about the many years people spent underground, in the mines… and the ancient ones, in earthen homes.

  • Reply
    Martha Walker
    April 25, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    When someone sneezed, My Mom used to say, “ak-achoo, geseundeit, scat-cat, and all them thangs.” Her family was from Oklahoma, and I had never heard anything like it until reading your post. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kristi Burden
    March 15, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    When I was a child, my mom would say, “Scat, there, Tom! You’re tail’s in the gravy,” whenever I sneezed. I still say it occasionally myself. She grew up in Cumberland County, Kentucky. She was born in the 1940s and I believe she was taught the phrase as a child too.

  • Reply
    Dave Robertson
    January 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Anytime I would sneeze my grandmother would say “Scat! Tom your tail’s in the gravy!

  • Reply
    Melissa Vogley Woods
    January 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    We all say this in our family, young and old and thought it was just a family thing- it comes from my husband’s family who harold form Hazard County. Just a couple hills from butchers holler.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    October 31, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    .
    Hi Tipper, I’m late commenting but i have to say this.
    My mother had the loudest sneeze. Daddy said she had a big ole country sneeze. Her saying was “Scat you tabbity rascal”
    So it came from the cat sayings I guess.
    I love your subjects.

  • Reply
    Becky
    October 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    LoL….no I haven’t. That’s funny! I’d love to know how that phrase came to be.

  • Reply
    Tim Hixson
    October 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve heard my mother say, “Scat there Tom your tail’s in the gravy,” when I would sneeze. I used to ask her what it meant but she would tell me it was just something she grew up with. I have never met anyone else who had heard this phrase before. Another one was, “She doesn’t have enough clothes on to make a jaybird a dust cap.”

  • Reply
    sarahsbookreflections
    October 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I’d never heard the “Scat Tom…gravy (or fire) expression, but my mother taught us to say, “God bless you and keep you Mother MaCree.” I believe it was a line from a poem she liked.

  • Reply
    Sherry
    October 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    My Dad would always say, ‘Scat Tom, your tail’s on fire!” He was from Arkansas.

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    October 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

    My Granny said that. Thanks for the memory 🙂

  • Reply
    Penny
    October 6, 2012 at 12:36 am

    I found this googling: “And what about scat !? Although this word is facing fierce competition from the German Gesundheit , DARE reports from its many interviews that scat’s meaning of ”begone” is frequently used in the South from Florida to Texas (heaviest in Kentucky) as ”reference to the belief that the devil enters the body when a person sneezes.” This is probably the source of Scat as one of the many names for Satan. However, DARE notes that ”numerous phrasal references to cats suggest another source.”
    In Kentucky and Tennessee, the full expression said to a sneezer is ” Scat , Tom — your tail’s on fire,” which refers to a tomcat in a distressing circumstance. The O.E.D., just guessing, suggests that the word’s origin is a hissing sound — sss , followed by the word cat , ”used in driving away cats.” If you associate cats with the devil (which, I hasten to say, legions of cat lovers do not), the leap from driving away a cat to driving the devil from possession of the sneezer is natural.”

  • Reply
    Ethel
    October 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I’m a quiet sneezer myself, which is remarkable considering the size of my honker!
    I haver never heard Miss Cindy’s “scat” in response to a sneeze, nor known anyone who sneezes when they bend over, but I did know a girl in high school who sneezed every time she went outside and the sunshine would hit her nose.
    My grandpa, and now my daughter are serial sneezers, never less than five in a row!

  • Reply
    Bobby C
    October 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Tipper,
    Thanks for bringing back a memory. I had completely forgotten about that, but when I was a kid, I remember someone always saying “Scat there!” I have never completely heard the entire phrase.

  • Reply
    L.Adams
    October 5, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Never heard that one.My German family used the phrase Gesundheit which meant “good health.” We usually just say bless you anymore.

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    October 5, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Mother said “Scat Tom, your tail’s on fire!” Or just “Scat Tom”! I remember the cat fur for kitten britches too!

  • Reply
    Ralf
    October 5, 2012 at 1:52 am

    What a surprise! Another German word in America: Gesundheit. We use it for the same reason like you and it means health.

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    October 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Tipper and B Ruth,
    I am late on with a reply on this post but what B Ruth post about the heart stopping when you sneeze caught my eye.When I was having trouble with my heart I sneezed while have a EKG and it went nuts.I did some research and found this.
    “When you sneeze, the intrathoracic pressure in your body momentarily increases. This will decrease the blood flow back to the heart. The heart compensates for this by changing its regular heart beat momentarily to adjust. However, the electrical activity of the heart does not stop during the sneeze”. Another point is have you ever tried to keep your eyes open while sneezing. It’s impossible.

  • Reply
    Charline
    October 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    My family was definitely in the “Scat, Tom, your tail’s on fire!” camp. Never heard about the gravy.Great comments, ya’ll!

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    October 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I’ve heard scat there many times ..If I knew of a contest for loud sneezes, my hubby would win hands down.. I’ve never heard anyone sneeze as loud as him..lol.. Ya’ll may be there with him I don’t know but he can wake the dead and I’m not kiddin..

  • Reply
    Cee
    October 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I have always had a bad habit of holding in my sneezing…I hardly make a sound. If I don’t hold it in it is usually comes out very loud. I have heard and used scat cat your tails in the gravy – or sometimes just scat cat. My granddaughter thinks it is so very funny when I say that.

  • Reply
    Sandy
    October 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Whatever you do don’t try to hold in a sneeze. I am still recovering from 2 broken ribs from trying to sneeze quietly. I would say the best thing is to just go ahead and blow the lid off it.

  • Reply
    Jean
    October 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Tipper, I remember scat cat but only in referring to cats. How do the sayings get started we wonder? I think I have started two family ones. Since moving in with my daughter and G-son, when our crackers get stale I’ll say “we have some G-ma Fergie crackers”. A memory from my childhood and G-mas crackers. The other saying we say to our house cats, “do you want a G-ma Fergie”.When G-mas barn cats got under foot she would put her foot under their belly and help them along. Not in a mean way though. I’m 72 and these sayings are keeping my dear G-mas memory alive and I hope my G-son pass’s them on to his children and they will ask, “Who is G-ma Fergie? “And he can tell them about G-ma and the farm story’s I’ve told him. God Bless, Jean

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    October 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Never heard that one before. Glad to see from other responses that it was more than something that Miss Cindy created!

  • Reply
    Luann
    October 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Have heard and used “scat” but Miss Cindy’s phrase is a new one.
    A fellow I used to work with would sneeze 3 times whenever he walked outside into bright sunlight!

  • Reply
    Ken
    October 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Tipper,
    All I know is that sometimes a
    good ole fashioned sneeze seems
    to help re-align the planets…Ken

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    October 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Tipper,
    and Ed….Yes, I’ve heard that many times…Laughing out loud, and have used it my whole time raising my inquisitive boys…Especially useful if you don’t want to tell what the “what fur” is really about until the right time…
    Thanks Tipper and Ed..for that memory!
    PS..”What fur? Cat fur to make kitten britches”, was handed down in the generations of our smart aleck relatives…but really quite a genius response, don’t you think!

  • Reply
    Terri
    October 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    My folks said, “Scat, old cat,” and the granny who babysat my son said, “Scat there, Kitten Britches.” Thanks for the reminder of things almost forgotten.

  • Reply
    Teresa
    October 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    In our family, the phrase is said with a cadence kinda like a song…
    “Scat Tom Cat, get yer tail outta-da gravy”.
    Which makes me realize we say “out of the” rather “special” like one word then. lol!

  • Reply
    Bradley
    October 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I was just wondering about sneezes. Do people ever sneeze while they are asleep; I never heard anybody do it. Maybe they did and I was asleep myself and didn’t hear. I guess it is like Byron Herbert Reece said in his poem “House in the wind” when he said “Forever this remains a thing to think about.” I guess I need to get my mind on other things LOL.

  • Reply
    Carol
    October 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    My Papa Kuykendall said, “Scat!”, and clapped his hands. He’s the only person I can remember doing that. He was from Flat Rock.

  • Reply
    Wanda
    October 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Thanks for bringing this back to my memory!! Hadn’t thought of it in forever. We just said “scat!”.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    October 4, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Okay! You made me do a bit of research, but I really learned no more than you shared. We used to use the German form when I was little, then we progressed to God bless you, and now I say Bless you. My research only revealed that the saying is a colorful Southern idiom. Maybe it was used so people would laugh and not have a second sneeze. One sneeze was a positive occurence, but more than that, you were in for some rough times. Four or more sneezes meant you definitely had a cold. Hummmm! Idioms can be fun to try to interpret.

  • Reply
    Barbara Woodall
    October 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

    The men around here said, “Ash hopperrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!”

  • Reply
    Lanny
    October 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I’m in the loud crowd! I think the stifled sneezes cause brain damage.
    Hey thanks for the sneeze warning, I’m sure it is happening on my side of the world too, and I’m heading into town today. I will be careful today I don’t have any time to be sick.

  • Reply
    Gina
    October 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I never heard the ‘scat’ saying as a sneeze response. But, I pictured an old tom sneezing from a scorched tail. Sometimes when I enter bright sunshine from a darker area, I sneeze. Many times I have noticed others doing the same. Wonder why that happens…..

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    October 4, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I am a loud sneezer and it just annoys my husband to no end. 😀
    I can control my sneeze some when I am out in public and make it a bit quieter, but it just feels better when I sneeze loudly!
    When I was growing up, if someone sneezed, we always said “Scat tom, your tail’s on fire!”

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Come to think of it I also heard just “scat Tom” sometimes too.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 4, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Tipper-I have been wondering if anybody ever heard “cat fur to make kitten britches.” When Mommy would tell me to do something, I would reply “what fur?” She would say “cat fur to make kitten britches” right before she reached for a switch. I know you got a kick out of it but others might enjoy it if you didn’t have something else in mind.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    October 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Tipper,
    I use “scat there” most of the time..
    I think “scat there” might be in relation to cats being around the farm so much and a lot of people react to cat dander…So if a sneeze is seen or heard without the presense of a cold, the cat was suspected of being under the table or close about…I personally love to hear a cat sneeze…Sometimes their sneezes will go on forever with a few paw to nose rubbings to help stop the reaction to whatever started it in the first place! Funny!
    My family from my Mothers side usually said scat there, and my Grandmother followed with some more words. Now then I am pondering if she was saying “Tom your tails in the gravy!” The German side from Mars Hill said
    “Gesundheit” eventhough they never spoke German…Bless you was heard from a few members of the family…
    I was always told it was dangerous to supress a sneeze..Germs were trying to get out and not to keep them in…Laughing out loud! As a child I used to worry over my heart stopping when I sneezed…
    until I found in later life that it was an old wives tale…
    The Aunt in Canton that used to say “scat there” wasn’t too fond of cats…but would laugh very hard at me when I would have a “sneezing fit and backfire fit” at the same time…Being a little girl I thought it was normal to happen sometimes…Laughing out loud…at myownself!
    Thanks Tipper, and Cindy for the memory…Something irratating the nose hairs trigger a sneeze…Cindy’s is bending over…CURE: Don’t bend over!
    One more thang and I’ll quit! I was told that smoking will destroy the nose hairs that help you sneeze that gets rid of the irritant and germs entering your body….thru your nostrils…OK, ok, no more free medical advice for today!

  • Reply
    Sandy
    October 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I haven’t heard that in years. My Grandpa used to say Scat Tom Cat you got your tail in the gravy. Wow I probably would have never remembered that again in my life were it not for reading it here. Thanks for the jog.

  • Reply
    Louise
    October 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

    This is the first time that I have heard of anyone else knowing about that phrase. My mother always said “Scat Tom your tails in the gravy”.
    Recently when I heard someone sneeze I automatically said that! Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. I couldn’t explain to them what it meant just that is always what my mother said when someone sneezed!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    October 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I haven’t heard “Scat there Tom, your tails in the gravy” in years. Thanks for the memory. My Grandma Breedlove (different from Ed’s) used this expression when someone sneezed. She was a precious Lady.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    October 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I heard “scat you rat!”

  • Reply
    Alica
    October 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I’ve never heard anyone respond that way to a sneeze. Interesting how these things get started and pass down!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    October 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

    My Grandpa and Dad said Scat there Tom. I had completely forgotten about it and I was grinning like mule eating briars as I read your post. That is what I love about coming here,I am often reminded of times past. Thanks for making me smile this morning and helping me to remember!!
    Bless you, Gesundheit & Scat there Tom!
    Ron

  • Reply
    John
    October 4, 2012 at 8:26 am

    “Scat cat, your tail’s in the gravy.” The first time I heard that was from my wife about the time we married in the early 70’s. I thought it was so funny. I would see an image of a big cat on the table with its tail resting in a low bowl of gravy. It is an interesting cultural angle, that we would allow our animals in the house to such an extent that they would sometimes actually be on top of the dinner table. You might consider writing sometime about gravy in the South. Do you make it with milk or water? Will one forfeit their soul if it is prepared in anything other than a black, cast iron skillet? etc…

  • Reply
    Mary Berrong
    October 4, 2012 at 8:22 am

    My granny used to say Scat Cat….I haven’t heard that phrase in a long time. I do wonder how that phrase came about. When our children used to sneeze (and our grand children now), my husband always said, “There it goes, under the table (or under the chair)”. It used to make them so mad! He would just laugh.

  • Reply
    tony foster
    October 4, 2012 at 8:19 am

    i always heard “scat cat, your tails on fire”…

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    October 4, 2012 at 7:47 am

    My mother and grandmother always said scat when I sneezed. When my grandchildren sneeze, it automatically comes out of my mouth. I never heard anyone else besides my family say it.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 4, 2012 at 7:25 am

    There is no doubt, if you find a contest with for a sneeze on demand, I’m sure I could win it. It’s a mystery to me why I sneeze every time I bend over. One day this week I bent over twice fairly close together and sneezed both times. LOL
    The last time I researched the common ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes I found it dates to the time of the plagues. Sneezing was the first symptom soon to be followed by death. So, I guess it means God bless your soul cause your gonna die.
    I got the scat there from my mother, don’t have a clue where she got it.
    Isn’t it funny how sayings like these pass down through families without the current user knowing of their origin.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 4, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Mommy and Grammaw Breedlove both used both phrases although I remember them saying only cat, not Tom. I haven’t heard it in years. Thanks for the memory!

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    Tim Mc
    October 4, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Yep, when I was young an aunt use to say it something like that. There is a lady that use to go to Church with us that had, what I call a rapped fire sneeze, when she’d sneeze she’d try to hold back to keep from disrupting the service but it never worked, she’d roll off 6 or 8 short consecutive sneezes, it was always funny..

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    Sheryl Paul
    October 4, 2012 at 6:20 am

    No, it would be interesting to find out how that started. Obvious reference to a cat on the table, but sneezing ???

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