Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

If You Play In The Fire…

All the great comments about burning the garden made me think of a few old sayings about fire things like:

  • If you play in the fire you’ll pee the bed tonight: Years ago Pap was burning off a small garden area. One of the littlest cousins kept playing in the fire Pap told him “if you don’t quit playing in that fire you’ll wet the bed” never missing a beat the little boy said “I’ll be swimming tonight!” We all got a big laugh out of that.
  • Fight fire with fire. I’ve heard this one my whole life and I might have even said it once or twice, just maybe.
  • I’ve got too many irons in the fire. I’ve said this one in the last few weeks.
  • Don’t add fuel to the fire.
  • Don’t burn your bridges.
  • Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
  • Where there’s smoke there’s fire.
  • Money burns a hole right through his pocket: The Deer Hunter.
  • If you play with fire you’re going to get burnt: Don’t you just know a Mother came up with this one to warn their errant child it’s perfect common sense.
  • Burning your candle at both ends.
  • Burning the midnight oil.

If you think of any other fire/burn sayings hope you’ll leave me a comment.

Tipper

 

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    June 4, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Don’t know about peeing the bed when you stand in the fire, but if you stand downwind of a fire when someone is burning poison ivy, you will live to regret it!

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    June 4, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I know for a fact if you play in fire, you will wet the bed. Yep!

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    March 8, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Heard them all except the first one. Still say “that burns me up” fairly often…lol. & Love “He will set your Fields on Fire” .

  • Reply
    B.Ruth
    March 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Can’t believe no one mentioned the Hell fire and brimstone preachers!…LOL
    I used to watch and listen to them on the corners when we went to Knoxville when I was a kid…It used to amaze me how loud they could be…and how hard they could “thump” the Bible just as we were crossing the street (to get attention, I guess) at the redlight…LOL…I’d jump, and hold Moms hand tighter as we made it across…starring at them the whole time…

  • Reply
    susan kinkki
    March 7, 2011 at 2:40 am

    like the “fire” stuff. always so intersting, your choice of topics, always amusing.
    i am almost finished with my first real doll. she is turning out so great. check her out.
    hope all is well with youand yours. we are hanging in there. wish it would snow more, seems everybody else is getting our snow. hey, i know it can snow alot come april. we dont put anything in the grond till june 1st or the frost will get it.
    happy stichin

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    March 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    My mama used to say we kids “just burnt her up” when we made her mad. I still say it & “burning mad”,too. My grandmaw used to say she was gonna “burn our bottoms”,but she never did! On a less violent note, one of my all time favorite songs is Ring of Fire.

  • Reply
    Janet
    March 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Yes, I have heard of all of these and have been guilty of telling that first one to my kids. I don’t have any about fire, but I do about the smoke of fire. When sitting around a fire,the smoke from it always goes toward the prettiest one.

  • Reply
    PointlessPicks
    March 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    A couple more fire/burn sayings:
    She’s got a fire in her eyes, so you best get out of her way!
    He’s uglier than a burnt stump!
    That really burns my butt when she acts like that!
    Something to think about, is how something burns up as it burns down?
    John Pallister
    http://www.pointlesspicks.com
    Twitter @PointlessPicks

  • Reply
    Ken
    March 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Tipper,
    I have enjoyed all the ‘firey’
    comments today and don’t have
    anything much to add. But a good
    neighbor brought me a mayonaise
    jar of ‘corn whisky’ ( and for
    medicinal purposes ) to break up
    this terrible flu. Just a couple
    of big gulps and my, my it felt
    like my esophagus was on fire.
    I’m gettin’ better! …Ken

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    March 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Actually Tipper I have remembered something fire related. When my mom who is 85 was little she fell against the wood stove. The family story is that they called someone who was the seventh son of a seventh son and he “talked the fire out” of her burns. She had no scarring whatsoever and has always been grateful for that – no matter how or why.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    March 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    You’ve heard, I’m sure, the story about the feller from the flatlands who was driving through the hills of northern Alabama just before Christmas and saw a nativity scene along the road. It was well done overall, but the three wise men were all wearing firemen’s hats.
    He stopped at a filling station down the road to get some gas and asked the lady running the place why in the world were the wise men wearing firemen’s hats.
    With a shake of her head at his ignorance, she asked “Haven’t you ever heard in the Bible where it says that three wise men had just come from afar?”

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    March 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    There are a mess of mountain places in which Fire or Burnt are used. There’s at least five different Firescald Ridges that I know of:
    – Near Rainbow Springs, between Hayesville and Franklin
    – In the Snowbird Creek area of Graham County
    – The ridge between Blackrock and Shut-in Creeks east of Cherokee; Shut-in is a great name that is also oft used in place names in these mountains that we call home
    – Along Jonas Creek, which feeds into Forney Creek in the Smokies park
    – Near the Tuskeegee area – a little ways up Fontana Lake from the mouth of Hazel Creek
    You have Fires Creek area in your neck of the woods in Clay County. Then there’s Burnt Spruce Ridge alongside of Pole Road Creek in the Deep Creek area of the park, and of course Burningtown Creek and Bald.

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    March 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I’m trying not to get all fired up about it, but I can’t think of a thing to add 🙂

  • Reply
    Debby Brown
    March 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I’ve heard almost all of these! My mama must have known every one there was! Because she had one to throw out for anything you can think of. “Don’t step over your brother, it’ll mean he’ll die. Don’t put that hat on the bed! Somebody will die! Don’t twirl that chair by that one leg, somebody will die. Do you hear that screech owl? Means somebody’s gonna die! Roosters are crowing at night.. somebody’s going to die. etc. etc. It got to where I was afraid to do anything but sit there and twiddle my thumbs I was so scared something I would do would end up with someone dying…. hey… Wait a minute! There was 5 of us kids, maybe that was what she was striving for all along!

  • Reply
    Ethel
    March 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I use most of these regularly, but my very favorite is to slap the fire out of someone! So very descriptive!

  • Reply
    Jen
    March 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I have used or heard all but the first one…and it is the funniest!

  • Reply
    Becky
    March 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I’m always saying to The Captain that we’re burning daylight.
    And I know or know/say most of those that you wrote. I’m always reminding people not to burn bridges. And I’ve always got too many irons in the fire.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    March 6, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I heard all of those you mentioned Tipper … I do remember my mom saying quite a few of those to me when I was young.

  • Reply
    B.Ruth
    March 6, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Tipper,
    I meant mention that when I was trying to get my kids to hurry and dress for school or other event, I used to say….”Doodle bug, Doodle bug your house is on fire.”..to make them hurry up!…LOL They grew out of that little saying pretty quick!

  • Reply
    Nancy @ A Rural Journal
    March 6, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I believe everyone has covered what I know about fire. Except maybe Donald Trump’s “you’re fired!” 🙂

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 6, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Tipper–I’ll bet that the Deer Hunter will recognize “fire in the hole” (an old dynamiting term, but it is regularly used when folks are shooting guns to sight them in). “Liar, liar, pants on fire” is another usage. “Hotter than a fox in a forest fire,” “The teacher lit a fire under that trifling Casada boy,” and of couse that wonderful song “Fire on the Mountain” are other usages which come to mind.
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoudoors.com

  • Reply
    Misty
    March 6, 2011 at 8:08 am

    JD adds “fire is a wonderful servant but a harsh master”

  • Reply
    Sandra
    March 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

    all of these i have used many times in my life and heard others use them, mine is a little different since i say if you play with fire you get burned. not much difference. i say this on a lot, like when i see someone in an accident because of drinking, or on drugs addicted. it fits all kinds of subjects. this one and lie down with dogs get up with fleas mean the same and are common ground for me.

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph. D.
    March 6, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Hey Tipper: Did you think about “He’ll Set Your Fields on Fire” from an old hymn we use to sing at Church. As a child I wondered why ‘the fields’ had to be burned!!!
    My brother is ‘back in Georgia’ as of YESTERDAY!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 6, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I heard the one about the doodle bug, but we said lady bug.

  • Reply
    kat
    March 6, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Remember being told to slow down you’re not going to no fire. Guess I’ve hurried all my life til the last few years.Getting older takes care of that.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    March 6, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Bradley-burning daylight is one of my favorite sayings!! I even say we’re burning daylight at both ends. Can’t believe I didn’t think of it-but I’m glad you did : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Bradley
    March 6, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Oh yeah! I forgot to say that little (@#!%*) was also double jointed and brass sprung! No, we didn’t like him.
    Bradley

  • Reply
    Tipper
    March 6, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Phyllis-all great ones!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    March 6, 2011 at 7:29 am

    B.-we used to play that game too. But I never had much luck getting Mr.Doodle Bug to come out of his hole : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Bradley
    March 6, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Tipper- We used to have a boss man that was always trying to get us to work faster ( you know the kind) and the little (@!#%*) was always saying “O.K. boys lets step it up YOU ARE BURNING DAYLIGHT! He must have been afraid it would get dark before we could finish our job.
    Bradley

  • Reply
    B.Ruth
    March 6, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Tipper,
    How about this one. We played it in the fine dirt near the flower bed…Whispering, then getting louder…as the dirt moved…
    Doodle bug, doodle bug
    Your house is on fire.
    Come out, come out
    Or your children will burn!
    I always backed up because those pinchers on the antlion scared me even if it was a tiny bug…LOL
    That’s all I can think of…the rest you stated is what I remember and use…
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Phyllis Salmons
    March 6, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Old one — “setting the world on fire.” The rest may be relatively new to me, but they are oh so wise:
    “Better to burn out than rust out.” Neil Young, Canadian Musician.
    “Burn not thy fingers to snuff another man’s candle.” James Howell, British Writer.
    “I was the first woman to burn my bra — it took the fire department four days to put it out.” Dolly Parton, Country Music Artist
    “If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn’t make your house look any better.” Lou Holtz, American Coach
    “Time is the fire in which we burn.” Gene Roddenberry, American Producer

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