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Old-time farmer lingo amuses this one-time city girl

Susan and Terry Hayhurst
TRUE HOOSIER FARM COUPLE: Susan Hayhurst may laugh at some Hoosier farm terms, but she has picked up what they mean in her 29 years of marriage to Terry.
Hayhurst’s Hayloft: Here’s an effort to explain the ups and downs of farming in farmer terms.

I encountered another language and an assortment of colloquialisms when I married my farmer, Terry, nearly 29 years ago. They tickle my funny bone. I’ve written a ditty about it. Thanks to Kathleen Dutro of Indiana Farm Bureau for sharing her vast written supply of these unique phrases.

Here goes:

“Once upon a time, we wished for a ‘blackberry winter,’ and instead we saw it ‘raining like a cow urinating on a flat rock.’ It was definitely a ‘toad strangler.’ The ‘Back 40’ produced ‘knee-high by the 4th of July’ corn and enough hay to be ‘five high and tie.’ Other fields looked like a ‘rabbit would have to pack his lunch to get across that.’

“The good news was the wheat ‘should be able to hide a rabbit by May 1st.’ The key to the bountiful fields and crops was the use early on of the ‘honey wagon.’ ‘Finer than frog fuzz’ aptly describes the recent harvest season, even though the summer was ‘hotter than a depot stove.’

“Our hired hand is such a treasure to us, but the poor guy ‘couldn’t stop a pig in an alley’ and is ‘nosey as a truckload of turkeys.’ His ability to throw hay bales is nonexistent because he ‘couldn’t hit a bull in the nose with a banjo.’

“After putting up hay till ‘dark-30,’ I woke the next morning with a ‘hitch in my gitty-up’ and knew I had also ‘strained the milk’ in the process. Following a hearty breakfast, I headed down the ‘possum trot’ to the barn, intending to do the ‘most loathed chores.’ Instead, I found the chicken coop had been ransacked by a conniving fox. So, I ‘laid it down where the goats could get it’ and made a ‘salty’ list of repairs. What a bunch of ‘horsefeathers!’”

Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute, Ind.

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