A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/10)
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Entry from February 03, 2009
‘It’s so dry, the trees are bribing the dogs” (Texas heat joke)

"So dry the trees are bribing the dogs” was in a Texas proverbs list by Anne Dingue in the December 1994 Texas Monthly. The saying has been in many “Texas Sayings” lists since 1994; a pre-1994 print citation has yet to be found.


More Colorful Texas Sayings Than You Can Shake a Stick At
Texans have unique ways of expressing their feelings. Common as cornbread, old as dirt, funny as all get-out&endash;homespun expressions link modern Texans to our rural and agricultural past, conveying the resolute spirit and plainspoken humor of our heroes and pioneers. Some sayings are instantly familiar because our parents and grandparents quoted them; others parallel the wisdom of biblical proverbs or Poor Richards Almanac.
-- Anne Dingus, Texas Monthly, December 1994
Here is a collection of the most geographically relevant expressions by category.
(...)
Dry
So dry the birds are building their nests out of barbed wire.
So dry the Baptists are sprinkling, the Methodists are spitting, and the Catholics are giving rain checks.
So dry the catfish are carrying canteens.
So dry the trees are bribing the dogs.
So dry my duck don’t know how to swim.
It’s been dry so long we only got a quarter inch of rain during Noah’s Flood.
So dry I’m spitting cotton.
Dry as a powder house.
Dry as the heart of a haystack.

Google Groups: bit.listserv.blues-l
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.blues-l
From: Dave Witt
Date: 1996/10/28
Subject: Re: Dick’s Hatband

Dry
So dry the Baptists are sprinkling, the Methodists are spitting, and the Catholics are giving rain checks.
So dry the trees are bribing the dogs.
Drier than a popcorn fart.

8 February 1999, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA):
“It’s so dry the trees are bribing the dogs.”

Google Groups: alt.alt.alt.alt.alt
Newsgroups: alt.alt.alt.alt.alt
From: “bs”
Date: 2000/02/14
Subject: Texasisms

Texas Expressions I’ve Run Across on I-10:
-----------------------------------------
As tasty as a lard sandwich and a glass of ice water.
He’s all vine and no tomatoes.
If brains were gasoline he wouldn’t have enough to ride a
motor scooter around the inside of a doughnut.
All his biscuits ain’t done.
So sick I’d have to get better to die.
Too thick to drink and too wet to plow.
That really chaps my gizzard.
If wishes were fishes we’d all have a fry.
So dry the trees were hunting dogs.
The devil owed him a debt and paid him in son-in-laws.
He got the fuzzy end of the lollipop.
Two days older than God.
Hidden in the basement like a crazy aunt.
Handy as hip pockets on a hog.
All hat and no cattle.
Dumber than dirt.
Older than two trees.
If ya’ cain’t run with the big dogs...stay on the porch.
Like a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest.
Like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Tighter than bark on a tree.
Like ugly on an ape.
Dumb as a box of rocks.
Ugly as a mud fence.
Crooked as a dog’s hind leg.
Like a gnat in a hailstorm.
Dumb as a box of hammers.
Beat him like a rented mule.
She could talk the legs off a chair.
He’s all hat and no horse.
She said that he’s all cattle and no prod.
If that ain’t a fact, God’s a possum.
So dry the catfish are carrying canteens.
He’s so busy, you’d think he was twins.
He’ll squeeze a nickel till the buffalo craps.
It’s so dry, the trees are bribing the dogs.

Moms by Heart
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Funny Texas Phrases
This week, we’re packing up and preparing for our cross-country move from Michigan to Texas. We’re all very excited, and a little nervous. Last night we went online to learn a little bit about our new home, and happened across a site with funny Texas phrases:

- Busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic.
- Busier than a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest.
- As useful as a pogo stick in quicksand.
- That dog won’t hunt. (means, it won’t work)
- Don’t squat with your spurs on.
- My cow died last night, so I don’t need your bull.
- It’s so hot, the trees are bribing the dogs.
- Hotter than a goat’s behind in a pepper patch.
- He’s all broth and no beans. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, February 03, 2009 • Permalink