11.10.23 2

Piss Poor

Money is tight right now, y’all. We’re not piss poor, but Lord, it feels like it. This is the roughest year we’ve had in the WTDB household in a long time.

Just saying that reminds me of Daddy. He said piss poor all the time.

It sounds like an odd way to describe living in poverty, but people say the phrase has roots in ancient tannery practices.

In ancient times, the impoverished sold their urine to nearby tanneries, who used it to tan leather. And so ‘piss poor’ was an insult used to describe the poorest of the poor.

Thankfully, we’re not that bad off. But we are experiencing the same squeeze most others are right now.

Brandon brought in a lot less than we’re used to, and we had some extra expenses.

We installed new hardwoods in the den before realizing this year would be a struggle. We sent Bug to school for her Dental Assistant Certificate. Axl got sick. Brandon’s truck broke down.

It’s just been one thing after another. And when you compile it all on top of skyrocketing prices, it feels like we’re drowning in expenses.

We’ve started cutting back and implemented a budget. It’s not fun, but you do what you’ve gotta do to keep yourself out of the poorhouse.

The good news is: this too shall pass. It always does.

But since finances are heavy on my mind this morning, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Southernisms about being broke.

Things We Say in NC When We’re Low On Funds:

  • I ain’t got a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of.
  • We’re on a red beans and rice budget.
  • I’m thick in the middle and poor on both ends.
  • I’m so broke I can’t afford to pay attention.
  • I couldn’t jump over a nickel to save a dime.
  • We’re dirt poor.
  • If a trip around the world cost a dollar, I couldn’t make it to the state line.
  • I’m too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash.
  • I don’t have two nickels to rub together.
  • We’re poor as church mice.
  • I’ve got champagne tastes, but I’m on a beer budget.
  • I’m as broke as the 10 Commandments.

What’s your favorite way to say you’re broke? Let me know in the comment section below.

Leave a Comment


  1. Barbara Jackson wrote:

    I ain’t got a pot to piss in or a pot to pour it out of

    Published 12.2.23
    • Cassie wrote:

      I think a lot of us are feeling that way right now. I’m praying it doesn’t last long.

      Published 12.2.23