in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

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in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

Post by LoisMartin » Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:42 am

The Alabama references mean I have to reply. I grew up (in south Alabama before migrating north to become a big-city Birminghamster) with the expression "sitting in high cotton," but then my father was a Methodist preacher, so I didn't hear "shitting" anything around my house. And I always heard it mean you were successful or prosperous.
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in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

Post by MamaPapa » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:54 pm

I hear/have heard various expressions of "high cotton" all my life---I'm also from the Southern US. Lois, your preacher-father might be surprised at some of the more risque things that have preceded the tall cotton!

There's another good reference to this in "High Cotton" a hit song performed by Alabama (the country-western group).

Around here, any "dallying" in high cotton is still heard pretty frequently, even among the younger generation. I hear many of the under-25 generation use various forms, including namaste's original phrasing.
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Re: in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

Post by texasboy » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:16 am

OK people, here it is.

Grandpaw had a cotton farm and I worked on it.

Your working in the cotton. You need to go to the bathroom.
The nearest one is several hundred acers away.

Tall cotton gives you privacy unlike short cotton.
Cotton is better than using your sock. Even with the seeds in it.

Its just that simple. Trust me.
So yes it means we are living well at the moment. High on the hog!
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Re: in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

Post by runitbyfred » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:41 pm

I grew up in a Texas county where cotton was the cash crop and heard, "Well, I'm in the high cotton now!" or variations thereof from earliest childhood. (NEVER any reference to shittin', however.) It meant one was doing exceptionally well in some respect -- usually, monetarily.
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Re: in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

Post by warren144 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:48 am

I agree that the phrase suggests " a good situation". I've deduced that it refers to the times in the rural south when there were limited bathrooms among the poor farmers, and the presence of high and mature cotton balls allowed a better toilet tissue than the standard catalog paper or leaves.
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Re: in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

Post by Fuzzy » Mon May 21, 2018 4:55 pm

I have recently spent 4 years in Atlanta in a primarily African American neighborhood. I made acquaintance with a man who was from a plantation in Mississippi. His entire family worked for one employer, live exclusively on the owner's plantation, and bought goods to live on exclusively from said employer. Yes, "indentured servitude" still exists in the deep South.

My plantation-raised friend said the expression "shitting in high cotton" meant that when the cotton crop was high, it allowed the for the worker to relieve himself with the ultimate privacy. Once farmers over used their fields, the crops slowly grew less and less high, therefore allowing less and less privacy.

This interpretation would be in agreement with others suggesting that being in "high cotton" meant the crops were good, things were good, the venture was profitable. It is interesting to see the point of view here: To the worker, high cotton allowed for privacy since they were not allowed access to a bathroom or outhouse; to the owner, it meant better profits... Go figure...

btw, I'm not white, I'm Italian :-)
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Re: in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

Post by trolley » Tue May 22, 2018 12:12 am

Welcome aboard, Fuzzy. I can cotton to that explanation.
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Re: in tall/high cotton - shittin' in tall/high cotton

Post by tony h » Tue May 22, 2018 10:04 am

Fuzzy wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 4:55 pm
To the worker, high cotton allowed for privacy since they were not allowed access to a bathroom or outhouse; to the owner, it meant better profits... Go figure...
I am not sure if this next comment applies to cotton.
The modern farmer might not recognise the "high" as meaning good. High used to be a protection from plant disease, rodents and the like. Nowadays these threats are managed through chemicals. So now, in the fields round here, the wheat grows quite short giving a higher yield, in a shorter time and less nutrients taken from the soil.
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I'm puzzled therefore I think.

End of topic.
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