Posted by ESC on July 23, 2004
In Reply to: Common as Muck posted by R Moore on July 23, 2004
: Coming fom the North of England .. [Lancashire]I have always regarded this common phrase as a very derogatory remark, as muck is the colloquial name for manure in the north. If the expression is applied to a woman, as it invariably is, it accompanies others like 'mutton dressed as lamb' and implies the woman in question is shamefully employed in attracting the opposite sex.
: The interesting thing, is that the saying can rebound on the speaker, who is often female, for it raises the suggestion that jealousy and prudeness, rather than genuine contempt, is the cause of the verbal attack.
: 'Common as Muck' can also mean that someone speaks or conducts themselves very badly. As many dialects in the north of England reduce english to an abbreviated and unintelligable collection of sounds, known only to the local population, then this may be the reason why the phrase is often used by uninformed visitors to the area..
: ..personally I think we should replace it with a more powerful modern idium .. 'Scrubber go home' may suffice.
Here's one I found in a novel set in Birmingham, Alabama:
COMMON AS PIG TRACKS - Expression in Southern Sisters mystery novel series.
Then there's "common as dirt."
Common = Low-class -- one of the worst things a Southern can be. ("Southern Stuff: Down-home Talk and Bodacious Lore from Deep in the Heart of Dixie" by Mildred Jordan Brooks (Avon Books, New York, 1992.)