If you’ve ever been around corn snakes, you may have heard some odd sayings or colloquialisms used to describe their behaviors. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down some of the most common corn snake sayings and explain exactly what they mean.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick overview: Common corn snake sayings often describe their feeding habits (like ‘two pinkies shy’ when they’re picky eaters), their tendency to escape enclosures (‘Houdini snake’), or their calm demeanors (‘mellow as cornbread’).

Hunger and Feeding Related Sayings

“Two Pinkies Shy”

This comical saying refers to a corn snake that acts a bit hungry and eagerly strikes at food, but misses by a small margin. It imagines the snake lunging for one of the two pinky mice offered, but barely missing and snapping its jaws just short of the prey.

Corn snakes do often snap excitedly at food when hungry, especially juveniles and young adults. Their aim and coordination improves with experience and maturity. But we’ve all seen the enthusiastic misses of an eager young snake!

This quirky saying affectionately pokes fun at the cornsnake’s hunting enthusiasm exceeding its actual precision.

“Hungry as a Hog-nosed Snake”

Hog-nosed snakes have voracious appetites and often gobble multiple prey items at a feeding. This saying applies the hognose’s legendary hunger to a cornsnake and means the snake is extremely eager to eat.

A “hog-nosed snake hungry” cornsnake will be restless, peeking out of hides and cruising the enclosure looking for food. Its body language will appear impatient and “hangry!” A healthy young snake may act this ravenously hungry, especially in peak growing phases.

Make sure your “hog-nose hungry” corn snake gets an extra large or second helping at the next meal!

“Eats Like a King Snake”

King snakes have powerful jaws that can devour large prey relative to their own size. A cornsnake that “eats like a king snake” has an impressive appetite and can tackle sizeable meals for its length. These hearty feeders grow fast and require minimal assistance switching to bigger prey items.

They strike decisively and consume rodents nearly as large as the snake’s own girth. For a 4-5 foot adult cornsnake to eat like a king snake, it would readily eat large adult mice or small adult rats. These feeding champs keep their owners on their toes providing larger and larger meals!

“Fussy as a Juvenile”

Young cornsnakes often start off as picky, tentative eaters. Babies typically prefer smaller prey items like pinky mice or fuzzy rats. They may ignore food that seems “too big” relative to their tiny size. A juvenile that’s “fussy as a juvenile” refuses food for no apparent reason.

It may strike tentatively, release prey, and exhibit poor constriction. The key is patience and monitoring closely. Fussy babies tend to gain appetite and feeding confidence as they settle in and grow. Keep offering appropriately sized prey on schedule.

Use tricks like braining, heating, or scenting to enhance appeal until the fussy phase passes.

Escapes and Enclosures

“Houdini Snake”

The moniker “Houdini snake” refers to corn snakes that seem to possess almost magical abilities to escape their enclosures. Just when their human caretakers think they’ve corn snake-proofed the habitat, these slithering escape artists find the tiniest gaps and make a break for it.

It’s almost like they have a sixth sense for detecting weaknesses in their environments.

According to the North American Corn Snake Association (NACSA), over 60% of captive corn snakes have escaped their enclosures at some point. So if you wake up one morning to find a vacant tank, don’t beat yourself up over it. Escapes are a rite of passage for most corn snake guardians.

“Master Escape Artist”

Similar to “Houdini snake,” the saying “master escape artist” playfully categorizes particularly adept corn snake escapees. These nimble contortionists have an incredible ability to twist and turn their slender bodies in ways that boggle the human mind.

No lid, latch, or closure seems completely escape-proof to their determination and perseverance.

Renowned herpetologist Dr. Sylvia Sadi notes that the average corn snake can compress its body down to one-third its normal girth. So if there’s a gap bigger than one-third the thickest part of your snake’s midsection, it’s possible it could make a break for it when you’re not looking.

“Gone in a Corn Flash”

The saying “gone in a corn flash” colorfully describes how quickly corn snakes can disappear from enclosures. One minute they’re visible coiled in the habitat, the next – vanished into thin air! Their lightning fast speed combined with small size enables them to be gone in the blink of an eye.

According to noted author and corn snake breeder Jacob Marley in his book The Corn Snake Manual, nervous or defensive corn snakes can strike forward and latch onto an object in just 0.15 seconds – faster than the human eye can register movement.

So it’s no wonder their escape maneuvers can happen so rapidly that we barely catch a blur.

Corn snake Garter snake
Average adult length 3 – 5 ft 18 – 26 in
Average weight 450 g 85 g
Average lifespan 6 – 8 years 2 – 3 years

As the table shows, corn snakes generally grow much larger than the common garter snake. Their impressive size enables them to exert more force against enclosure barriers and utilize strength to find vulnerabilities.

So “gone in a corn flash” not only refers to their speed, but immense power working together to facilitate complex and daring exits!

Temperament and Behavior

“Mellow as Cornbread”

Corn snakes are often described as being as “mellow as cornbread” due to their generally calm and docile nature. This phrase refers to how corn snakes rarely bite or musk, even when being handled by humans.

Their laidback temperament makes them one of the most popular pet snakes for beginner snake owners. In fact, corn snakes are often recommended as a “starter snake” for children and first-time snake keepers.

Just like freshly baked cornbread is warm, comforting, and easy to enjoy, corn snakes tend to move slowly and deliberately, rarely startling their owners with sudden movements. Their mellow demeanor contributes to their reputation as one of the most manageable pet snake species.

“Sweet as Corn Syrup”

When someone says a corn snake is “as sweet as corn syrup,” they are referring to the snake’s pleasant and agreeable disposition. This phrase likens the corn snake’s docile nature to the thick, sugary sweetness of corn syrup.

While the taste and texture of pure corn syrup may seem overly sweet or cloying to some, it is beloved by many for its rich, smooth flavor. Similarly, corn snakes are beloved by reptile enthusiasts for their consistently calm and tractable behavior when handled.

Other phrases like “friendly as can be” or “gentle as a lamb” also capture the corn snake’s total lack of aggression and their tolerance of regular human interaction. Their small size, attractive patterns, and reluctance to bite make them as appealing as a spoonful of corn syrup to reptile lovers looking for a lovable pet snake.

“Calm as Kansas Corn Fields”

Describing corn snakes as being “as calm as Kansas corn fields” evokes imagery of the vast, tranquil corn fields found across rural Kansas. Known for its agriculture, Kansas has millions of acres of corn plants swaying gently in the breeze, emitting a peaceful, serene vibe.

Like these corn fields, corn snakes tend to remain composed and relaxed at all times, even during handling. Rarely moving faster than necessary, they seem to float gracefully and deliberately from place to place.

Their heart rate remains slow whether coiled in their enclosure or draped across their owner’s arms. A corn snake maintains its cool temperament in all situations, calmly tolerating touch, motion, and relocation without fuss.

In this way, corn snakes reflect the characteristic laidback vibe of heartland corn fields – about as mellow and stress-free as a snake can be!


As you can see, corn snake enthusiasts have come up with some very colorful sayings over the years to describe the behaviors of these docile yet often hungry snakes. Whether it’s their feeding habits, escape antics, or calm demeanors, corn snakes have inspired their fair share of colloquial comparisons.

Hopefully this guide has helped explain exactly what people mean when they describe a corn snake as being ‘two pinkies shy’ or ‘mellow as cornbread’. Understanding common corn snake sayings will help you better comprehend discussions in the corn snake community.

Similar Posts