A bitter old man, often a shut-in or hermit, who discourages visitors or human contact of any type. The phrase originated in the pioneer days of the American west where tobacco in general was scarce, and what little could be found was old, dry and crumbly. Older bear hunters in the mountains who kept mainly to themselves were notorious for ardently smoking whatever tobacco they could lay their hands on and adamantly protecting their tobacco stores and their privacy with a rifle from their small cabins in the woods. Nowadays the phrase has come to encompass any older man who avoids company and threatens those who infringe upon their privacy. A common figure, especially in kids movies from the late 80s and early 90s, in real life, a regular old dry sack of tobaccy is not concealing a warm heart and a peaceful resolution with the gang of kids who runs amok on the town, and his dog is not secretly a lovably large pet, but trained to attack those who venture upon his property. It is recommended that one avoids people such as this as they are typically not misunderstood and ignored members of society, but actually just bitter, cruel, and violent old men.
Old man Jones is a regular old dry sack of tobaccy. Did you hear that he nearly shot the Harris kid when he tried to get his baseball back from old man Jones's yard?
by niacinamide March 10, 2011