Expressions your parents said to you as a kid

That’s pretty funny. Your last name’s not Menendez, is it? :wink:

I don’t get it! :mad:

My parents were never quite as funny as some of yours. My mom would sometimes ask us if we were “working hard, or hardly working”… :rolleyes:


“He/she is ugly as a pan of warts.”

“He’s got more money than a big mule can back downhill.”

“Independent as a hog on ice.”

“He’s got guts enough for two rows of teeth.”


“You did your hurrying on the wrong end of the line.” (As when I was rushing to get somewhere after having waited too long to start.)

“Apply yourself” (Disgusted tone of voice. My sister used this as a sarcasm as long as she lived.)

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Easter time is the time for eggs, the time for eggs is Easter time.



I will not bail you out.

You’re in a Wewoka switch.

There is no such thing as ‘Sorta pregnant.’

If it ain’t worth killin over, it ain’t worth fighting over.

My mum’s version of this was “bread and point.” (My dad’s less genteel version involved roofing material topped with an alliterative spread.)

The only expression I remember getting from my parents and reusing with shorties is the stock response to pouting:

“Don’t stick your lip out like that – a bird’ll poop on it.”

It’s along the same lines as “Who’s ‘we,’ honky?” Only cuter and less racial.

Huh. I was wondering how common it was, and “bread and point” is older than I thought. A mid-nineteenth century use:

We were told that the bread would be put on the table and we’d point at it. And the hardest of times, “bread and point” turned out to be KD and wieners. :slight_smile:

My dad always said that, too!

Whenever one of us said “I can’t …” he’d always say “Can’t’s a coward, too lazy to try.”

My grandma used the “more than Carter’s got little pills” expression. She’d also say “I haven’t seen her in a coon’s age,” which I think refers to the lifespan of the raccoon. Once, though, when she was nearly 90, she said something was “shinier than a nigger’s heel.” She spent her whole life in NW Iowa and SW Minnesota, so she’d hardly seen a black person, let alone one’s heel.

My Dad says ‘what’s this “we”, white man?’. He used to talk about ‘herding cats’ when trying to move me and my brothers anywhere; we would always be ‘milling around like Brown’s cows’.

Things were ‘as cold as a welldiggers bum’ or ‘flatter than your Aunt Maude’s chest’

If I asked where things were he would invariably reply ‘is my face red?’.

Dad used the “X has more Y than Carter’s got liver pills” a lot.

Granddad, whenever he stubs his toe, or does something boneheaded, likes to say “Well, I’ll be a suck-egg mule.” Still makes me snicker.

If I had trouble finding something that happened to be in plain sight, my dad would ask “Do you have a snakebite kit?” I’d give him a blank look, then he’d point out whatever I was looking for and say “If that’d been a snake, it would’ve struck.”

“Don’t shit where you eat.”

That one got a lot of wear in early high school. That was when they were utterly convinced I was on drugs. They finally figured out that I wasn’t. Then a couple of years later I started doing drugs, and they already “knew” I didn’t so they shut out all the signs. Wow, there’s a hijack…

This is probably not the most appropriate in a family context, but one of my TI’s in boot camp used to say “shut your pot hole”. I loved that one.

Another one of my TI’s told me that “Can’t never could because Couldn’t never would”. Inspirational, except Cant’s cousin I’mReallyTrying was trying to put my shoulder out for good.

My mum is 80 now, so some of the things she said to me back when I was a kid might seem ancient and totally incomprehensible now.

Actually, they were incomprehensible back THEN too!!

Me: “What’s THAT* thing?”
Mum: “A Wigwam for a gooses bridle”

Me: “What’s for dinner?”
Mum: “Pig’s bum and goolie-gum”.

Me: “Where are you going?”
Mum: “Going to see a man about a dog**.”

  • Anything that she thought I was too young to know about, or would take too long to explain the function of, such as a douche that I found in her drawer when I was five.

** For years I held hopes that we were going to get a new puppy (because our old Labrador was fat and slobbering and boring) until I found out that mum had a secret boyfriend who she visited on occasion. I was sooooooo disappointed. :smiley:

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My dad was full of 'em:

You were never unwell, you were always “sicker’n ten cats.”

You were never simply having a hard time of life, you were “suckin’ wind.”

It wasn’t that you “daren’t” do something, it was always that you “dassn’t.”

The expression “one fell swoop” was always “one swell foop.”

There’s more, but I’m having a brain fart.

Ah! Remembered another one –

A whole bunch of something was a “passel,” as in “I got into a passel of trouble.” I always thought that was a word in itself, but it’s not until just a couple of years ago that I realized it’s a (probably archaic) New England pronunciation of the word “parcel.”

My parents both loved the phrase “How do you like them apples?” whenever they were discussing my punishment: “You’re grounded for a week since you can’t keep your smart mouth shut. How do you like them apples?” . I still have an irrational hatred of apples to this day.

My mom was also a big fan of “We’ll be there when we get there!” which surprisingly never did much to alleviate our whining from the backseat of the car but seemed to amuse her anyway.

“You want horns but you’re gonna die butt-headed”
“Wish in one hand & spit in the other - see which one fills up first”
“Take that ankle bracelet off your leg & put it on your wrist where it belongs”
“I don’t care if Jesus Christ himself is tap-dancing on TV - turn it off & come to dinner”
I also got the “head/hatrack” quote, too.


My Father’s answer to the “How much further/longer” whine was always “Five miles.” Every distance, no matter how short or long, was five miles. We could tell by the tone of his voice when he said it when it would be a good idea to shut up and not ask again. I use that expression myself. People tell me they can tell by the tone of my voice when it’d be a good idea not to ask again. Apparently I inherited that and THE LOOK from my dad. THE LOOK meant he was seeing right through whatever bullshit we were trying to pull off.

With five kids (four being boys) you can imagine how much fun my mother had. She’d hear “I’m telling mom!” and would say “Mom might not want to know!” back. Or, she’d say, “Is anybody hurt, bleeding or dead? Those are the only three reasons I need to know.”

My father had a lot of 'em: Sharper than a rat turd, pointed at both ends. Slicker than an eel in a bucket of snot. Go outside and blow the stink off of ya (usually said after we’d been sitting around watching TV all morning). Go into the corner and count yourself; if you come up with more than one, let me know.

From my mom: This place looks like the wreck of the Hesparus (when the house was a mess). Cuter than a bug’s ear. (If we asked when we could have or do such and such): when hell freezes over and all the little devils go ice skating. Shut your mouth before you start catching flies. Of course, my mom had a lot of stock phrases that put me in therapy for a few years, too: I should have never had any kids! I’m going to move out of this hell-hole and get my own place. If I ever told you I liked you, for sure I was lying!

In retrospect, I’m pretty sure my mom, although never diagnosed, was bi-polar.

My dad says this, too. I’ve always wondered – is it a quote from a '50s TV show? Maybe The Lone Ranger? On occasion I’ve found myself saying it too – once, to my embarrassment, in Africa.

Another of my dad’s phrases: “That really frosts my 'nads.”

My dad used to do that, and say, “you’re one fart smeller”.

also, “we’re off like a herd of turtles”

“suckin’ hind tit” meant doing poorly, falling behind.

his sex talk: “a nighttime of pleasure isn’t worth a lifetime of grief.”

also, “whattya mean ‘we’ white man?”

My dad used to call farts, “the blue cloud”. I have NO idea why.


on a bad mood, “someone woke up with a hair across their ass.” (in a Maine accent. Kathy Bates said this in her stupid Maine movie.)

Anytime someone on TV (or in real life) made any kind of claim, she’d go, “well ahn’t you special?”

E.g., “while serving in Congress, I helped pass the clean air act.”

“well ahn’t you special?”

She also use to say, “they think their shit don’t stink.”

Mine used to say, “That frosts my ass.”

My dad told me the “whattya mean we white man?” in the context of a Lone Ranger-Tonto joke.

You can write it yourself but essentially, they’re hopelessly cornered by Indians and Lone Ranger says, “well, kemosabe, looks like we’re gonna die.”