Expressions your parents said to you as a kid

I am stealing ** And we’re off like a herd of turtles** I love it!

My mom:

  • When feeling afraid of heights, “My wees are kneak.” (this from my grandmother, who actually said that one time by accident)

  • “Well … there’s a hole in the ground.”

  • In response to a kid crying about hitting their head on / tripping over / crashing into any inanimate object, “So, did you apologize to X?” As in, “Waaah! I hit my head on the coffee table!” – “So, did you apologize to the cofee table?”

  • “Doggone it doggone it doggone it!” Always said three times in succession after any minor disaster (especially toast burning)

  • “Grace is mah middle name!” Always with fake Southern accent after doing something clumsy

“You takin’ medicine?” asked whenever I was watching the clock for some reason.

“Just to piss you off” was Mom’s standard reply whenever I asked “Why do I hafta do X?”

My dad always said “bass-ackwards” (for “ass backwards”) and “the whole fam-damily” (for “the whole damn family”). I also heard “Home again, home again, jiggity jog” when we got home from somewhere, and “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my” (said in a sarcastic tone) when my brother or I complained about something.

No no no - it’s “off like a turd of hurtles.” Geez.

Lessee. It always took “just a few more minutes” to get somewhere, neato things were “slicker’n snot” (sometimes “on a doorknob” followed) or were “better than sliced bread.” We also had to go out to “blow the stink off” (which I hated) or had to pee so bad either our “eyeballs were floating” or we “could taste it” (both of which I also disliked greatly).

That’s all I remember, but I’m sure there’s tons more.

“You need that like a hen needs a flag.” Huh?

Whenever I got something nice, or proud, or when my mom got a new car or something, my dad would say “Look at Miss Bufforkington” and sometimes elaborated with her limo that needed hinges and such. Only last year did I find out that was from some radio drama he’d heard when he was a kid, not some silly name he made up.

When I’d whine and say “I’m hungry!”, my mom would stick out her hand and say “Hi, Hungry. I’m Firstname!” You have no idea how that just crawled up my ass when I was a kid.

On long car trips when I acted up, my parents would tell me they were going to sell me to the Gypsies. This was when I was really young, and just a few years ago I found out they always thought I knew they were kidding! Well, I didn’t! I used to beg them to make me expensive! (I had no idea who Gypsies were except that there were tambourines invovled somehow.)

Tell my dad you have a headache, and like clockwork you’ll get “If I had a head like that, it would hurt too!”

Come downstairs in the morning looking unhappy and mussed about it, and he’ll sing “Here she comes, Miss America!”

Mom still says my house looks like the wreck of the Hesperus.

There’s a bunch, but for some reason I can’t remember any of them right now. Urk.

One that always comes to mind, however, came about whenever I was being somewhat…trying: “I’m gonna rip your arm off and beat you over the head with the wet end!”

She was never serious. That I knew of, anyways.

I knew I was in trouble whenever I heard my mom say:
So help me, Hanna…” I never figured out who Hanna was, or just how she would help my mother, but some kind of discipline was definitely in the offing whenever this phrase was uttered.

Scottish granny/motherisms:

“As black as the Earl of Hell’s waistcoat” (in reference to my dirt-encrusted self after a day in the yard)

“Put a beggar on horseback and he’ll ride you to Hell.” (it’s just not worth trying to help some people)

“Listen, buggerlugs…” (usually addressed to the dog in minor annoyance, and followed by a threat of skinning for a rug. “Lugs” is Scots for “ears.”)

“Well then, Hell mend ye!” (when someone else is taking a course of action disapproved of by the speaker)

“What are you waiting for? Better times?” (again, usually addressed to the dog)

“Pint and dab at the still.” (my Granny used to say this, and I could never figure it out, or find it anywhere…but reading this thread, I wonder if it’s a Scots version of “bread and point?”)

"There’s no show without Punch! (said of someone who always has to be the centre of attention)

“Legs like a spurtle!” (said of someone with skinny legs. A spurtle is a stick for stirring porridge)

“He has all his back teeth” (said of someone who is pretty sharp at business deals, or out for themselves only)

“Fly man you!” (said mockingly when someone did something silly or foolish–“fly” in Scots is clever, in the sense of “foxy.”)

“Ach, yer bunnet!” (dismissively of someone speaking foolishly–kind of the equivalent of “you’re crazy.”)

From my mother: “Faster than a turpentined Indian” and “Stronger than Nellie’s breath.”

(While I imagine that there were unscrupulous palefaces who would sell turpentine to Indians in lieu of firewater, I have no idea why it would impart unusual speed to the consumer—unless it was adminstered other than orally, something that I’m reluctant to contemplate. And I never had the [mis]fortune to meet Nellie, so I’m not competent to evaluate her breath.)

From my father: “bug juice” for soy sauce. This may be endemic to Montana; whatever its origin, so I was taught, and so I’ve taught my offspring.

Pa said my room looked like a pig-sty. I never found out what kind of tie a pig wears.

If we had something awful for supper, “You have to eat three bites.”

Ya look like a bum.

When we pouted, Dad always said we could hang a coat off our lip.

If we sat too hard on the floor (when we were younger and clumsy) Grandma would ask if we were planting onions. On the same note, if we asked what was for supper when we went over she’d tell us ‘food’ and if we asked what kind of food she’d tell us ‘food food’.

I can’t think of others offhand, but I’m sure I’ll come up with them.

My parents changed this one to “What’s this ‘we’ shit, kemosabe?”

My parents sang it as “Here she is, Miscellaneous!”

Other than that, I did hear a lot of “What are you, on dope?” and “Veeerrrrry Interesting, but Stupid!”

Out of curiosity, was this said about someone or something that wasn’t moving very fast at all? In which case, it may have been a reference to the wooden indians that were used to promote tobacco products.

Whenever we asked my Mom what was for dinner, she would reply: “Garbage!”

Sadly, she actually ended making a dish she called Garbage, which was basically a casserole of whatever leftovers and such she could find around the house. Gross, but I still admire her efficiency, now that I am a parent.

My folks used that one, too. Most of these I haven’t heard.

My Mom used to say “Wait till you have children of your own…” (I’d usually sass back with “I won’t have any when I grow up!” Guess what - I didn’t!)

She also used to say (just to me, not to my brother) “I may love you, but I don’t like you!”

The one I most remember because it was said so often was, when, in response to a denied request we whined/pleaded “But Dad, you have to!” he’d always reply “I don’t have to do anything but die and pay taxes”.

The mother of a woman whom I dated had a good one. When one of the grandkids got hurt while playing and came to her saying, “Grandma, I hurt my X”, she’d reply with, “Good. It’s a long way from yer ass-you won’t sit on it.” Delivered in her crisp British accent, it never failed to make the adults laugh. :stuck_out_tongue:

From my in-laws:

“You get what Paddy shot at and missed”, i.e. nothing. Now shortened to "you get Paddy’s X , where X = lunch, present, allowance, etc.

“Way to go, Butch.” Used when someone is observed in the act of screwing up. Has changed over time such that ‘Butch’ is now a verb (“Way to butch that up”) and an adjective (“Butch-y, butch-y, butch”- kind of the equivalent of a slow sarcastic clap). God, I love that one.

“Daylight in the swamp” = time to get up!

Probably pretty common, but my folks like “Oh-dark-thirty” for ‘early morning’.

My dad didn’t think it was appropriate for me to ask what things cost (which on the one hand, okay, but on the other hand, I grew up really not knowing what things cost!) Whenever I asked him what X cost, he would say “A dollar three eighty!” (And then there’d be 3 or 4 rounds of “No, dad, really! No, dad, REALLY!”)

When he was annoyed he’d say “I’ll wear your ass for a hat!”

Whenever I asked him WHY I had to do some undesirable thing, he would ALWAYS say “There’s no reason for it, it’s just our policy.” Drove me APESHIT. Now I use it on my own family. :smiley: