Does it predate “Gran Torino”? If not, what did we say before that?
Don’t know where it originates, but it’s definitely older than that movie.
It was already a stereotypical “things grumpy old people say” phrase long before it was used in that movie. I suspect it arose around the same time people started saying “Back when I was your age, we used to…” In other words, it’s been around for about as long as there have been old people with lawns.
Incidentally, when I was growing up I distinctly remember the old people that shared our duplex yelling at my sister and I for playing in their side of the yard. I was 3 when we moved out of that house, so that was 1985 at the latest.
Hell, David Letterman used to do a joke imitation in his monologue in the 80’s as ‘Nick the Mean Old Man’. The imitation was Letterman just saying “You kids get outta my yard!”.
There was also the Ben Stiller Show where they had a parody commercial of the Wilford Brimly oatmeal commercials where he gets interrupted and is screaming (and eventually firing a gun) at the neighborhood kids to ‘Stay offa my flowers!!!’.
Didn’t we just have a thread about this a few months ago? I remember “get off my lawn” or “get off the grass!” from my childhood in the early 80s. I’ve never seen Gran Torino, so have no knowledge of its use there.
The line worked in Gran Torino because it’s a cliche.
It’s not from old man Peterson
We weren’t on his lawn
As a kid in the early eighties, we were told regularly by one fellow up the street to stay off of his lawn. Unfortunately, that was where the school bus stop was.
The bus stop was on his lawn?
In the UK the equivalent is “get orf my land”, delivered in a farmer-type voice. E.g. this 2004 article from The Economist. Google Books throws up another one from 2001, but I remember it from Viz magazine back in the 1980s, and it’s probably much older.
The article includes the word “traipse” and talks about “foot-based recreations”.
My uncle invented it.