Odd or incomprehensible things your parents said to you

I was showing my wife how to crack two eggs at once this morning: one in each hand, tap both on the counter and break into a bowl. She was suitably impressed. Anyway, in reminded me of my step-father, who, upon seeing me do that, commented “Why don’t you cook like a white man?!” It was something he said about many things, and I never understood what it was supposed to mean, although now I understand the racial implication. He also liked to say “Quit driving like a farmer!” He was from Montana ranching country, so I guess that was a major insult.

My mother used to say either “Don’t just sit there like a bump on a log!” or “Don’t just sit there with your teeth in your mouth!” As a kid, I never understood what either of those was supposed to mean, other than I wasn’t supposed to just sit there.

May dad sometimes says “Stop working like a Chinaman!”, which means to stop acting in a clumsy or half-assed manner. He’s the first to admit that it makes no sense - not only is it racist, it’s the wrong stereotype, as the Chinese actually have a reputation for careful, meticulous work. I think it was something *his *father used to say.

From Dad “Your @ss is a {fill in the blank here}”.
As in “Your @ss is an electric blanket”.
“Your @ss is a new job”.
If we were talking cars, income tax, elections or any other subject–BAM!
It would surface like Moby Dick, laying waste to the conversation.

You can’t Crack two eggs in one hand at the same time?

A few days before he died I visited my father in a nursing home. Myself and my mother were in his room. My mother left the room. My father said: Are you there Ada? I can see you … but are you there? He then held out his hand and said: I can see my teeth (he had false teeth) in my hand … but I know they’re in my mouth.

My dad says “That’s the kind of hairpin I am.” He got it from his dad.

My uncle would say, after making a bad play in some card game, “I played that like a sausage.” After he was dead, his son, my cousin, and I were speculating about what on earth that meant. Neither of us had the vaguest idea.

My dad once called my brother *“A Hammer-Headed Un-Screwed Bird’s Eye”, *which brings me laughing to the point of tears even after nearly 50 years.

He had lots of good shit he would say.

My mom often told me, “your hair looks like a birch broom in a fit.”

My mother used to say “doesn’t that make my ass crave turnip salad.” I think it was meant to convey disgust, but I remain unclear.

I also like this way of chiding people who kibbitz: “Don’t tell your grandmother how to milk ducks.”

When someone would predict something would happen that my father thought would absolutely not happen, he’d say, “And a big green frog will jump out of your ass, too.”

I’ve never heard anyone else say that.

When someone would wish that some unpleasant fact were different or some bad thing had not happened, my dad was quick to point out, “Well, if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass.” I’ve tried to reach the level of Zen encapsulated in this phrase, but I’m just not there yet.

I don’t know what it was with him and frogs.

When Daddy thought something was tasty, he would say ‘that was Laraping’, I am not sure how to spell that.
If something was particularly difficult, he would say ’ let’s call the Seabees’
If he burped out loud he would say ’ Excuse me, I thought I was in the Officers club’.
Not to mention all the Japanese curse words he knew and taught to my children.

“Larruping” is the spelling and it means very or exceedingly, according to the internet. The verb “to larrup” means to beat, so presumably a larruping meal is one that beats all. Or something.

I love your dad excusing his burp with “I thought I was in the Officer’s club.”

I knew an elderly woman that would remark about bad drivers, “That guy drives like a sea cook”.

I guess that was an insult. Maybe sea cooks are drunk all the time? Or maybe they weren’t used to driving? Never did really figure it out.

You can stick your sorry’s in a sack!

My dad would say to me when I got dresses up “I looked almost like a colored girl !” It was meant to be a compliment not sure how but dad said this every time one of his 3 daughters got dress up .

My former Step-Mother,on the phone with her ex,very angry, “Well, you should lick your hand backwards!!” She was Jewish, spoke some Yiddish and grew up in Germany, so no telling where the phrase may have come from.

Naval engineers, they were known for being able to make do with anything and solve the unsolvable. Like creating landing strips out of crushed coral, and bridging chasms overnight.

My mom is a long-time Yoga teacher, so from time to time she will offer one of us some advice based on her knowledge of Iyengar Yoga. Well in this specific instance she was trying to offer me advice on how to give myself at least some temporary relief from the pain in my rotator cuff tears in both shoulders. “Open your shoulders” she kept repeating, “just open your shoulders”. :no_mouth: wat? This made no fucking sense to me. “You mean like this”, and I’d proceed to sort of mimic the types of movements I was trying to imagine she could possibly mean by this phrase. And to every-single-attempt of mine, she’d just shake her head and repeat herself, only each time she’d say “open your shoulders” with just a tad more frustration and irritation than the time before.

That was at least 6 years ago and to this day I have no idea wtf “open your shoulders” means. Typing that stupid collection of words just pisses me off now (albeit very, very minorly). Sorry mom, my mind is now closed to believing I can open my shoulders. Absent surgical tools, that is.

Sea cooks are notorious for being unskilled and producing poor quality meals. Often, enlisted sailors with no background or interest in cooking are assigned to be cooks on naval ships. Obviously, the result is not the best meals. But it isn’t like the crew can go elsewhere to get their meals.

This was true in the American Navy as late as the mid-1970s, when my brother was there. Though he said they were beginning to move to more prepared meals, which just had to be mixed & heated – that would bring the food to the level of school lunches or hospital meals – which he claimed would be an improvement.

So doing something ‘like a sea cook’ would certainly be an insult.