Quaint expressions you heard once or twice but use yourself regularly

The title may need a few more words than will fit in the space.

If you’re like I am, whenever I hear a particularly effective expression, no matter who used it, I take it on as my own and continue using it whenever the occasion arises. Many of my favorites I only heard once or twice and never again since. If you have some similar to these, and don’t mind the Doper Kingdom having a shot at ripping them off, please share.

-The car came uncranked (it stopped running)
-I want a big group of water (to the waitress)
-He’s a cool breeze (of someone dressed like a pimp)
-I used to grow up there (as opposed to grew up)
-He didn’t give me a selection (from One Eyed Jacks) = I didn’t have a choice

Not a complete expression but it seems I’m one of the few remaining humanoids who uses the word persnickety.

I like to use the expression “going down the crapper.” It’s not that rare, but still, you don’t hear it every day.

I still use persnickety. Also “Cockamamie” and “Serious as a bee sting and three heart attacks.”

I use “Either way–problem solved!” a lot.

“God willing and the creek don’t rise.”

I love it in O Brother Where Art Thou when Delmar says:

“Friend, some of your folding money has come unstowed.”

And I try to work this into conversation whenever I can - when someone drops some money or a piece of paper or something.

Also, a friend of mine once said, when asked to do something he didn’t want to do:

“I’d rather be dragged through a bush backwards and dipped in rubbing alcohol!”

I’ve never heard anyone else say that, but I really like it.

Inspired by a line from The Magnificent Seven I will occasionally express a close brush with serious consequences as having “got nominated real good.”

Since these may be a bit off-color, I’ll spoiler them for the benefit of keeping the thread family friendly.

[spoiler]Instead of firestorm, especially when all Hell is breaking loose: shitstorm

I asked my brother about the whereabouts of one of our nosy cousins who is forever poking into everybody’s affairs. His reply, “She broke out in little bitty assholes and shit herself to death.”

Not quite as uncommon as I’m hoping to find with this thread: hotter than a fresh-fucked fox in a forest fire[/spoiler]

For the family:

(pull down your lower eyelid while saying) See anybody in there that cares?

“oh my stars and garters!”

“Well shut my mouth and slap your grandma!”

Yes. Lady Bird Johnson used to say that, and also “pish posh” (meaning ‘oh, don’t worry about that.’)

Well, don’t that beat all?

gwendee, my wife’s Texan aunt said that one as, “Oh, my stars and little hoppy toads!”

“We’re not building a Swiss watch here” (used when someone is being overly and inappropriately exact about something - cutting drywall to the half millimeter for example)

I’ve only ever heard one person say this, and I think she made it up, but I’ve adopted “I gotta pee like a monkey!” Yes, it’s nonsensical, but I do not care. My alternative (stolen from the same girl) is “pee like the wind.”

I’m not sure if this one’s widely said, but when a situation is tolerable-to-good, I do love to say “It beats a sharp stick-in-the-eye!” (The hyphens are important here, because the emphasis is on stick, not eye.) Thanks for that one, grandma, and also for “Shut that pneumonia-hole!” (the door/window.)

I use “From your mouth to God’s ears” a lot when someone says something that I hope will happen.

One of my associates, when confronted with something he really doesn’t want to do says


I’d rather lick a cat’s ass.

My grandmother used to say “lawzamercy,” and every now and then I do, too. It just comes blurting out without my intending to say it. I find this rather embarrassing. It’s as if I am suddenly channelling Butterfly McQueen.

To have kittens. As in, “When she finds out I spilled paint on her priceless van Gogh, she’ll have kittens!”

“Two shakes of a lamb’s tail.”

There’s various ones I use when teaching, to substitute for where I normally swear. Something ‘going squiffy’ replaces ‘getting fucked up’. I can’t think of others off-hand, they seem to come out of nowhere. Except for when I just swear :smack:

Your grandmother will always remind me of Tom Cullen now. Sorry.