Families Say the Darndest Things

Before I left Baltimore, my friend Megan said I should make a list of all our family idioms. I had realized that we had some, shall we say, “unique” family sayings, but Megan said that what we have goes far beyond the norm and not only do we have more, but we use them all the time without even realizing it.

Then last week my sister-in-law mentioned that she and her friends had been keeping a quote book of memorable moments which they dust off and share when levity is required. This made me think of Megan and what she recommended to me. (Although the two ideas differ somewhat, one made me think of the other.)

So here goes…for those of you who know us well, please feel free to add to the list cause I am sure I missed some of “ours” (and please note, I do not claim that any of these phrases began with us; just that we use and perhaps have/had overused them). Also, please add your favorites that we may have never heard but that you find hilarious or telling.

It is raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock
Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while
Sh** or get off the pot
What’s this we sh** white man?
Fish or cut bait
Don’t fish off the company pier
She is a few cards shy of a full deck
Take all your money out of the bank and buy a clue
She doesn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of
Don’t put the cart before the horse
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it
Children should be seen and not heard
When I want your advice, I’ll ask for it

Now I am left wondering what this list says about my family…perhaps the most fun part of this list for you all is to try to decide who said what 😉

9 thoughts on “Families Say the Darndest Things

  1. Sweetpea January 31, 2008 / 6:24 pm

    I can’t believe you missed the most important one:

    “Nobody ever said life was fair.”

    I always liked “you don’t shit where you eat” better than “don’t fish off the company pier.” But then, I likes me some profanity. There’d have been no asterisks if I’d written this post. 😉

    And I do believe Dad said he stole the one about “raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock” From a Norman Mailer book, which seems plausible.

  2. Fran January 31, 2008 / 8:51 pm

    Listening to your Dad/Jim spar with family and friends … usually over sporting events … “go shit in your hat” … was always one of my favorites 🙂

  3. Fran February 1, 2008 / 7:13 pm

    Per Goodgle, apparently over 38,000,000 million of us have inquired as to the origin of “Children Should Be Seen But Not Heard” … I do remember well that it was my Grandmother Kirby’s mantra … she ran a very “proper” ship !

  4. Wendy February 2, 2008 / 11:38 am

    I remember Sweetpea saying: “That’s what makes horse races.” She said it came from her Dad, which makes perfect sense. It’s also a very usable phrase, for many situations!

  5. Wendy February 2, 2008 / 11:40 am

    Oh, and one of my family’s favorite expressions is:

    “It’s shit – you can have it.”

    This phrase was actually uttered by my great-grandmother Clara, as she gave an unwanted item to her daughter-inlaw (my grandmother).

    Another good one:

    “If it was up your ass you’d know where it was.”

  6. Snapdragon February 2, 2008 / 11:49 am

    I forgot a couple of my Moms favorites…

    “Wipe that look off your face [sometimes coupled with something like] it could freeze like that…”

    “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face…”

    And piggybacking off off Sweetpea, Aunt Anne always used to say “fair is for games” (the companion piece to “who ever said life was fair”)

    Oh, one more of Dads…”you wanna play, you gotta pay” (I used to remind him of that when he would say “children should be seen and not heard” 😉

  7. Sweetpea February 2, 2008 / 12:44 pm

    I remembered one more of Mom’s expressions yesterday, when I actually heard myself saying it to Bossman: “[it] picks up everything but men and money,” wherein the “it” in question is a piece of lint-attracting clothes. (In his case, a shirt, but more often used for things like black pants.)

  8. Shannon February 2, 2008 / 1:30 pm

    Believe it or not, the only saying from my family that really sticks out is from my great-aunt Mary Carney (first generation Irish)….”A day without a potato is like a day without sunshine”

    Can’t imagine where she got that from. 😉

  9. Snapdragon February 2, 2008 / 1:37 pm

    One more…

    On it like white on rice

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