It’s funny how we incorporate these little sayings into our lives (many that our own parents have said to us in the past) that don’t seem to make any sense. Here are a few of my favourites…
- “If you don’t eat your dinner, you won’t get any pudding.” This was said to us as kids if we had left our meal in order to get to the rather nicer looking dessert. This is a bit silly really as, if we ate all our dinner we might not have room for any pudding, let alone enjoy it!
- “If the wind changes you will stay like that.” We have all poked our tongue out at someone or made a face behind their back. This threat was supposed to deter us from doing this, but I really don’t think anyone ever believed it.
- “Do you want a smack?” This really makes me laugh. As if anyone is going to say, “Oh yes please, the harder the better” (On second thoughts with all this 50 Shades stuff being popular at the moment…)Anyway, as kids when you are being naughty and your mum threatens you with this, you do tend to behave yourself pretty quick! In the same vein what about,
- ” Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about!” For a start, if you are in a state about something, it is not always easy ( especially as a child) to just instantly stop crying, but if you don’t you are in for a clout. A bit of a no-win one this is!
- ” Go and wash behind your ears, you could grow spuds there” Even if it were possible, why would anyone want to grow potatoes on their head! Well, perhaps if they came out as crisps or chips it might be appealing.
- “Who’s she, the cat’s mother? I can’t even begin to think where this originated from, but it was one of my mum’s favourites when I was young.
- “Shut the bloody door, were you born in a barn?” This was another saying that was well-used in our house when I was growing up.
Those are some of my favourite sayings. Do you have any?
[clickToTweet tweet=”One of the things I love most about the English language is that it is so versatile. ” quote=”One of the things I love most about the English language is that it is so versatile. “]
Another thing that I enjoy are some of the idioms and expressions that we use. A lot of them are donkey’s years old and are passed down through the generations. I know my Nan, and even my Mum loved using them.
Here are some of my favourites: (It’s funny that most of them seem to be derogatory in some way)!
All fur coat and no knickers. This one I think is all about putting on a show, pretending that you are doing well when in reality you haven’t got a pot to pi** in. Similarly, we use champagne tastes on beer money which kind of speak for itself.
Short arms and deep pockets. This expression always makes me laugh, for some reason and refers to someone who is rather tight with their money, always last to buy a round, or conveniently leaves their wallet at home.
All mouth and no trousers. Someone who ‘talks the talk’ and makes all sorts of grand gestures but doesn’t actually follow through with any action. Remind you of anyone?
Kick the bucket. We seem to be rather reluctant to talk about people dying directly so use expressions like this or popped his clogs is another one.
Running around like a blue-arsed fly. This one is actually still very popular, and people often use it when they have been extremely busy.
A pig in a poke. A bit of an odd expression this one (aren’t they all)? It means don’t buy anything until you have looked it over carefully!
Flogging a dead horse. This one is pretty self-explanatory, in as much as there is no point in carrying on with whatever you were doing as it will make no difference. Locking the stable door after the horse has bolted is also popular.
A lick and a promise. This is a half-hearted attempt at something, which apparently derives from when children asked to wash would just lick their hands or a cloth and wipe themselves off! Did anyone else’s Mum spit on a tissue or a cloth to clean your face when you were a child or was it just mine?
Up and down like a whore’s drawers or a bride’s nightie. Take your pick they both mean the same and need no explanation.
About as much use as a fart in a colander another favourite of mine or a more polite version would be a chocolate teapot
You look like you have been dragged through a hedge backwards. No need to tell you what this means, similarly if someone were to look like death warmed up you would get the drift!
What’s your favourite idiom or expression? Perhaps I have missed it off the list in which case I would love to hear it. Please let me know in the comments.