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Idioms and sayings

(159 Posts)
yogagran Wed 21-Nov-12 20:40:17

Talking to my DGD this afternoon I mentioned that "there was just enough blue in the sky to patch a sailors trousers". She looked at me as though I was completely mad and I had to explain the expression. This set me thinking that a lot of these sayings are going out of fashion and may be lost forever within our lifetime. What other sayings and phrases do you use, or remember your parents using?

Ana Wed 21-Nov-12 20:53:44

My granny had a similar saying, but it was 'to make a pair of sailor's trousers..'

york46 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:18:56

"She looks as if she has just stepped out of a bandbox" was my mother's expression when saying someone was looking very smart. I said it recently to my daughter who had never heard it before, so is this another saying that has gone out of use?

annodomini Wed 21-Nov-12 22:41:03

I was never sure what a bandbox was. Anyone know?

Ana Wed 21-Nov-12 22:50:18

I never knew what a 'bandbox' was either - you just accepted that it meant 'brand, spanking new' - and that's another phrase that's disappeared...grin

janeainsworth Wed 21-Nov-12 23:12:16

When we used to mither Mum about what we were going to have for tea she would frequently reply, '3 jumps at the cupboard door!' confused

Anne58 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:25:28

In our house it was always duck, as in "duck under the table and out again"

numberplease Thu 22-Nov-12 00:11:41

I read the bit about making a sailor a pair of trousers in a childrens story book when I was about 8. My grandma used to say that I was tied up like a rice bun, meaning that my belt was too tight. And when the sky was a bit black and stormy looking in the distance, she`d say "it`s a bit black o`er Bill`s mother`s.

Anne58 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:18:31

jane meant to say that "mither" isn't heard much these days, but my Grandmother used it frequently! (Mainly in relation to me confused

vampirequeen Thu 22-Nov-12 05:54:21

I used to tell my class to write stories that were interesting but not to over egg the cake i.e. get carried away with adverbs and adjectives. After I'd explained it....most had never baked became a favourite phrase used to describe a range of situations.

janeainsworth Thu 22-Nov-12 07:21:29

phoenix my children certainly knew the meaning of the word grin
vqyou have reminded me of my old English teacher, except she would say she wanted no 'purple prose'. She used to go through the weekly essays in front of the whole class, and one day reprimanded one of the boys for writing that 'the clouds disgorged their aqueous loads' instead of simply saying it was raining.
My dad though, used to look out of the window and remark that active precipitation was taking place smile

absentgrana Thu 22-Nov-12 09:20:03

A bandbox is just another name for a hatbox.

I would guess that taking coals to Newcastle is pretty meaningless to the younger generation given the closure of the Durham mines.

Grannybags Thu 22-Nov-12 09:44:14

My Mum used to tell me I was "as clever as Dick's hat band". I think the explanation of why it was clever was that it went three times round his hat and tied in a bow at the back!

We also had enough blue sky to make a sailor a pair of trousers

Ella46 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:47:46

"Thin as a galloping hatpin" was one of my mum's sayings.

Nanadog Thu 22-Nov-12 09:56:04

“Ah’ve seen mair meat on a butcher’s pencil” my gran used to say about me...I was very skinny as a child. Not any more.

whenim64 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:16:35

Ella that's just reminded me of what I was called when I was a teenager!

My friend and I, who were fans of Mary Quant and Twiggy, would delight in being called 'Galloping Hairpins' by 5th year boys who would hang around outside school as we were leaving. Looking back, we both had legs like long twigs! grin

Barrow Thu 22-Nov-12 10:45:34

If i ever asked my Dad if I looked alright before going out he would say "who's going to stop a galloping horse to look at you"

Elegran Thu 22-Nov-12 11:14:03

If we had any ham we could have ham and eggs, if we had any eggs.

Said while looking into a nearly empty larder and wondering what to make for tea.

AlieOxon Thu 22-Nov-12 12:06:24

'Doan't take yer hat off, yer not stoppin'

AlieOxon Thu 22-Nov-12 12:07:36

What's the time...'two hairs past a freckle'.

That's when the time was on your wrist, of course...

janthea Thu 22-Nov-12 12:31:45

I'm watching you with two eyes - one of my MIL's favourite expressions.

Barrow Thu 22-Nov-12 12:55:24

When my Mother said she was going to buy something my Dad would always say she was playing cricket again (never understood that one!)

Mishap Thu 22-Nov-12 12:56:24

My gran used to say (in broad Devon accent) "Keep your 'and on your 'apenny" when we were teenagers going out for the evening - I think I know what she was gerting at, and it wasn't exhorting us not to have our purse stolen!!

whenim64 Thu 22-Nov-12 13:17:46

When we asked my dad a question, he would say 'if I told you, you would know as much as me, and that would never do!' Probably meant he didn't know the answer! grin

Gally Thu 22-Nov-12 13:42:01

If my Dad was asked where he was going his reply was always ' there and back to see how far it is'