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Did your parents have any phrases, sayings or wise words?

(158 Posts)
greatgablegran Wed 03-Aug-11 10:57:25

My mum used to say, "never buy cheap vegetables."

I've always found it very good advice!

Zephrine Wed 03-Aug-11 10:59:55

My Gran used to say her hair was "straight as a yard of pump water", always made me laugh.

Gally Wed 03-Aug-11 12:02:26

My Dad used to say 'I'm just off to push back my ears' (to wash his face). When I used to ask him where he was going he said 'there and back to see how far it is'. How long until we get there Dad? 'As long as a piece of string'. Where have you put my........? 'Up in Annie's room behind the clock'.
My Mum used to say 'waste not want not, clearly means buy a Ford' (apparently it was an advert for Ford cars in the 40's??). She taught me to 'make-do and mend' which she did all her life, even when it wasn't necessary - she came from a very poor family and then went through the War as a young woman; she used to iron wrapping paper, save ribbon, plastic bags - everything in fact 'just in case'. She used to sing lots of old songs to me and I now find I do the same to my grandchildren - Daisy Daisy Give me your answer do/ She sailed away on a sunny summer's Day/ Row Row Your Boat and lots more.
Oh what memories ! grin

glassortwo Wed 03-Aug-11 12:13:20

On New Years Eve my Dad would tell us that he was off to see a man with the same number of noses on his face as day left in the year!

JessM Wed 03-Aug-11 12:26:10

Mother used to say "Make the most of really nice days cos we don't get many" We used to walk down to Swansea beach. The sea goes out about a mile. We used to catch tiny shrimps and crabs in small pools on a peaty area of the beach. The sea goes out about a mile there and sometimes (while she read her book) my sister and I would try to walk out to the sea. Through a lot of dark grey, ankle-deep clay. When we got there the sea was tepid, shallow and grey.
Or go on the mumbles train sad or the bus to Mumbles and fish for prawns in the rock pools.
Knowing what I now about the untreated sewage outfall at Mumbles head (at the time) it must have done wonders for our immune systems!
Much later I married one of the oceanographers who helped to sort out the new, hygienic system.
The sun is shining - i must go and make the most of it.

Zephrine Wed 03-Aug-11 12:37:55

My dad was as old as his tongue and a little older than his teeth.

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 03-Aug-11 13:32:07

My dad used to say: "It's a great day for the race."
You had to say: "What race?"
Then he could answer: "The human race."

janthea Wed 03-Aug-11 14:17:51

My grandmother used to sing 'Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do' to me. As for sayings my mother used to say 'there'll be tears before bedtime' when we were getting over excited. And the saying 'Red sky at night, sheperds' delight, red sky in the morning, shepherds' warning' was often trotted out. My father used to say 'eyes bigger than your belly'.

Zephrine Wed 03-Aug-11 14:26:23

My grandmother sang Daisy Daisy to me and now I sing it to my grandaughter. She also sang one that started "Go to sleep my darling, close your big blue eyes" It had a politically incorrect word in it so when I sing it to my grandchildren now it is known as the "Chickabiddy" song.

riclorian Wed 03-Aug-11 14:27:28

My Grandma used to say 'you know who I mean ---- Mrs Who's it , Mrs What's it , Mrs Thingamy , she lives down by Watcha ma callit !!' Of course we knew exactly who she meant !!

gkal Wed 03-Aug-11 15:21:19

My Mum used to say "handsome is as handsome does". She also said " you have to suffer to be beautiful" as she was getting the tangles out of my long hair. I have always hated that phrase...

jackyann Wed 03-Aug-11 16:26:52

Oh I love this, so many I remember!

My grandmother & her sisters used to say, when people gave their opinions unasked for that "there's always some b^$$£r who can live your life better than you do".
I said that just the other day to a friend who was feeling criticised. The wider family all had negative opinions about a job that her daughter had accepted.

absentgrana Wed 03-Aug-11 18:48:52

Take what you want says God and pay for it. (It's an old Spanish proverb.)

nanachrissy Wed 03-Aug-11 18:57:57

My mum always said "Count your blessings" and it does make you think how much worse off others are. Also she'd say "You're as good as anyone else, if not better!"

jogginggirl Wed 03-Aug-11 19:04:33

My dad always said at bedtime "up the wooden hill now" ...... I said it to my kids and now say it to my grand-daughters................My mum always said my brother got the brains and I got the beauty - she was right about my brother and being exceptionally kind to a rather gawky teenager (as I was then)......xx

JessM Wed 03-Aug-11 20:45:50

My Nana had a set of these, that were prefixed by "my mother used to say"
Twice a year the butter goes mad (too hard in winter, runny in summer - but was it originally a dairymaid's complain?)
Cast not a clout until May is out (then we'd debate - the Month or the Flower)
Blue and green should never be seen (in clothing)
Red sky at night shepherd's delight
Plus a whole long list of superstitions.
Feed a cold and starve a fever. If i give you a knife, you must pay me in silver or it will cut the friendship... etc etc
Oh and "put some in your muff for Florrie" - ie bring home a doggy bag. This might have been a family specific one?

em Wed 03-Aug-11 22:17:33

My mother always advised us in the days of mini-skirts, and then my GD's in cropped tops, that we'd end up with 'a chill in the kidneys'. Has anyone ever been diagnosed with this complaint? Also, instead of 'Serve you right' it was 'hell mend you'! I hated that!!

absentgrana Thu 04-Aug-11 09:47:07

One of my aunts was a great one for superstitions and sayings. "Itchy elbow means you're going to sleep in a strange bed" – I've never quite worked that one out. hmm However, she often managed to get them slightly wrong. I've always been especially fond of "Don't look a gift horse up the nose" … and I never have. smile

pompa Thu 04-Aug-11 13:20:46

It took our kids years to realise what a "Bomsatit" was when Mrs. P refered to their rooms. Now our daughter has children she understands what a "Bomsatit" .

Bomsatit = "a bomb has hit it"

janreb Thu 04-Aug-11 14:29:09

My mother always used to say "everyone knows what to do with the drunken wife except the man who's got her". She also got a bit confusd once and said she thought my brother should apply for a particular job as he had his "GBH licence". She meant HGV licence.
I can remember being our with Dad and praying no one would ask directions as he would always say "go down the road until you come to the roadworks, take no notice of them they aren't there anymore". He would always tease Mum and say things like their wedding day seemed like yesterday - and you know what a terrrible day it was yesterday, or say it seems like yesterday, wish it was tomorrow - I wouldn't go.
I think the classic one was when he told my brother he had painted the hall in Durex vynil silk!! I never look at a tin of Dulux without smiling.

LisaStAlbans Thu 04-Aug-11 18:39:51

Crikey ... nearly all of those bring back memories. Are we all related or something? My old Dad had a lot of stock answers to kiddie questions.

Q What you doing Dad? (When we could see full well what he was doing)
A Milking this giraffe

Q Where you going Dad?
A There and back to see how far it is (mentioned earlier)

Reassurance if we were unwell. There is nowhere quite like your own "cosy" (referring to bed)

Up the wooden hills to Bedfordshire .. at bedtime

Lots and lots too numerous to mention, but my all-time fave that I still think of 20 yrs after he has been gone is he would always remark at the end of a particularly lovely day "That was a day to hang medals on" Bless him.

artygran Thu 04-Aug-11 18:43:38

Whenever we complained about the weather being unseasonal, my mother would say "It's them Russians - they've got a weather machine!" We never quite managed to fathom where this priceless bit of information had come from but she was convinced. When someone asked her the make of the car my father had just bought, she said, "Oh, it's called a Chiseller". It was a Chrysler!

Bellesnan Thu 04-Aug-11 18:55:42

Joggingirl - my parents version was "up the apples and pears" to bed - yes, they were Londoners through and through.

JessM Thu 04-Aug-11 19:17:59

My gran used to say "I've got a bone in my leg" which was her excuse for carrying on sitting and chatting with the adults, rather than joining in something we were doing.

nannym Thu 04-Aug-11 19:26:19

"Blood will out" was a favourite comment made by both my Mum and her Mum too. It could be used as a compliment or a damning remark depending on the circumstances.