Jessie-In New Hampshire where the nights have turned crisp and cool.
This month we are talking about curiosity so immediately the phrase “Curiosity killed the cat” came to my mind. This got me
Barb: My mother and her mother had a host of colorful expressions. I wish now that I’d used more of them when my kids were growing up and passed them along through another generation. One I remember particularly is that on a cloudy summer day, my grandmother would go out into the front yard and look at up the sky. If there was a patch of blue, or better two, she would pronounce, “There’s enough blue to mend a Dutchman’s breeches. Let’s go to the beach.” We were in New Jersey at the time, settled by the Dutch, so I thought maybe it went back to that, or came from illustrations of the voluminous blue pants in stories like Hans Brinker. Jessie’s question got me curious enough to look it up. Like so many of our expressions, it comes from the age of sail.
Liz: I hate anything to do with killing animals! I don’t like “kill two birds with one stone” either. I’ve been trying to change that to “feeding two birds with one loaf of bread.” There are also a lot of corporate phrases that I have grown to despise, including “out of pocket,” “Let’s circle back,” and anything to do with the word “leverage.”
Julie: My grandfather used to say this about someone who complained a lot: “He’d kick at a football game.” That makes no sense, and was likely a misquote of another phrase. But now it is family shorthand.
Edith/Maddie: I love this topic. Hugh and I agree a hundred percent with Liz that “killed the cat” has no place in anybody’s speech. I can’t remember any colorful phrases my family used. Walking along a sidewalk, kids always recited, “Step on a line, break your mother’s spine; step on a crack, break your mother’s back.” My mom’s been dead eleven years, and to this day I avoid stepping on lines and cracks.
Sherry: I love reading all of these sayings and have never heard Barb’s or Julie’s. My dad was a great one for telling jokes. I can’t even remember the joke any longer but it involved tapping one’s head and saying, “kidneys.” For a long time when someone did something silly, we’d tapped our head and say, “kidneys.” We tend to tease my husband about things–lots of things. He always pronounced “theater,” the-ATE-her and with kind of a Southern accent. One day we were driving down a road and he said, “is that a movie house?” because he didn’t want to be mocked for his pronunciation of theater. So now we tease him about that too, adding our own Southern accents.
Jessie: My parents used to mention the sky patching saying too, Barb, but they always said sailor instead of Dutchman. And, whenever he thought someone was a chronic complainer my father would declare that “he would complain if they hanged him with a brand-new rope”.
Readers, what are your favorite sayings?