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My Mama/Grandma Used To Say...

Updated on August 29, 2009

Between my mother, grandmother, and sister-in-law (who was raised by her grandmother), I have heard quite a few colorful expressions regarding the ways of life in my thirty something years on this planet. These female mainstays in my life, have always possessed a knack for expounding on everyday matters through their antiquated euphemisms.

The older I get, the more and more I find myself adopting this same way of speaking as I address those in my personal life. Not one for a loss of words, I usually begin all such expoundings with - "My mama/grandma used to say", followed quickly by a layman's explanation of what it all means.

Here are ten of my favorite - "My mama/grandma used to say" euphemisms, and their meanings...

1.) Old Things Cost For New- Exclusively used while addressing my children; when visiting friends and family, they are not to put their hands on things that do not belong to them. If you break it, you'll have to replace it, no matter what previous condition the item was in.

Even if the item was used, the recipient will receive a new one in place of the one destroyed. So in every true sense of the meaning, old things cost for new. In essence, respect other's property and keep your hands to yourself!

2.) Don't Let Anyone Give You A Wooden Nickel- Use your God given commonsense, and don't be taken in by every Tom, Dick, or Harry - Sue, Sally, or Jane.

3.) If You Lie, You'll Cheat, If You Cheat, You'll Steal, If You Steal, You'll Kill- One wrong can eventually lead to another wrong. The path of dishonesty is a long and hard one. Once you start down that path, you'll only dig a deeper hole for yourself.

4.) Look With Your Eyes, Not Your Hands- Ultimately my all time favorite; you're essentially telling your kids to keep their busy little hands to themselves. The best time to use this phrase is when you're shopping or going on an excursion.

5.) That's Like The Pot Calling The Kettle Black, When They're The Both Same Color - You can't make judgements about someone else, when you're doing exactly the same thing they are doing.

6.) Something In The Milk Ain't Clean- Something about this situation isn't right. Things are just not adding up.

7.) You Made Your Bed, Now You Lie In It- You made certain choices that put you in your present situation, so suck it up and deal with the consequences.

8.) You Lie Down With Dogs, You'll Get Up With Fleas- If you put yourself in bad situations or surround yourself with unsavory individuals, just expect to reap the negative repercussions that come along with it.

9.) Don't Let Your Right Hand Know What Your Left Hand Is Doing- Avoid the urge to toot your own horn, advertise, or make known what you do for others (your charitable deeds) - even to those close to you.

10.) Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket - Don't rely on one plan and one plan only. Whether it be financial or otherwise, always have a backup in the event your prior plans don't fall through.

These euphemisms have been passed down from generations to generations, and have truly stood the test of time.

Although considered old-fashioned and out-of-date, these valuable catch-phrases are extremely relevant even in our day and age.


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    • Veronica Allen profile imageAUTHOR

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you ListLady for stopping by. I agree with you - these sayings have come in handy for me many times.Thanks for the rating.

    • TheListLady profile image


      8 years ago from New York City

      Ah, the wisdom of our elders. There were times we did not listen to them - but we heard them and can fall back on all these words of wisdom. That is why it is so important to share these sayings - they will come in handy one day.

      This is such a nice tribute to the elders. Thanks a lot.

      Rated up of course.

    • Veronica Allen profile imageAUTHOR

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I used to kid with another hubber and call her my sister from another mother, so I think you are a sister from another grandmother :).

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by - I know you have been really busy with the contest.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      V, did we have the same grandma??

    • Veronica Allen profile imageAUTHOR

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I've always tried to listen to my mother and grandmother. They have always had the best advice. Very colorful women they both are. Thanks for joining my fan club!

    • BkCreative profile image


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So true - if someone is a liar - watch out!

      I've always appreciated the advice from our mothers and grandmothers and all the elder women. They are brilliant.

      Nice to meet you and I will join your fan club to keep up!

    • Veronica Allen profile imageAUTHOR

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      thanks for becoming my fan. I love to write, and I love to touch others with what I may expound upon.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      These are all things that I heard growing up. You are a very good writer. I must become your fan, so that I can be alerted when you write more. Thanks for sharing.

    • Veronica Allen profile imageAUTHOR

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      You are so right. We can learn much from those who came before us. We need only to open our minds and hearts and listen. Thanks for your feedback.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      We have to appreciate the older. they have much experience and they give the best for us. their advice must have benefit if we listen and doing it. thanks for share. I think she is the best mama/grandma.

    • Veronica Allen profile imageAUTHOR

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I know! It's amazing how much we start to use these same sayings the older we get. Are we turning into our mothers or what?

    • truefreedom profile image


      9 years ago

      How true those old addages still ring true today. What is the old quote, " With age comes wisdom." . Although I never thought so in my teenage :)


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