What "oft-repeated "sayings or phrases do you remember from your parents or grandparents?
Do these sayings occasionally or frequently spring to mind? Do you hear their in their voices in your memory? If so, what effect does it have?
My grandmother was often surprised by certain news and would nearly always say "Oh, for Land's sake!" I'm not certain what that meant, or where it came from, but remember her saying it often.
When asked how they are doing, they'd likely say,
"fair to middling."
When asked if they were going to do a thing, they might reply,
"Lord willing and the creek don't rise."
I remember many substitutes for cuss words for instance gosh darn it.
Otherwise these three I still use today;
Is there a hiccup in your giddy-up?
Down the road a piece.
Do A before Z
I think the closest to a curse I ever heard from my mom was "hell's bells" when a ground squirrel bit her on the finger.
Oh yeah that was used too a lot. Another I remember now is "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink it". Of course the other is "your as stubborn as a mule".
This may be because my parents were born in, and grew up in, New England and their families (parents, grandparents, and beyond) were pretty rooted here as well; but I think many things they said were pretty watered down by the time I was born. They said what seemed to me like small things, but they weren't all that memorable to me. There was (what seems to me like "the usual") "for Heaven's sake" and/or "For Pity's Sake". Then there was "Good Heaven", "to high Heaven", "what in Heaven's name". All the "Heaven" references tend to come from my mother (roots back to the Mayflower but also roots back to Scotland. My father tended to, I think, borrow/repeat some old Irish things here or there.
One of the most weird was "the divil himself" (and that "i" is not a typo). I guess when it comes to meaningless little sayings (type of thing) they stuck with a few of their own "old stand-by's" . My father died fairly young, but my mother kind of updated and added to some things she said once we were grown up and some new things were added to the culture in general. (My mother apparently saw some humor and/or value in borrowing "fink" from the "younger" (then) generation (many of whom dumped "fink" and went on to the next thing, but my mother remained loyal to it). She also claimed "it's too much of a hassle" from the younger generation. She picked up "with it" somewhere along the way.
The one thing I most recall that my mother said was not a saying. It was advice, and it was, "You have a good head. Don't do anything to muck it up." That's the only thing I tend to notice lingers in my mind.
Maybe my father's biggest and oft-/oft- repeated thing (and ranging from skepticism to contempt) was (with an implied, "oh sure"), "He's right and the world is wrong." That one most often same with a reference to someone he thought of as a "loud mouth". While I understood the "legitimacy" behind it I also secretly thought, "How do you know one person can't possibly be right with much of the "world" being wrong?" I suppose that was that "saying" affected me was to make me question it. It played a big role in my being very careful about "deeming myself right", as well super-careful about "pronouncing my rightness" (that is if I'm not joking it about to someone like my kids).
All that said, I think "Northerners" aren't historically all that "big on" sayings.
My Grandmother would say "what can you expect from a donkey but a kick?" and my mother's favourite expression was "if you haven't got it in the head, you've got to have it in the feet".....meaning don't leave the room empty-handed......and I never do
One that I think my mom got from her dad was "You're slower than cream rising on buttermilk."
Nowadays, when she says that she often has to explain that cream does not rise on buttermilk.
Another one that I recall is, "That's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick." (aren't most things?)
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