OT......Do you have favorite expressions ?

yoyobon_gw

I just muttered " Lord love a duck ! " in frustration and then wondered if anyone else ever says that.


What are your favorite expressions ?


One of mine is " Cover the butter ! " when anyone says something particularly disgusting.

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vee_new

yoyo, my Mother used to say "Lord love a duck" and when my father was moved to exasperation he would groan "God save Ireland." I've no idea where either expression came from.

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msmeow

I posted on this thread yesterday, but I guess it vanished into the ether! LOL I've never heard "Lord love a duck" before. I wonder what it's origins are?

I posted on another forum that we had a hard rain that was a real frog-strangler, and several members thought that was pretty funny.

My DH and I have picked up "holy crap on a cracker" from the Big Bang Theory.

Donna

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annpanagain

I don't have any but my English grandmother used to exclaim "Gordon Bennett!" when surprised by something happening suddenly.

She told me that it was referring to a soldier and I thought it would have been brought back by army personnel from the First World War.

However there is an alternative explanation on the i'net, that it refers to an American playboy.

Take your pick!

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yoyobon_gw

Anna, after some quick searching I found a very interesting explanation of where that expression originated :

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/gordon-bennett.html

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kathy_t

When I was in my twenties and rather new to my family of in-laws, my former husband's grandmother was telling me about one their relatives and said, "He was so cheap, he wouldn't pay a nickel to see the pope walk a tightwire." That made me laugh hard and all these years later, I still remember that phrase.

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msmeow

Kathy, we have a friend whose mother said he was so tight he’d make the buffalo on a nickel fart!

Donna

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friedag

During the Great Depression, practically every day would bring people to my grandmother's kitchen door begging for food. One time a youngish woman had an old, tottering woman in tow. The younger one had two tin plates and spoons, and asked for whatever food my grandmother could share. Oma (grandmother) obliged with beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread. Both women were effusive with their "thankee, thankee, thankees." Then the young woman made a further request:

"A lidda bidda buddah fer de sick lady." She tilted her head to indicate her older companion, who did look as if she was about to fall over. Oma split the cornbread and generously buttered the hunks for both of them. They sat on the steps of the kitchen porch to eat.

Oma repeated the story so many times with its key phrase "A lidda bidda buddah . . ." that it became our family's way of saying: Another thing, could I please have something else, something a bit extra . . . like butter for my cornbread -- a little bit of butter for the sick lady.

It's always been important for us to try to pronounce it like in the original dialect rendition. Oma's children, then her grandchildren (my generation), her great-grandchildren, and now some of her great-great-grandchildren all use "a lidda bidda buddah" to make a polite request (it does not have to be butter during a meal; it can mean anything extra, at any time). I want the younger ones to know how this family phrase began, so I've written it up in an expanded version for the compilation of our family's history.

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yoyobon_gw

Friedag......that is wonderful. I value oral family history like this. Children need to know their roots and "inside" expressions make all feel like family.

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vee_new

Frieda, I think your story could be important in that it brings alive not just the history of your family but the wider look at the era of the Depression. I wonder how many young people in the US have much/any comprehension about those times 'though only a couple of generations ago?

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friedag

Yoyobon and Vee, quite recently I attended a covered-dish social in Texas where I was seated next to a man about my age I didn't know. I noticed he had not started eating from his filled plate because he was surveying the table obviously looking for something. I asked him: Do you need anything I can pass to you? I was astonished to hear him say, "A little bit of butter for the sick lady." He said the whole phrase, although with the modern pronunciation. As far as I know the phrase originated in Iowa with my grandmother, but now I wonder if it might have been a stock phrase that was current during the Depression, or perhaps even before then. So far, I haven't found any documented evidence of it.


I introduced myself to my tablemate and asked him where he was from. "Iowa," he said. We laughed over both of us knowing the "little bit of butter" expression. He admitted that he hadn't intended to say it, it had just happened spontaneously; but surely it wasn't a coincidence that a rather obscure saying was known by two former Iowans. We speculated whether we might be kinfolk. Later we learned that, yes, we are distantly related. How the phrase came to be used by his branch of the family remains a mystery. I wonder if it spread even farther afield!


I love old-time language uses that have somehow survived. When they crop up unexpectedly in the oddest of places, I think it is marvelous.

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laceyvail 6A, WV

I often use the expression, "We went all around Robin Hood's barn," meaning a roundabout route. I have no idea where I first heard it.

Another is "It's hotter than the hubs of hell."

Or, "He was on that like a duck on a June bug.'


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yoyobon_gw

I often say, in response to an unacceptable idea/suggestion : " Let's not and say we did." The first time I said that to my little grandson about one of his not-so-great ideas my DIL quickly said " No ! We don't lie about things !"

I was amused and shocked that she would react that way to what I considered a phrase that is not literal. I had to assume that she'd never heard it before.

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woodnymph2_gw

laceyvail, I am quite familiar with the "Robin Hood's barn" expression. I have never heard it outside of the East Coast. We say "hotter than Hades" (which it truly is here, today, in SC-- 97).

One that I love that I learned from my NC relatives: "even a blind hog could find itself an acorn."

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yoyobon_gw

Lol....the south has some wonderful expressions. Please share more !

Of course everyone has a favorite ending for

this expression :

"dumber than ....."

-a box of rocks

- a bag of door knobs

- a post

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friedag

One memorable saying I first heard in Louisiana, but it might not be only a Southernism. It's about any woman who never has a hair out of place and certainly never sweats.

"She's so perfect you could throw her in a full swimming pool but she wouldn't get wet."

I've known a few of those women. I would never qualify as one.

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msmeow

Frieda, that expression would probably often end with, “bless her heart.” :)

Bon, one time my brother was on a conference call with clients in France. One of the French men said something, and my brother said to his coworker “this guy’s dumb as a box of rocks.” He thought the phone speaker was on mute until the French man asked, “what is the meaning of box of rocks?” I think my brother kept his opinions to himself after that!

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna......bless his heart !

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donnamira

An Alabama acquaintance introduced me to the phrase 'dumber than dirt.' I'm not sure if it's a Southernism, or just peculiar to Alabama. Another phrase for the same idea is one I heard first in the play Nunsense, which is the one I usually use: 'Nice house, nobody home.'


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carolyn_ky

I hear "older than dirt" here.

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yoyobon_gw

Another favorite expression when you are dealing with someone who talks a big talk but can't back it up :

" All hat and no cattle."

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vee_new

And a vulgar expression from here for a female who has 'done well' but is no better than she should be "All fur coat and no knickers."

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yoyobon_gw

Vee......I shall remember that one for sure !! lol

When I'm doing something that I might feel is tedious I frequently say to myself " It's not easy being green...." This is from a song sung by Kermit The Frog , the muppet :0) Yes, I know.....I'm deep !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRZ-IxZ46ng

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annpanagain

That "No better than she should be" expression annoys me! It doesn't make sense, does it?

No better than she should be ...what?

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yoyobon_gw

The phrase perhaps suggests that she is just an ordinary , usual woman of normal means who is sporting high end goods gotten through questionable and perhaps illegal methods .

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vee_new

Annpan, apparently the expression goes back to Henry Fielding and the mid seventeen hundreds and always referred to females of dubious morals with an eye to the main chance.

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annpanagain

Yoyo, it was always used in a derogatory way of some woman with dubious morals, as Vee said. Sometimes unfairly and in a catty tone. If the woman was within hearing distance, the person uttering the phrase might find themselves in trouble and get a sharp slap in the face! A good character was important and not to be treated lightly.

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yoyobon_gw

Lol .....yes for sure derogatory ! Hard to take that statement as a compliment.

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woodnymph2_gw

When I was growing up, I often heard as an exclamation: "Oh ye gods and little fishes!" I cannot imagine its origin.

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