Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fun Family Sayings

There are many, many stories I could tell you about my family on my father’s side. Some would be unbelievable (bet you can’t guess how many half-siblings I have); some would be heroic (my uncle was fierce during the civil rights movement); some would be weird (anyone ever misplace a pan of potatoes for six weeks?); some would be sweet (all displaced people could get a meal at my grandma’s house); and some would be tragic (all I’m saying is that substance abuse and a bad heart don’t mix).

But today, I was thinking fondly of my aunt who passed away a few years ago, and one of her favorite sayings: I’m going to smack the cowboy shit out of you.

She used this particular saying as a bit of intimidation to get us kids – and there were a lot of us between all my father’s children and the foster kids that my grandmother was raising – to do whatever she wanted.

Truly, it was effective. No one wants the shit smacked out of them, let alone the cowboy shit. It was the real deal threat. It was a take the shoe off and chase you around the house kind of threat. When my aunt said it, she meant business. And we knew to listen.

I say we, but honestly, I was such a goody-two shoes that the threat was never directed toward me. It may have been directed at the group of kids I was playing with at that particular moment, but never at me. And to be perfectly honest, my aunt could never make this threat with an entirely straight face. Although you knew to listen when she was taking out the can of cowboy whup ass, you also knew that she still had her sense of humor.

I mean, what is cowboy shit anyway? I never knew, and when I googled it just now, the results weren’t pretty.

Other, less obscure but just as ridiculous family sayings were:

  • If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t wear his ass out jumping. (Hey, I come from humble folk).
  • People in hell want ice water. (Apparently, my humble lineage is full of those who curse profusely).
  • You’re getting tangy! (As in, go take a bath).

So, your turn. Do you have sayings in your family that are completely irrational, illogical, ridiculous, or even silly? Maybe there are some that do make sense but just make you bust a gut whenever you hear them?

Leave them in the comments. I can’t wait to hear them!


belsum said...

"It's the air pressure."

Apparently I asked a lot of questions as a tot. And even my very patient youngest uncle had his breaking point.

I am so using "smack the cowboy shit outta you" at the next available opportunity!

Kat said...

Hey Mamma!
This is my first trip here.

hmmmm. sayings. Nothing comes to mind except 2 things, neither of which are really phrases. My dad corrects the news so he didn't pass down anything too absurd. With him, everything was by the book (the dictionary that is). Then there's my british grandfather on my mom's side. He scoffs alot. Rather than speaking he puh, tuh, kuh, pfhh and kohs a lot.

SRH said...

I can't really say that my family had any sayings. I guess the most memorable one would be that my dad always referred to the stairs in my childhood house as "the wooden hill."

Anonymous said...

Well, having 1/2 of a British family (mom came to the US at 18 years old), we've got a ton of little sayings that most American's would never understand without explaination. When my grandmother was tired, she'd say she was "nakered" (which I always thought was hilarious). Then, being from Pittsburgh, I grew up calling nosy people "neeby", and I still say it here even if no one understands me.

Tree Monkey

lsig said...

Oh, boy.

My mother, to this day, will "cloud up and rain all over you" if you don't watch out. She would also appreciate it if you would "watch your tone [young lady]." How one watches a tone, she never explained. With apologies to any Native American readers you might have, I must also report that I was often warned that I would be in "Big-um Trouble-um" if I did not desist in an undesireable activity.

My dad likes things that are "nice and toasty ___" I mean, not just "nice and toasty warm," but "nice and toasty tasty" or "nice and toasty shiny".

Dustin said...

My grandmother always says "Oh Fiddle Sticks" when ever she gets exasperated. I've always wondered what they looked like...

Mom said...

Wow! My family says a lot of the same things your family does! How incredible - oh, wait, you're my daughter.

Never mind.

Zany Mama said...

Please feel free to use my crazy family's sayings at any and all times.

The nice thing about your saying is that you'll be able to use it again in the near future when Kirk starts asking you "why" every other minute.

Glad you stopped by!

Oooh, I love scoffing british grandpas. Not that I have one, mind, but I always thought it would be cool.

Yes. I have indeed found that particular statement of your dad's to be rather odd. Why does he say that? I mean, to say "stairs" actually takes less effort and is decidedly more accurate.

I don't get your family.

Tree Monkey-
Neeby? It's like Pittsburgh is a whole 'nother planet or something.

I mean, I get the "nakered" thing. Or rather, I don't get it - but I don't expect to, as I'm not from Britain.

But Pittsburgh is only 3.5 hours away, and you may as well be speaking another language.

Does "cloud up and rain all over you" mean that you were going to make her cry? Because if that's not it, then I have no clue what it could possibly mean.

And by the way, I will now use "nice and toasty spiffy" to describe any new pair of shoes I acquire.

According to the "internet" - that bastion of correct information - another name for fiddlesticks is actually DEVIL STICKS! I would back away slowly from grandma when she starts invoking the name of Beelzebub like that.

Yes, incredible. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

Oh wait, I just used a saying which is what you were supposed to do.

lsig said...

Nope, I'm afraid the clouding up and raining was a warning of coming wrath. It would be used thusly: "Watch your tone, young lady, or I'm going to cloud up and rain all over you."

One did not like to be rained on. Not one bit.

Anonymous said...

Like you, I don't have any threat-sayings first hand, having never had one directed at me (I was the perfect child). But my favorite precautionary momism is something she has said to me ever since I was 16. As I'm getting into my car to leave, if the time of day warrants, she will warn, "Drive carefully, the roads get curvier at night."

Zany Mama said...

Well, now it makes complete sense. I mean nobody - unless they live in Seattle - enjoys being rained on.

Perfect Child (aka Anon) -
Your comment completely confirms that I have gone over to the parental dark side. I can totally see myself saying that to Zane when he is 16 - or more realistically every time he leaves my house for the rest of his life. Bah!

jw said...

O.k. I am about to fall out of the chair I just fell out of. MY mom said "I will knock the cowboy WALKING shit out of you...
She would always say in response to folks who may not have gone along with her at any given point, "Fine. One monkey don't stop no show."
I can't forget the ever popular, "It's time to make a circle" when it was time for bed (God I hated that one.

Zany Mama said...

Oh my gosh. Did you get, "God don't like ugly" as well? We may have come form the same family!

Anonymous said...

When I doubted something my boss told me to do she would say, "If I tell you that a monkey can pull a freight train full of coconuts, then hook him up and watch him go"!

Kara said...

i found this blog looking for what the hell "i'm goin to smack the cowboy shit out of you meant" I'm from the south so we had a lot, here are a few of my favorite:

"that girl will tell a lie quicker than a cat can lick his ass"

"i pay the cost to be the boss"

"i'll smack you so hard, your ass bone will meet your shoulder blade"

"i'm serious as a heart attack and you know i dont want none of them"

Seriously, I could go on forever...TOO funny