Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Say what?!


My husband has laughed, sometimes long and hard, at some of the family sayings I brought into our marriage.  What I thought were everyday turns of phrase turned out to be unique to my childhood and stemmed from the combination of idioms passed down by my parents who came from small towns in WA and SA.  And in turn, I’ve heard some of the lines from my husband’s childhood with three brothers so often that I tend to forget it wasn’t my childhood.  So let me share some of the colourful sayings that my children will take with them when they leave home.
Round the corner for a big packet of Weeties! This one I inherited from my mother.  We often said it when turning any kind of corner.  My husband found this nonsensical utterance very amusing and was sure it was something my mother’s family had simply made up.  But in desperation to clear my family name, I googled long and hard and found that there was a children’s radio show in Perth in the early days of radio in Western Australia that was sponsored by Weeties.  There was a live contest each week and, as each child finished their turn at the mic, the announcer would say, “And round the corner you go for a big packet of Weeties!”  Weeties were the sponsor and I think every contestant went home with a packet even if they didn’t win.

Don’t just say!  This one comes from husband’s family and was used if an argument was supposedly settled but someone piped up with, “BUT I was just saying…”  I think it was probably a parent who first said in exasperation, “Don’t just say!” It stuck and was used by everyone in the family in the end.  Now my husband and I say it in jest to one another if we catch ourselves starting a sentence with “I was just saying”.
We go for firsties! Again, from my husband’s family.  For use when someone has chosen something and tries to change their mind.  Best used by an older brother who has outwitted a younger brother into choosing the poorer of two options.  There were no second chances.

Let’s never let it get messy again. This is one my husband and I say whenever we have a major clean up.  If the shed has finally been put in perfect order, or the walk-in-wardrobe conquered, we’ll pull an earnest face and say, “And now let’s never let it get messy again!” and then laugh with gusto.
Better than a smack in the face with a wet fish.  Inherited from my mother and useful for so many situations.  I used to think everyone said this but now when I say it in shops or the like I get strange looks.  Am I the only one who still uses this charming turn of phrase? May be it’s time to retire this one.

So have you inherited any odd sayings from your family?  Do share!

2 comments:

One for a wish.. said...

Along the lines of your last one, we say "better than a poke in the eye with a big stick."
We also have "boy, she's been hit with an ugly stick" if a person is unattractive...or it can be upgraded to hit with a log if they're really ugly.
And also at the end of EVERY Christmas day we say, "well that was the best Christmas ever" in a kind of Brady Bunch sentiment way.

Deb said...

I like the Christmas Day tradition. I like "a poke in the eye" too. I could use that to add variety to my "wet fish" saying.