Friday’s Fave Five Family Sayings


As you’ve probably guessed by now, I come from a long line of colorful family characters. So it is no surprise that I grew up hearing lots of “family sayings.” Of course, they’ve been passed down to my children and will hopefully be passed down to their children. So, without further ado, here are five fave family sayings from my side of the family.

“Rise and Shine! It’s daylight in the swamps.” Family lore has it that my father worked in a logging camp as a kid, helping the cook feed the workers. This was supposedly one of the ways the camp boss would wake up the loggers in the morning. Both my father and mother would yell this out with gusto in the mornings to wake us up for school.

“How am I doing? I’m finer than frog hairs split and quartered. Pretty fine, eh?” This is another of my dad’s favorites. He’d often respond this way when folks would ask him how he was doing.

“There’s no accounting for taste. The old lady kissed a cow.” My mother added this saying to my repertoire. Maybe you have to be a dairy farmer to get it but basically it means that what is attractive to one person might not appeal to another but who are we to question someone’s tastes?

“Besser wie krank oder mit kind” This next one came from my grandmother who grew up in a Dutch-speaking home. I suspect it is a combination of pigeon Dutch, German, and Swiss. A more correct version in German would be Besser als Krankheit oder Schwangerschaft. We used it when someone would say something like, “Well, I’m sure glad THAT’s the only thing that happened.” Then my grandma would say the afore-mentioned phrase which, roughly translated, means “Yeah, it’s better than being sick or pregnant.” Which makes a lot of sense when you consider that being sick or pregnant were often life-threatening in the late 1800’s.

“And we’re off, like a turd of hurtles.” I saved the best for last. This one entered our family vocabulary when an old friend of my mom’s joined us on a cross-country trip. It soon became our daily slogan. Of course, it is a mixed up phrase that gets its joke from the fact that it should have been “we’re off like a herd of turtles.” Which is another joke since turtles never get anywhere fast, and that’s how our trip went. We certainly had fun, though.

To see what others are listing as their Friday Fave Fives, visit Susanne’s blog

3 Responses

  1. Its funny how families have their own ways of speaking, special sayings and such that unite them. Thanks for sharing yours with us 🙂

  2. Yup, my fave is the last one! My college roomy coined “I’ve gotta race like a piss horse”! pardon my French! Recently, I dropped off a meal for a gal at church who had had surgery and when her hubby thanked me, instead of saying, “No problem, my pleasure,” I said, “You’re pleasure, my problem!” At least we had a good laugh! And thanks for the laugh today! 🙂

  3. LOL. This was great. You guys sound like a lot of fun. One saying I use when my kids say “Hey, mom” is I respond with “Straw’s cheaper and grass is free”. I always have a good laugh because they don’t get it and still don’t even though they are now teens.

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