Do As I Say

Now that I’m a proper grown up, I know that everyone’s family has sayings that are not universal to everyone else’s but growing up, I truly thought everyone used the same phrases as my family did and was always surprised to learn that was not the case.

Here’s a sampling:

  • That’s the plan, Stan.
  • That’s the truth, Ruth.
  • I’m in the catbird seat. or Look who’s in the catbird seat.
  • Who knows? The shadow do. (sic)
  • Dropo (pronounced, drow-pro, like row the boat), this was a term we used for someone who did something stupid or ridiculous, a nice way of calling someone an idiot. Sadly, my parents said this because there was a basketball player (I think) whose last name was Dropo and they thought it was a stupid name.
  • Take a Louie/Ralph. When giving directions for turning left (Louie) or right (Ralph).
  • When my parents put me to bed, I’d always call out, “Good night, don’t let the bed bugs bite. Pinch, pinch. I love you. Good night.” Without fail, I said this, including actually saying “pinch, pinch” but not ever pinching anyone.
  • Run ’em ferndot. This was to tell someone to deal the cards when playing a game. I just googled the term and apparently the phrase is actually “Roll ’em Ferndock” and it comes from a cartoon called Alley Cat and Mayor and the Mayor would say it before a cartoon started. One of my nicknames for Simon is Phernie (we decided it should be spelled with a “ph”).

I’m sure there are tons more but I can’t think of them offhand. And thinking of them leads me to think of things that I say that my kids will carry on with them.

  • Punky Brewster. Term we use when the kids are being punks, stemming from the TV show of the same name. For example, when Jack’s climbing into the fridge, “Oh, you little punky brewster!”
  • Mush, mush. When I’m trying to get them to do something, I usually tack on a “mush, mush” to it, it makes me feel like perhaps they will go faster like good little sled dogs.
  • Yish, yish. I spent six-weeks in Kazakhstan in college and this is the phrase my Kazakh roommate’s mother would use to encourage me to eat something. Sadly the things she was encouraging me to eat sometimes contained liver. Though other things were quite delicious, like honey cake and I yished away.
  • Muffalump. Our affectionate term for our dog, George. “Oh, Georgie, your such a cute wittle muffalump.”

No doubt the kids will learn quite a few phrases from their Australian father and I can’t wait to see what they pass along to their kids.


16 responses to “Do As I Say

  1. “now that I’m a proper grown up” HA!!! What a way to start a blog post with a good laugh. ” 🙂

  2. “Mush, mush” made me laugh out loud – That is so funny! That reminds me of when my grandma used to tell us to “Go flight a kite” when we were pestering her. And when we’d forget to close the front door on our way in or out of the house, my dad would ask us “Were you born in a barn?” I’m sure we had other sayings too, but I can’t think of them at the moment….

    • My dad’s often repeated phrase when I started driving was, “It’s not that I don’t trust you, I just don’t trust the other drivers…”

  3. oh that driving one makes my skin crawl. which means obviously i will say it. love these!!!

    • Oh yeah – I repeat all those phrases… as much as they drove me crazy, my least favorite (and much repeated) one is: Because I’m the parent and I’m in charge.

  4. I love it 🙂 And never thought about it until this post, but we also have our sayings that have just become “normal” but may raise an eyebrow from an outsider. For example, “Hey Cracker Jack” is often said to the low-rider of the day when their precious booty is sticking out of their pants. So one day Addie came up to me while I was tying someone’s shoe and said, “Mom, I see your cracker”. Made me chuckle.
    Also, we don’t “fart” or “toot”. We “blow trumpets”. There’s a story behind that one.
    Sorry, though, because you didn’t take a survey. I should now delete this ramble but probably won’t –
    Great post 🙂

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  6. I love this – it is inspiring me to make my own list. My dad also said “Louie” for left – sometimes with variation of”Luigi” (for fun). Great post!!

    • Glad I’m not the only one with variations for directions – my friends always looked at me like I was crazy 🙂 I was trying to explain it to my oldest the other day and he kept saying, “But you mean left…?”

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