Because I’m having trouble with my memory right now (thanks Who Song, ya bastard), I will have to fast forward and just give you the list of those I shared. Hopefully you will see some of Hot Toddy’s in the comments. I don’t want to steal his thunder!
My folks are from the south. My Mom was from Oklahoma City and my Dad was from McCaskill, Arkansas. Yikes. I know. They met in Texas and moved to San Diego in 1942 or something. I thank my lucky stars every time I get the opportunity to tell people I was born and raised in San Diego. It leaves me the choice to describe the disfunctionality of my family versus people instantly knowing because I tell them I’m from Oklahoma or Arkansas. Isn’t disfunctionality a given in those “parts?”
Anyhoo, on with the list.
When not getting quite what you wanted they said, “It beats a pig and poke.”
When something good happened: “It’s like cuttin’ a fat hog in the ass.”
When complaining about having to do a chore, my Mom would say, “Oh, you’ll do it, if it hair-lips the Governor.”
My parents didn’t swear a lot. For some reason saying “bull shit” was a bad thing, however, saying “Horse Shit Julie” wasn’t.
And then there was my Mom’s version “Horse Junk Julie.”
If something went wrong or someone was upset they said “Soup’s cold now.”
If you were visibly upset or were pissed off at something, my folks would ask, “What’s wrong? You got the jaws?” (meaning you were so mad your jaw was clinched).
If my younger sister, Skinny Girl, was angry and
Then there was my Mom’s statement when she didn’t care, “Say it off the courthouse steps. I’ll give you an hour to draw a crowd.”
When you’d ask if you could have something you’d get “Help your darlin’ self.”
When looking for an estimate of time: “I’ll get to it dreckly.” We all thought dreckly was a word. She was saying “directly” but with that southern drawl…
Then there was the way my Mom said her phone number two two fiiiive, seven eigghhhht wuun wuun. She was so cute!
If someone had an abundance of something it was “They’ve got more (insert item here) than Carter’s got liver pills.”
When obtaining something out of reach there was “I Wrech on over there and got it.” Reached. They were trying to say they reached over and got it. Again, we all thought wrech was a word.
They had so many sayings that we kids were accustomed to hearing that I entered into young adulthood still using them. They felt like home to me. When I was 26, I got my first Unix System Administrator position. The company I worked for had an older woman in Accounts Payable that absolutely loved those sayings and would engage in conversation with me just to hear them. She was astounded at how many there were and constantly threatened to publish them in a little book (too late Barb, they’re on the ‘Net now!).
I finally realized that in certain situations in Corporate America, those expressions had the potential to make you appear uneducated. It’s no wonder with my Dad’s sixth grade education and Mom’s eighth. Being one of 14 children, my folks were old compared to my classmates. I guess if you’re going to have enough kids for a sports team, you have to start young!
There are a lot of things I wish I could change about my childhood. The expressions my family used aren’t one of those things. My ex Daddy D explained it to me one day. She pointed out that you are dealt a hand of cards when you are born. Those cards are the significant events in your life. When you become an adult, you have the choice to throw down one or more of those cards and have opportunities to pick new ones, thus, releasing yourself from the associated baggage.
I suspect that this card from my childhood will end up pretty tattered. I doubt I’ll ever throw this one down.