… that I swore I’d never say to my kids, but do.
I didn’t think I had another 10 of these retro gems in me, to tell the truth (the original list is here). Then I visited Husband’s family and was hurled smack bang into a delicious sea of retro which inspired this post. Welcome to another round of shit my parents used to say to me that made my kids into the people they are today:
- “I’ll have your guts for garters.” A threat! A not-so-subtle allusion to hanging, drawing and quartering if we didn’t bend to our parents’ will!
- “Hold your horses!” Weird that my mum used to say this as she was severely equinophobic. This was used when we were being impatient (for me, roughly 23 hours of the day) but now I reckon she used to say it because she was too scared to hold them herself.
- “Don’t get your knickers in a knot.” Look. My mum should have been bloody grateful that I was even wearing knickers, so predisposed was I to NOT wearing them.
- “That’s what the actor said to the bishop.” I don’t think anyone who doesn’t have my father’s off-the-wall sense of humour would ever relish this. He used to say it in response to anything I said that contained the slightest bit of unintended innuendo. Example: MM: I’ve never seen such a lovely bunch of coconuts! Dad: That’s what the actor said to the bishop! Yes? Right. Didn’t think so.
- “Your bedroom looks like a brothel.” This was probably said to me around the same time I used the word “harlot” in a school essay as I thought it meant “scary woman” (cue parents being called to “consult” the principal), so she wasn’t far wrong.
- “You are older, you should know better!” I use this on Scout all the time and cringe every time I do as it’s not fair – she’s a kid, too, just like her 2 year old sister (but with less hair and more lip).
- “It’s colder than a nun’s tittie.” (I’m going to Hell for all this ideological incorrectness, aren’t I?) Dad used to say this to us an awful lot when we were kids. I say it to Inky and Scout too but they’re too confused, I think, to ask me what it actually means.
- “You’re madder than a two-bob watch.” Clearly my father was living in a different century to the rest of us. I use the phrase “You’re madder than a cut snake” more often with my own kids, although the former has come out on occasion, most significantly after a couple of glasses of wine when I’m living in a different century.
- “Watch your lip.” when we were being rude. This is used on Scout every other day these days. I’ve heard “9” is a particularly lippy age so clearly Scout is just getting started.
- “There’s no such word as ‘Can’t’.” Granted, there’s not a lot of things Scout and Inky “can’t” or won’t do, they’re pretty much “boots-in” kids, but it comes out occasionally when I’m chanelling my mum and pretending I’m a drill sergeant on a monsoonal battleground. A drill sergeant without a dictionary, no less.
What did your parents say to you as a child that was a bit wacky? Share!
For more scintillating trips down amnesia lane: