I was reading something recently which set me thinking about some of the sayings used by my family and wondering what sayings other people remember.

My mother was a gentle tolerant lady but she despised pretentiousness in people and pretended to be something they weren’t and  had various sayings to describe them.

          “She’s a right Mrs Wouldbe” (would be if she could but she can’t)

           “Fur coat no drawers”

          “Lace curtains and a bare table”

On a kinder note “If you meet someone without a smile, give him one of yours”

JW’ s father on a more mischievous note, “Keep a smile on your face. They’ll wonder what you have been up to!”

Great Aunt Clara was a Hell and Damnation sort of believer and literally put the fear of God into me telling me that God was watching everything I did and also told me that my life was like a piece of string and every lie I told was a knot in my string! After that we always said the someone had another knot in hs string if he told a lie.

As a youngster Aunt Cis was apparently a great sulker if she didn’t get her own way and grandfather used to tell her, “What a miserable face, hang it on the wall and throw stones at it!”

My Father used to get quite upset if we said we hated something inanimate (e.g. seed cake!!) and told us to save our hatred for evil.

If someone was a bit crazy we would say “He follows balloons”

Someone being stupid was “11d to the bob” (shilling), or, “the lights on but nobody’s home” 

We had one uncle who tended to repeat himself quite a lot, so now, if we repeat ourselves everyone choruses “Yes Albert”

If we were too late for something, “The trains left the station” and if we were rushing into something without thinking Dad used to revert to the dialect of the village he was brought up in and say, “Owd yer ‘osses” (Hold your horses)

If were particularly longing for an item we were “hanging our noses over it”

The first house we bought was close to Nottingham Castle which could be see from the bathroom window so a visit to the bathroom became, “Going to look at the castle”

When I was learning to read I asked what picturesque meant but pronounced it picturescue so that was always used after that. Similarly we travelled in “ixats” after I read the word from the inside of a taxicab.

There must be dozens more but these are the examples that spring to mind. How about your family sayings.

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