1. Younger Me: “Dad I don’t want to walk downstairs at night. It’s too dark.”
Dad: “There’s no monsters. We can’t afford monsters.”
2. “You got goats.”
My family’s way of saying you had a wedgie, because it looked like there was a goat in your crack eating your pants. Quite embarrassing when I found out that wasn’t a common phrase
3. My dad would tell us to “cough it up, it could be a gold watch” if you were coughing. I never understood it.
4. My nan used to say ‘who’s she, the cat’s mother?’ whenever you told a story with too many pronouns and she lost track of characters.
5. When my grandma would say, “I got a bone in my leg,” when she asked us kids to fetch stuff for her. It was her reason for not doing it herself. I felt so bad for her when I was super small. I really thought she’d hurt her leg or something. Like, “Would you bring me an iced tea? I got a bone in my leg.”
6. My dad always used “it’s broke with a capital F” as his way of saying “it’s completely fucked” but without swearing in front of us as kids.
7. Whenever I didn’t like something, my dad would say, “Well it likes you. It called the other day and said so.” It could be anything: broccoli, a hamburger, the neighbor’s cat. Whatever I didn’t like or want to try, he had always gotten a call.
8. My mom would always say, “Don’t think about penguins!” when we got hurt, and we would obviously and immediately start thinking about penguins and why we shouldn’t be thinking about them, and we would stop crying.
9. Any time I’d ask my mom where she was going she’d shout, “Crazy! Want to go with me?”
10. My mom said something really funny once while we were getting ready to run out. She said, “Mirror mirror on the wall, you better fucking lie to me!” Since then it’s stuck and we say it before we leave to go out.
11. A million o’clock to express “very late.”
When did he call you? At like a million o’clock!
12. “I’m going to start drinking, and I don’t mean diet coke!” My mom when angry.
13. My mom always says, “ I’m fucking this monkey, you just hold the tail,” when she’s doing something and we’re helping.
14. When I’d ask my mom what was for dinner, one of her favorite responses used to be, “Air pie and wind pudding.” Never heard anyone else in my life say this.
15. Mom: You’d never notice on a galloping horse.
It means no one really looks closely at you.
16. When pulling out of the driveway for a trip: “And we’re off, like a heard of turtles!”
17. One I still don’t understand is “What are you doing? Posing for animal crackers?”
I mean, I understood the meaning but the reference was beyond me. Basically when I was standing around during work and not doing anything.
18. I’m sure this is actually super common, but it comes from my Great Grandma. She only spoke Hungarian and what little English she did know were translations of her favorite Hungarian swears. She would often call people, especially my father, “bitch-bastard” in both languages. It stuck and most of my family on that side refer to each other as “bitch-bastards,” which does cover most bases.
19. Whenever we were to fend for ourselves for dinner, my mom called it “getchuroni” (getchu-your-oni).
20. When something new turned up and we’d ask my dad where it came from his reply was always, “Stole it from a blind man down on the corner.”
21. I have yet to hear anyone else say it and I stole it from my dad but if something was broken he would say, “It’s bucking fusted.”
22. Dad would always say, “Hotter than a garlic fart.” Never heard anyone else say that.
23. “Red shoes, no knickers.” My mum said this, that there’s an implication women wearing red shoes weren’t wearing any undies. Still haven’t met anyone who has ever heard of it.
24. Me: “What are you doing?”
Dad, obviously just watching TV: “I’m digging a hole.”
25. My step-father would point at his head and say, “kidneys man, kidneys” when he got credit for stuff (answering a trivia question for example). I use it with my students all the time.
26. “Get your poop in a group!” Ya know, instead of “Get your shit together.”
27. I used to run a pub. I had to refuse to serve a rather inebriated young man. Rather than saying, “You think you’re the best thing since sliced bread,” he actually said: “You think you’re a slice of bread.”
Since then, in our family, anytime one of us does something rather clever, we are accused of thinking we are a slice of bread.
28. My mom would always say, “it’s behind the milk!” when we would look for something and couldn’t find it. Inevitably whatever we were looking for one day was simply behind the milk in the fridge and we couldn’t find it. My mom exclaimed this from across the house in frustration and it became the exclamation for anything someone is trying to find. Meaning look harder, actually move other objects instead of just blankly staring.
29. As a kid whenever I would say, “I don’t know what to wear!” my Grandma would say, “Put a raisin in your belly button and go as a cookie.”
30. My dad is a neurologist. Anytime I complained that I was bored he would ask me, “Board-certified?” Took years for me to finally get it.