Saturday, February 12, 2022

Mama's Way of Saying It

 My dear mother had many sayings. Some I had heard before, some made sense, a few were funny, and there were also some head scratchers.

She commented once, referring to a handsome man, that, "[He] is so good looking, he could put his shoes under my bed anytime."

"He's tighter than Dick's hat band". Never knew what this meant until I stumbled across the definition. This refers to Dick Tracy's Hat. He could jump out of a flying plane or ride on the to of a moving train and his hat never came off (as in his hat band had to be tight enough to hold it in place under any circumstance.) Who knew? I seriously doubt Mama did.

"That lasted about long as Pat stayed in  the Navy" 

"Heaven's to Betsy", which I have learned is just a southern way of saying, "Oh, for heaven's sake." (Only in the south would we use "Betsy".)

"Well that's the cat's meow."

"Katy bar the door." Who knew this originated from a Scottish ballad called 'Get Up and Bar the Door' published in 1776.

"That's Jim Dandy" (originated form baseball??)

"Have his cake and eat it too." According to Wikipedia - this refers to a phrase found "in a letter on 14 March 1538 from Thomas, the Duke of Norfolk to Thomas Cromwell as 'a man can not have his cake and eat his cake'. This begs to ask - why does someone still have a copy of this letter from 1538? 

“That thing is all catawampus.” (Of course Mama pronounced it 'catiwampus')  or put that 'Cati-cornered from the other.'

"Well, if that's not the cat's pajamas!"

"I'm plumb tuckered out." (or 'He's plumb crazy')

"Hill of Beans", 

"Lord knows"

"I'm fixin to . . ." 

"I  recon",

"Well, she's got gumption."

"Well, I swanee" or "I'll swanny". Some research says this originated with the Old English term “I shall warrant.”

"More problems that Carter's Liver pills" (of course this was Mama's version of "Carter HAS Liver pills."

She never asked for a "Coke", it was always a "Coke-a-Cola"

"Taking her sweet time . . ."

"High on the Hog"

" 'Till the cows come home."

"Too big for his britches."

"Three sheets to the wind."

"Hissy fit"

I realize that none of these are unique. We have all heard most of them, well that is if you are southern, Like it or not, this is just part of our culture. But, each of these reminds me of my mother. No doubt everyone has such memories. Reading through the list, they sound silly. But, in context, they all make sense to me. I knew exactly what she meant.

No comments: