Daily Archives: July 19, 2011

In Other Words…

I’m guessing that we all can remember phrases that our parents (and probably grandparents) said. I’ve often wondered about the origin of some of them.

These are some of the sayings I’ve heard in my family through the years:

That clock is going to have Christmas here before Thanksgiving.” Obviously, this referred to a clock that didn’t keep correct time, or was “running fast”. And, obviously, this was before the days of digital clocks. I’m sure this phrase has become almost obsolete.

“That lasted about as long as Pat stayed in the army.”  This old saying was used to describe something  short-lived. I can recall, as a child, asking my mom who Pat was, and why he  didn’t stay in the army very long.

Not worth a continental.”  A phrase that described something of less than satisfactory quality. I remember my mom telling me that her dad used this expression, although Grandaddy’s version was “Not worth a continental damn”. I never heard my mom word it that way. She always said: “not worth a continental dime”, or just: “not worth a continental”.

“Doin’ bluin’, wanna buy a bottle?”  The only person I recall hearing use this phrase was my late sister, Rose, when she was a teenager. It was in response to my question: “Whatcha doin’?” Her tone was……that of a teenager dealing with a pesky little sister. By the way, bluing is a fabric whitener. I think it’s still manufactured, but I don’t believe it’s widely used these days. I found this bottle in an antique shop.

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”  The meaning of that old saying is pretty obvious. It simply means that there are alternate ways to accomplish something. (We’re careful not to say this within earshot of Sundae.)

"Say What??!"

What are some old phrases you’ve heard in your family?  I would imagine that they probably vary depending on where you live.

Although I’m sure we use them more often than we realize, I found it difficult to make a list without quite a bit of thought. And, most likely, there are dozens more that didn’t come to mind. A future post, perhaps?