Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Wendy over at All My Branches Genealogy has a great post called What A Bunch of Hooey! as her submission for the 54th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. I had forgotten to mention in my earlier post some of my mother's Mom-isms and some of the "'er thans" as we call them.


Perhaps it is just the New York influence, but people watching was always a leisure time activity in my family, especially if we went into Manhattan for a Broadway show or shopping. When the activities and walking had taken their toll, we'd often sit on a bench and just watch the parade go by.

This is when Mom's sayings usually came out. Her favorites always began with "Would it kill . . ." as in:

"Would it kill her to wear a bra?" This was a frequent one as Mom seemed to be obsessed with the figures of other women. Mom's real passion was that someone should just look "put together" not that they had to be perfect. And usually the end phrase of her lecture was "she'll end up being a 44 Long."

"Would it kill her to run a brush through her hair?" Again, the same theme. One just didn't roll out of bed and leave the house without some proper grooming and "putting on one's face" as she liked to say.

'Er Thans

These are the "comparative" sayings that I heard growing up, some of which I still use. Many family members and friends contributed these. I don't think they need explanation:

"Uglier than a box of broken bells."
"Dumber than a box of hair"
"Hotter than two June brides"
"Hotter than Dutch Love" (which I never understood but knew not to ask)
"Busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest"
"Busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger"
"Colder than a well-digger's *ss"

Random Sayings

I grew up with or overheard these as well:

"He was so ugly it looked like his face caught on fire an' someone tried to put it out with a chain!"

"My mother didn't raise any stupid children. Just two ugly ones and they're still at home."

"What do I look like?" (This usually involved something that cost money and children knew, even at young age, that this was a rhetorical question not to be answered)

1 comment:

wendy said...

Your mom and mine sounds a lot alike! My mom also hated to see other women not put together either! She'd always say - "she should wear a girdle". I've heard her say this about stick thin women too! Or how about this phrase: "Uglier than a mud picket fence"! Thanks for sparking more memories!