Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sayings of Yore

I somehow have collected an arsenal of old fashioned sayings (I think a lot of them are actually Canadian.) I grew up hearing them from my Grandma, my parents and a few other random sources.

Sayings like:

“You’ve got more nerve than a canal horse.”

“I look like the wreck of the Hesperus”

“A whistling woman and an old fat hen, both will come to no good end.”

“One fine day in the middle of the night, two dead boys rose up to fight. Back to back, they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other. The deaf policeman heard the noise, and if you don’t believe me, go ask the blind man, he saw it all.”

“By the skin of his teeth”

“Busier than a one-armed paper-hanger”

That’s just a sampling. I’m sure I will think of more when I hit publish. I got curious and was trying to look up some of these quotes, and I found these other funny Canadian quotes, courtesy of this site. I don’t know if they are all really Canadian, but they’re funny!

“Rattlesnakes are so big on the Bruce Peninsula, they don't have rattles; they have little bells that play "Nearer My God to Thee."

“Been there. Done that. Got that maple-leaf T-shirt.”

"I've seen live bait smarter 'n' him."

"The chances are slim and none, and slim is visiting Alberta."

"I'm gonna feed you a shut-up sandwich."

"We never went to bed hungry. We stayed up."

I think someone one day should take old sayings and spruce them up a bit, going through them systematically, so as to keep them alive.

For example, I think no one says "chew the fat" anymore because it's not politically correct to say "fat". So, why not make it "masticate the obesity" instead? Or, better still: "gnaw the gristle"?

Also, there's "a penny for your thoughts." That expression needs to be changed to reflect inflation and the exchange rate. Or, you could keep it at just a penny and then you'd be saying something like "what you think is pretty worthless, frankly. In fact, counting the hairs on my grandpa's toes would prove more exciting."

And "toss the pigskin" doesn't make sense anymore, either. Instead, I suggest "hurl the swine"--but I guess that could also be misconstrued as another way of saying "to vomit".

Expressions that could, perhaps, be kept just as they have always been might include "Pow! Right in the kisser." That one does seem to still have a certain charm, doesn't it?

I also realize it is not an expression per se, but we really should keep the word "cockamamie" alive, don't you think? It has so many uses, and if you combine it with other "creative" words you could construct sentences like "Get that cockamamie thingamajig outta my mug and quit yer lollygagging, will ya?!"

I wonder where the expression "till the cows come home" came from. My question is: "Did the cows ever come home?"

1 comment:

Victoria said...

i like "im gonna feed you a shut up sandwich" and "slim is visiting alberta." Heather- I still use some of the ones you mentioned. i dont know what that says about me.