Thursday, May 26, 2011

Family Phrases: Good Gravy Marie, That's Different!

I used the word "monkeyshines" in a facebook post yesterday. It got me to thinking about things that I heard in my family that either I don't hear much anymore or that if I say it cause one of two reactions: people either look at me askance or I mentally cringe and want to shove the words right back in my mouth because Holy Hannah, I swore I would never say them when I grew up. And no, they're not swear words.

Here let me give you some examples:

Hotsie Totsie Dirty Little Nazi. I actually said this one this morning when I burned my fingers pulling a Toaster Strudel out of the toaster. (Don't get the wrong idea. The strudel wasn't for my children. I would never feed them such non-nutritional stuff. I awoke at 4:30 a.m. so that I might fix them a full farm breakfast of pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, fresh fruit, juice, and milk. After I fed them I sent them lovingly off with a kiss and promises of milk and warm cookies fresh from the oven when they got home....HAHAHAHAHA!! Yeah. The strudels were totally for them.) I heard my parents say this phrase when something was too hot to handle.

Say! Really this is a drawn out Saaaaaay!! It's said with a warning tone and a stern look. It's meant to be a sort of "hey you overstepped your verbal boundaries and you'd better put the brakes on before you find yourself in a world of hurt" type of statement but with way fewer words. I can remember my mother saying this to me when I got sassy. I have heard myself say it to my own sassy children.

Good Gravy Marie! This is an expression of surprise or dismay. I remember asking my mom about this one when I was little and she explained it to me. I loved it. I loved that we didn't know anyone named Marie let alone how good her gravy was and here we were exclaiming over it in situations that had nothing to do with gravy consumption at all. This one flies out of my mouth occasionally and I always have to do a quick look around to see if anyone heard me.

Oh My Goddy. My mother tells the story of how this came to be. Apparently she and my dad were driving down the highway and getting ready to change lanes. When my dad looked in his mirror he didn't realize that a semi was barreling down on them and the first words to escape his lips were "Oh my goddy!" Even now it makes me grin and I use it only when in a moving vehicle.

Excuse The Pig The Hog's Out Walkin'. This was used whenever my dad or brothers would accidentally let a (very large, loud) burp escape after dinner. You understand that this was unacceptable behavior, right? And of course, being the delicate, feminine flower that I was (am) I never engaged in that sort of behavior. It was always said with surprise and a hint of contempt for the lack of manners shown. I have been known to say it to my own children on occasion. But never my beloved because he has never, ever sat at the dinner table and burped the word "mama" after consuming his meal. Ahem.

It'll Be A Clear Day Tomorrow. My mom used to say this one at the dinner table as well. She said her dad used to say it. Basically, it means that you've cleaned your plate. It's particularly fitting after a delicious dinner where you have availed yourself of all offers of second or even third helpings. I have been known to utter this one after eating Feta Dip and Buster Bars In A Pan--oh, and lots of other stuff.

That's The End Gate. This was said when, obviously, the last of something occurred or something was finished. I think this came from my maternal grandfather, but before that I'm not sure. It sounds like a ranching expression. How it came to us I have no idea, because my family? Not so much with the ranching. It doesn't seem to matter, though, because I say this anyway. And you can see my children looking around for a gate and then giving me the stink eye because obviously I am simple.

I Have To Go Wee. WHEEEE!! I believe this is from an old Benny Hill bit. Doesn't matter. If I need to use the facilities, you can often hear me saying this. I am Klassy.

Pretty Is As Pretty Does. My mother used to tell me this all the time. I hated it and it made me cringe both inwardly and outwardly. Then it became a bit of a joke. Not the sentiment, because that's sound, but my visceral reaction to it. I swore I would never say it when I grew up. And mostly I haven't. In so many words anyway. I've said things like "You know, if you don't treat people nicely, it doesn't matter what you look like. They won't see your appearance, they'll see your actions." Yeah. That's probably not going on a bumper sticker any time soon...

How about you? Do you have any words or phrases that your family says that make sense to you but might make other people scratch their heads? Do tell. I promise not to look at you as if you are crazy. Good gravy Marie, that's the truth!

blog comments powered by Disqus