Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day to everyone

54 Years ago today....
Mr. Lincoln gave me my diamond.

Now for some old phrases, see if any of you remember any of these.
'I'll just give this a lick and a promise,' my mother said as she quickly mopped up a spill on the floor without moving any of the furniture. 'What is that supposed to mean,' I asked as in my young mind I envisioned someone licking the floor with his or her tongue. 'It means that I'm in a hurry and I'm busy canning tomatoes so I am going to just give it a lick with the mop and promise to come back and do the job right later.

'A lick and a promise' was just one of the many old phrases that our mothers, grandmothers, and others used that they probably heard from the generations before them. With the passing of time, many old phrases become obsolete or even disappear. This is unfortunate because some of them are very appropri-ate and humorous. Here is a list of some of those memorable old phrases:

1. A Bone to Pick (someone who wants to discuss a disagreement)

2. An Axe to Grind (Someone who has a hidden motive. This phrase is said to have originated from Benjamin Franklin who told a story about a devious man who asked how a grinding wheel worked. He ended up walking away with his axe sharpened free of charge)

3. One bad apple spoils the whole barrel (one corrupt person can cause all the others to go bad if you don't remove thebad one)

4. At sea (lost or not understanding something)

5. Bad Egg (Someone who was not a good person)

6. Barking at a knot (meaning that your efforts were as useless as a dog barking at a knot.)

7. Barking up the wrong tree (talking about something that was completely the wrong issue with the wrong person)

8. Bee in your bonnet (To have an idea that won't let loose )

9. Been through the mill (had a rough time of it)

10. Between hay and grass (Not a child or an adult)

11. Blinky (Between sweet and sour as in milk)

12. Catawampus (Something that sits crooked such as a piece of furniture sitting at an angle)

13. Dicker (To barter or trade)

14. Feather in Your Cap (to accomplish a goal. This came from years ago in wartime when warriors might receive a feather they would put in their cap for defeating an enemy)

15. Hold your horses (Be patient!)

16. Hoosegow (a jail)

17. I reckon (I suppose)

color="White">18. Jawing/Jawboning (Talking or arguing)

19. Kit and caboodle (The whole thing)

20. Madder than an wet hen (really angry)

21. Needs taken down a notch or two (like notches in a belt usually a young person who thinks too highly of himself and needs a lesson)

22. No Spring Chicken (Not young anymore)

23. Persnickety (overly particular or snobbish)

24. Pert-near (short for pretty near)

25. Pretty is as pretty does (your actions are more important than your looks)

26. Red up (clean the house)

27. Scalawag (a rascal or unprincipled person)

28. Scarce as hen's teeth (something difficult to obtain)

29. Skedaddle (Get out of here quickly)

30. Sparking (courting)

31. Straight From the Horse's Mouth (privileged information from the one concerned)

32. Stringing around, gallivanting around, or piddling around (Not doing anything of value)

33. Sunday go to meetin' dress (The best dress you had)

34. We wash up real fine (is another goodie)

35. Tie the Knot (to get married)

36. Too many irons in the fire (to be involved in too many things)

37. Tuckered out (tired and all worn out)

38. Under the weather (not feeling well this term came from going below deck on ships due to sea sickness thus you go below or under the weather)

39. Wearing your 'best bib and tucker' (Being all dressed up)

40. You ain't the only duck in the pond (It's not all about you)

Well, if you hold your horses, I reckon I'll get this whole kit and caboodle done and posted. Please don't be too persnickety and get a bee in your bonnet because I've been pretty tuckered out and at sea lately because I'm no spring chicken. I haven't been just stringing' around and I know I'm not the only duck in the pond, but I do have too many irons in the fire. I might just be barking at a knot, but I have tried to give this article more than just A lick and a promise.

Hope you all enjoy these. I still hear a few of these being used today.


This is just for Abe. Except think of the cat being all black. You see, our daughter's cat, that is living with us at the moment, loves to lay down in front of Abe, so he starts petting Baby Kitty (who is actually more like a baby panther) and every time he forgets and starts to rub the cat's tummy and every time he pulls his hand away with some blood running. I guess he's a slow learner. LOL


Melinda said...

haha...good post mom. Love you!

Granny on the Web said...

We have most of these over here as well, but some of them I haven't heard before. So thanks for that.
Love Granny

jinksy said...

A few English translations for you:-

6) barking up the wrong tree
11) milk is 'on the turn'
12) skew wiff
16) clink
25) handsome is as handsome does
34) we scrub up well
40) only pebble on the beach

all the rest are much of a muchness!

Gramma Ann said...

"Oh yes! I remember them well."

Twisted Fencepost said...

Well, I got 32 out of your list. Not too bad.
Don't feel bad, Abe. I do the same thing. They always turn over and show their belly and I can't help it.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Great old sayings, and a great summary/wrap-up!

Reader Wil said...

Funny those expressions! Where do they come from? In Dutch we have of course also these typical expressions. We don't say " Between hay and grass", but "Between napkin and sheet" and mean the same. Have a great day! I love your cat!!

The Mulligan Family said...

Those were fun! I was familiar with quite a few of them.

Happy Anniversary!

Judy said...

Hey Patty :)

Reading this list is great! I know all of them except for 10,11, and 12.


Mental P Mama said...

Happy Ring Anniversary! Since I grew up in the sticks of Tennessee, I remember most of these. And I still pull one or two out from time to time. Have a wonderful evening.

Denise said...

Those kitties know what they want don't they? Enjoyed the post. Love all those sayings. I do remember my mum using one when I was a little girl, "Kill two birds with one stone" and I cried. I suppose I thought the worst - lol. The other one we had was, "Haven't seen you in a donkey's age" meaning long time. Maybe that was just an Englishism, I've lived here so long now I get confused, not hard to do these days ;)

Charles said...

I still use several of them. A while back an older (90+) friend remarked that she hadn't heard my phrase 'gallivanting' used in a very long time. Thanks for the list & explaining some. Charles

Nancy said...

I never heard some of these before. Wish I could reemmber some of them to use on my kids! LOL

54 years ago, huh? It will be 46 years on Columbus Day that I got my diamond.

Loved the cat at the end, too! LOL

((( HUGS )))

Renie Burghardt said...

I remember some of these, and some are new to me. But many of these are still used today, especially in the boonies. I reckon people in the country cling to old traditions. LOL.

Abe gave you a diamond on April Fools Day? Well, Happy Got My Diamond Day! :-)

Good night, Patty

Tuckered out Renie!

Femin Susan said...

That cats picture is so cute. its really funny....
Happy Anniversary!

Merle said...

Dear Patty ~~ I enjoyed hearing these old sayings again. I have used a good many of them.I think lick and s promise was good one. Fancy thinking it meant licking the floor.
Thank you for your messages and glad you liked the jokes. The Mexican learning Englsh - that was funny.
I am glad you got your lawns cut as that means the grass is growing and better as the Spring weather warms up. Take care, my friend,
Love, Merle.

Margaret Cloud said...

I remember most of these and a lot of them has gone by the wayside, another nice post.

Brenda said...

Those were good. A few I had not heard of. My parents family was from the boot heel of Missouri and you would not believe some of the expressions they had. I wish I could remember them, but I can't. I love how you were able to put them all together in the final paragraph.