Family Sayings that Make Sense to Say in Conversation but No One Else Gets

Just like communities and regions, families develop their own colloquialisms over the years.  There are times I try to use these family sayings in regular conversation--say, at work--but they usually sound weird or confuse people.  Here are a few of the sayings my family developed:

1.  "Buttons on your underwear"--When I was younger, pictures of Mickey Mouse in those red shorts really disturbed me.  I could not figure out why a mouse was wearing boxer shorts with yellow buttons on them.  So, my mom and I would say as a joke, "Mickey Mouse, buttons on your underwear" as the "so there" in a silly argument.  It stuck.  At least, it stuck in our family. 

2.  "Toot"--My mom HATES the word "fart", so "toot" took its place.  You can use "toot" in all forms:  toot, tooted, tooting, etc., just as long as you don't say "fart".

3.  "WHO HAS THE REMOTE!??!"--As a Baptist minister, my dad has always been careful about what he watches on television or in the extreme.  It was not uncommon for us all to be watching some show and for my dad to walk in the room at the precise moment a couple's clothes began to fly off.  He'd IMMEDIATELY freak out and yell, "WHO HAS THE REMOTE!?!?" as if we'd all been watching smutty porn.  So now, any time he freaks out about anything (hot pans on the counter, leaks in the ceiling, someone making milkshakes out of his favorite ice cream (yes, really)), we all roll our eyes and yell, "WHO HAS THE REMOTE?!?!"  WE think it's funny, even if he doesn't. 

What are your family sayings?


Josie said...

My Brothers and I add "Mayhem Ensues" to the end of everything. It stems from a game of Balderdash gone sideways about 15 years ago.
Also "Chairs have four legs" which is apporiate whenever you're doing something not mom approved. It used to be our favorite dinner game to balance our chairs on two legs. Which is apparently wrong.

ashley said...

My dad used to, and probably still says to my mom, "The county nurse doesn't live here" whenever he wanted us to pick up after ourselves in the living room. It doesn't make much sense though, I don't think that the county nurse makes house calls to pick up people's snot rags and throw them in the trash for them...

Shandra Leah said...

"I just put a ham in!" - My dad's side of the family has a way of prolonging goodbyes after visits, being that my grandparents and extended family all live 7+ hours away and we don't see each other very often. One time at my Grandmother's, we were naturally planning on leaving right after breakfast and naturally spent another 2 hours chatting. While we were finally on our way out to the car, my grandmother says, "Oh you can't go yet, I just put a ham in the oven!" I can't remember if we stayed or not, but from then on, whenever we are 'leaving,' the big joke is saying, or asking if, someone put a ham in.

#1Nana said...

"Are you moving a refrigerator later?" Used when pants were low enough to show the butt crack.


Los Schoenys said...

LOVE IT!!! I actually did a whole post months ago about my family and our favorite made up words or phrases!

One of my faves is "angry gumball." Stolen from an Extra gum commercial, this is a name used to call someone who is pouting for a silly reason or is in a bad mood

Friday After Lunch said...

Most of our family quotes are from books or fact, approximately 85% of all of our conversations are really just a string of quotes that we have managed to form sentences out of.

But! There is one original we say often, which is "it's behind the milk". My dad can never find anything, so he is constantly asking where things are. On one particularly memorable search, the item in question was just behind the milk.

onoire said...

there are a few things that my family members say (and on a regular basis i might add), but the one that stands out the most right now is our use of the word "poot" instead of fart, pass gas, break wind, etc. we use the word poot in all of its forms too - poot, pooted, etc.

i remember the first time that i said the word "poot" (or some form of it) around my husband and he almost died from laughter before asking me what in the world i had just said. i then proceeded to explain to him the ins and outs of the word "poot" and he has since adopted this word and all of its uses as his own!

who knew people could be converted that easily?

kodi_jo said...

My stepdad says, "don't be stupid" when I go on vacation or move, etc etc, which means, "make smart decisions like I've taught you because I love you".

My dad always said, "we ain't building a piano" when I was little and taking a long time being precise nailing nails or drilling screws into whatever we were building.

The Naked Redhead said...

Ha! I just thought of another one: "That'll put hair on your chest." My dad always says this as a form of "encouragement" about tasks or foods you don't want to try. "Try this hot'll put hair on your chest." Errr..k.

#1Nana said...

onoire...I'd forgotten that usage of "poof" I thought it was an English usage. My family was from England and we used that term also. Thanks for the memories!

That Kind of Girl said...

I actually wrote a SSoLA post about this months ago and just never got around to scheduling it. My sister and I have a million old family jokes. My favorite is "Kevin Bacon Moment," which refers to the CRITICAL TIME when styling your hair that you need to brush or dry it immediately or else it'll look terrible all day. The phrase came from an interview with the ridiculously sexy Kevin Bacon, in which he had to stop the reporter for a minute so he could go take care of his critical hair time. Amazing.

Mitzy said...

In my family we have a few. When someone wants to know what's for dinner, we always say Fish Legs cause my cousin asked if we were having that for dinner one time (I think she couldn't decide if she smelled chicken legs or fish stix, maybe?)
Whenever anyone asks what movie we are watching, we say Hour of the Gun because my brother thought that was a good movie but never could remember the name of it, so he walked around asking me what the name was for years after.
We also say, Don't let the cat fall in the bathtub, due to an unfortunate incident where that actually happened (it didn't drown but was marked for life.)
Oh we also say These cards are marked, but it's like Dese caaaahhhhddds are marked like the old commercial whenever we think anyone is cheating at anything. My family doesn't play cards.

bun2bon said...

My family says, "Ding-dong!" (like a doorbell) when dinner is ready.

The Naked Redhead said...

HA! I just remembered ANOTHER one my dad always says: "Don't act squirrely," or even better, "Don't be a squirrel." These phrases were reserved for times when we were being particularly ornery or naughty.

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