Wednesday, November 13, 2013

West words Wednesday: Phrases we don't hear anymore

I'm starting a list of forgotten phrases, with the help of fellow conspirators contributors from Facebook.

I decided I'd probably better leave out the combinations Dad used while plumbing, which is a shame. They crackled with emotion and creativity.

Here are the rest (these unscientific results are heavily skewed toward my friends and family):

I jiggered it somehow. (Modern translation: I messed it up.)
She thinks she's a pile. (She's full of herself.)
He's in the back 40. (He's on the edge of the property, far from the house.)
How's your left earlobe?
I'm as fine as frog's hair.
Don't be a wet blanket.
How's your socks?
Don't just stand there with your teeth in your mouth.
Darn his hide.
It's as rare as hen's teeth.
She's madder than a wet hen.
She's no spring chicken.
That's not worth a hill of beans.
You better behave yourself or I'll snatch you baldheaded.

For pleasant surprises:

No foolin'?
Neato fleato!
Neato mosquito!
Hot diggity!
Well, heavenly days!

Creative ways to answer annoying questions:

What are you doing? Mildewing. (I won't tell you how long it took me to figure out what that really meant.)

Another response to the same question: I'm going to see a man about a horse.

"What time is it?" Two freckles past a hair. 

For unpleasant surprises...

Oh, fiddle.
Shoot a pickle!
Oh, fish.
Dag Nabbit!

And my personal all-time favorite:

Hell's bells!

Oops. At least one of those was from Dad's plumbing repertoire.

What are your favorite extinct, family-friendly phrases? Tell me in the comments.

I'm late congratulating Carole for winning the T shirt I offered in my last giveaway. Stay tuned--I'll resume whittling down the rest of the book stack soon.

Contributors to this post: my grandma, my dad, Carole, Janet, Ilene, Bruce, Byron, LeAnne, John, Leah and Annette. I hope I didn't leave anyone out.


  1. "Hells, Bells and panther tracks" from my mothers mouth
    How much do you want for that (insert item here)?
    aw, bout a nickle eighty five from my dads mouth

    From a former boss, answer to any question about something that was not done yet "If a guy had a shovel he could get this done in five minutes"

    1. Hells bells and panther tracks, the spelling of nickle should be nickel

  2. That's my personal favorite also...handed down from my mom! Brings back memories at work! Miss you!


I love comments! But don't even try to leave one anonymously.

Emails from home

Most of our email is pretty mundane. Once in a while, though, the immediate flavor of country life sings amid the shopping lists and communications to the office. Here are some stored on our home computer, written by people in our house and edited for privacy.

Some of the terms are softened for a family audience, but not by much.

Your evil kitty just woke up your son by urping up a mouse on his lion blankie.

You know you live in a small town when…

...Fifty-year old people born and raised in town are ‘new comers’.

...You are more afraid of locking yourself out of your house than of being robbed.

...The library has a different schedule on every day of the week.

...You are darn proud that your town has a library. Incidentally, your library account is handled not by a card but by a number that the librarian types into her computer. You have trouble remembering it, but the librarian can always tell you what it is.

...You can honestly say, "The Mayor is in front of the house fixing his manure spreader."

Good news: We caught another mouse.

Bad news: We have at least one more.

Good news: He must be hungry and he thinks of traps as a food source, since he robbed the bait of an un-sprung trap, finished the bait of the sprung one, and ate an eye from his dead brother.

Hope you're done with breakfast.