Odd Sayings

Schrodinger's Zebra

looking for cracks in the pavement.
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
3,130
Reaction score
6,508
Points
204
One of the old Northern UK sayings which Ms Petes has never been able to get a handle on is the one where women are referred to as (say) "Janet Smith that was" ie Smith was her maiden name. Simply can't get her head round it.
Makes sense to me :)
 

PeteS

Seeking refuge
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
1,723
Reaction score
4,172
Points
154
Got to admit I just don't get this one.

In 'Last of the Summer Wine' Marina refers to Norman Clegg as 'Norman Clegg that was'.

As he is stood there, and clearly still is Norman Clegg, why does she use this ?
It's just a joke INT, Marina remembering him as he was before he got married.
 

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Staff member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
12,548
Reaction score
14,268
Points
284
Location
An Eochair
Got to admit I just don't get this one.

In 'Last of the Summer Wine' Marina refers to Norman Clegg as 'Norman Clegg that was'.

As he is stood there, and clearly still is Norman Clegg, why does she use this ?

That's what's funny. She is using the phrase that applies to females and he's a chap.
 

Dick Turpin

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
472
Reaction score
2,134
Points
134
Not so much an odd saying, but one that was heard often in my childhood home, especially when my Father was asked to do any chore by my Mother.

“I’M GOING UP THE PUB” he would cry at the top of his voice.

He would as well.

Obviously, being asked to close a cupboard door, or asked to turn the volume down of his Frank Sinatra LP was classed as a chore in 1970’s Britain.

The silly old sod
 

tuco

Spitting in a wishing well
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
540
Reaction score
2,029
Points
133
Location
south of south
My father would call any sauce, ketchup or gravy 'jippo' , I have never heard anyone else use this expression.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
20,252
Reaction score
27,934
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds

tuco

Spitting in a wishing well
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
540
Reaction score
2,029
Points
133
Location
south of south

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
42,882
Reaction score
33,613
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
My father would call any sauce, ketchup or gravy 'jippo' , I have never heard anyone else use this expression.
My Mum often called it 'jollop'.
I sometimes use that term myself.
 

ravensocks

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
209
Reaction score
351
Points
69
I was watching a YouTube computer channel (Explaining Computers) and the subject was ways of applying an instruction.
The guy doing the video said 'There is more than one way to cook a cat'.

But we always said 'there is more than one way to skin a cat'.

Which one do you recognize as being the norm ?
It wouldn't be a comedy saying mash up, would it? A la 'the world's your lobster'.

I sometimes say thats a whole different bucket of kittens for kettles of fish- but it's just this moment dawned on me how unpleasant that actually is, especially when considering horror stories of what happens to unwanted kittens. I never made the connection, and being a cat lover had no desire to. How strange :(
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,879
Reaction score
8,797
Points
284
Do any other forum members use the curious word "glom", in the sense of 'to obtain via unofficial means'? (well, very-nearly stealing).

It's become rather rare, recently. I >sometimes< utilised the word years ago, but often used to hear it in certain settings...on consideration, perhaps I haven't heard it used so far this millennium.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
20,252
Reaction score
27,934
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Do any other forum members use the curious word "glom", in the sense of 'to obtain via unofficial means'? (well, very-nearly stealing).
It's become rather rare, recently. I >sometimes< utilised the word years ago, but often used to hear it in certain settings...on consideration, perhaps I haven't heard it used so far this millennium.
I don't think I'd ever heard "glom" used in the traditional explicit meaning of "snatch" or "steal."

I used to hear it invoked in a more figurative sense along the lines of "copy" / "adopt" / "take for one's own."

It is this second, more figurative, sense that I always associated with the phrase "glom onto" (e.g., "to accept or adopt an idea or concept").

More often and more recently I (rarely but usually) hear it used in an entirely different sense to imply "mutually adhering" or "coalescing as a single mass from separate bits" - always phrased as "glom together."

This third sense may be an Americanism. I always presumed this usage derived separately from (e.g.) "agglomerate."
 

Mungoman

Mostly harmless...
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
2,592
Reaction score
4,311
Points
169
Location
In the Bush (Peak Hill, NSW)
Did she also say 'Where's that to?'
They were prone to saying that in Adelaide, South Australia, when I was there, which was most of the 1970's.

People from SA are known as Cousin Jacks...which speaks volumes.

Dunt'it...
 

Mungoman

Mostly harmless...
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
2,592
Reaction score
4,311
Points
169
Location
In the Bush (Peak Hill, NSW)
“Hopping the wag” – which I always believed to be a London expression, and which the old man accused me of many times as a lad when bunking off school.

The old Man – you been hopping the wag again boy
A young me – No Dad
The old Man - You sure..?
Me – Yeah ‘course Dad
The old Man – Then ‘ow comes you can get up to a 103 break at snooker, you’re only 13 for Christ’s sake.
A young me – Erm.

It’s because I spent most of my teenage years hopping the wag in the local snooker hall, when I should have been in class :D

We said 'Wagging it' down here in the antipodes.

Which, once again, speaks volumes to me...
 

Cloudbusting

I still dream of Orgonon
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
378
Points
63
My Dad, rather than saying "like a bulldog chewing a wasp" instead often said "like a bulldog licking p*** off a thistle". I've never heard anyone else say it but apparently it is indeed a saying.

It's quite bizarre because generally he wasn't one to talk that way, but it does make me smile whenever it pops into my head. :D
 

Mikefule

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
583
Reaction score
1,749
Points
149
Location
Lincolnshire UK
I have friends here in Lancashire who say that they are going up to London, which has always irked me.
In railways, it has always been the case that the train heading towards the capital (or towards the main terminus on a different route) is the "up train" and the one heading away from the capital is the "down train". So wherever you are in England, the train to London is always the "up train". When railway was the primary way of traveling long distance inland, "up to London" makes sense. These expressions persist long after they are directly relevant.

"I'm not as green as I'm cabbage looking"
From my father if he knew or did something we thought he didn't/couldn't.
My first mother in law, from Nottingham, England, used that one a lot. "Green" as in green wood or greenhorn, meaning inexperienced or gullible. "Cabbage looking" being jokingly self deprecatory. Basically, "I'm not as daft as I look," which is an expression my Grandmother, also from Nottingham, used.

My Dad, rather than saying "like a bulldog chewing a wasp" instead often said "like a bulldog licking p*** off a thistle". I've never heard anyone else say it but apparently it is indeed a saying.
Again from Nottingham, "She had a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle." (Not a thistle.) Also, "Looks like he's chewing a wasp." Both expressions imply that the person so described is regarding something with considerable distaste or displeasure.

A person's may also be said to resemble a bag of spanners, or a slapped arse. (These are not recommended as chat up lines.)
 

Cloudbusting

I still dream of Orgonon
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
128
Reaction score
378
Points
63
Again from Nottingham, "She had a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle." (Not a thistle.) Also, "Looks like he's chewing a wasp." Both expressions imply that the person so described is regarding something with considerable distaste or displeasure.
Yes I thought that was meaning of the saying. We're from up North so perhaps 'thistle' is the northern spin on it? :dunno:

A person's may also be said to resemble a bag of spanners, or a slapped arse. (These are not recommended as chat up lines.)
No, I don't imagine that would go down well... :rollingw:
 

Mikefule

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
583
Reaction score
1,749
Points
149
Location
Lincolnshire UK
One of the old Northern UK sayings which Ms Petes has never been able to get a handle on is the one where women are referred to as (say) "Janet Smith that was" ie Smith was her maiden name. Simply can't get her head round it.
Makes perfect sense in a small working class community where people went to school together and remain in fairly close proximity for most of their lives. You may not know someone's married name if you are not in regular contact with them, but for gossip purposes, you will know who is being spoken about by the name they used at school.
 

Mikefule

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
583
Reaction score
1,749
Points
149
Location
Lincolnshire UK
My Mum grew up in Liverpool in the 60's so I've heard of 'daft as a brush' as well as 'soft as a brush' .
Daft as a brush is fairly widespread. The thing to be as soft as is either "grease" or "sh*t". "Soft as grease" is affectionate and means too kind by half, and a bit sentimental. "Soft as sh*t" is contemptuous and means lacking in fighting ability or courage.

A friend of mine in Nottingham uses "As mad as a stick" and "as mad as a balloon."

A personal favourite, which I use too often, is "as mad as a box of frogs."

I occasionally use, typically with heavy irony, "More fun than a barrel of monkeys." It was not my own saying, but I cannot recall where I first heard it. Occasionally, my own invention, I add, after a pause, "Dead ones."

One I remember hearing on something like a folksy western country music show was, "More fun than a big ol' red waggon full of puppies." I cannot remember the exact source.
 

Mikefule

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
583
Reaction score
1,749
Points
149
Location
Lincolnshire UK
Off like a bucket of prawns (Gosford meatworks) (like a brides nightie).
When I was diving regularly from small boats around the British coast, one of our club cox'ns often described a rough sea as "Up and down like a bride's nightie."

The opposite, on a calm day, was "It's as flat as a witch's tit." (Women and witches reading this: I merely report the expression he used, I do not condone it.)

Elsewhere in this thread there has been mention of some Scottish sayings. The former Foreman of my Morris side is a Scot and if a dancer forgot to move when it was his turn, he would refer to them as "Standing like a stookie."

A bit of Googling suggested that a "stookie" is a plaster cast figurine. The word, stookie, is related to "stucco" which is a plaster-like render used on buildings.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
20,252
Reaction score
27,934
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
... I occasionally use, typically with heavy irony, "More fun than a barrel of monkeys." It was not my own saying, but I cannot recall where I first heard it. Occasionally, my own invention, I add, after a pause, "Dead ones." ...
The "barrel of monkeys" saying is often - mistakenly - presumed to have originated with the Barrel of Monkeys children's game introduced in the 1960s.

This phrase can be traced at least as far back as 1884 in American usage. For all I know it originated even earlier ...

Puck, Vol. 15, no. 370 (April 9, 1884), p. 83.

BarrelOMonkeys-Puck-1884.jpg

SOURCE:
https://books.google.com/books?id=8...=PA82#v=onepage&q="barrel of monkeys"&f=false
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
31,593
Reaction score
37,001
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
When we kids were playing with toys or a game and it was teatime, time to put everything away, my Auntie Joan would say 'Put it up now.'

Joan was my mother's sister and Ma didn't say it so it wasn't a family idiom. Sounds somehow nautical to me.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
20,252
Reaction score
27,934
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
When we kids were playing with toys or a game and it was teatime, time to put everything away, my Auntie Joan would say 'Put it up now.'
Joan was my mother's sister and Ma didn't say it so it wasn't a family idiom. Sounds somehow nautical to me.
Same here (southern USA; 1950s onward) ... 'Put up' was the standard phrase or idiom for stowing items in a storage location. With kids it was most commonly used to mean "put away your (e.g.) toys in the place where they're usually stored."

The "up" didn't have any special significance. Whether you were stowing something upward (on a shelf) or downward (into a chest on the floor) it was still "putting stuff up."

The "put away" version meaning the same thing was something I didn't hear until years later.

The Free Dictionary provides a list of uses / meanings for "put up." Interestingly, the use as a synonym for "put away" isn't mentioned among them.

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/put+up
 
Last edited:

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
31,398
Reaction score
18,202
Points
309
Always liked Chris Morris asking gangster Mad Frankie Fraser if he was as "mad as a lorry". Think that's unique to Mr Morris, though.

I've heard "as cold as a witch's tit", in fact I heard that in the late 1980s used by American comedienne Kit Hollerbach on the Radio 4 sitcom she was in (you'll understand why it stuck in my mind).
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
20,252
Reaction score
27,934
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
I've heard "as cold as a witch's tit", in fact I heard that in the late 1980s used by American comedienne Kit Hollerbach on the Radio 4 sitcom she was in (you'll understand why it stuck in my mind).
The modern slang version refers to "cold" in the sense of temperature. The phrase "cold as a witch's teat" supposedly originated in reference to the witch's teat (a raised or protruding bit on a suspected witch's body, created by the Devil). If such a place / mark / bump was stuck with a pin without causing a pained reaction it was "cold" (in the sense of "unfeeling" / "insensitive"), and this was taken as proof the accused was indeed a witch.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witches'_mark

The idiom alluding to cold weather famously appeared in the opening pages of Catcher in the Rye, but I'm not sure this was the origin of its use to refer to temperature.
 
Last edited:
Top