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Colloquialism
October 31, 2006 7:42 AM   Subscribe

What is your favorite and most colorful expression or phrase? Speaking about two idiots that we work with, my coworker said that they looked like 'Two monkey's f*cking a football', which led me to say 'They couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery', and as a final touch, which made me laugh, my coworker states 'They're about as handy as a bear cub with a toothpick'. I would love to write a book or create a website with colorful phrases from around the world. What are some of your favorite idioms that you use or have overhead in the boardroom, bar, or barnyard?
posted by jasondigitized to Society & Culture (192 answers total) 141 users marked this as a favorite
 
They're dumb as a sack of hair.
She's as bright as a 10 watt bulb.
He's about as useful as tits on a door.
They couldn't get hit if it were raining hammers.
She's nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
He's been out playing in the giggleweeds.

I don't know if you want generally colorful, but here are some weather gems from my grandparents:

It's cold as a witch's tit.
It's raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock.
It's colder than a well digger's ass in Georgia.
posted by headspace at 7:52 AM on October 31, 2006


My favorites:

'Doesn't know shit from Shinola'

'Tighter than bark on a tree'

Husband uses frequently:
'not the sharpest knife if the drawer'

Sister uses 'screwed the pooch' sometimes. I don't like that phrase for some reason. It sounds so crude, but so does shit from Shinola I suppose.

These are all fairly common expressions, but ones I use and hear frequently.
posted by LoriFLA at 7:54 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


He had a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle
posted by Cuppatea at 7:55 AM on October 31, 2006


Ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag.
posted by exit at 7:55 AM on October 31, 2006


As tall as a Georgia pine.
That's about as useful as tits on a bull.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:58 AM on October 31, 2006


My friend Jim always says "happier than a dog with two peters".
posted by metajack at 7:58 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


There's always the great Foghorn Leghorn classic:
I say...I SAY...That boy's about as sharp as bag full of wet mice.

Said of someone who's been dead a long time:
There's not enough left of him to spread on toast.

"Dumb as a box of rocks."
"Don't let the door hit ya' where the Good Lord split ya'."
--Both common sayings in my family.
posted by Chrischris at 7:59 AM on October 31, 2006


Sharp as a marble.
posted by trip and a half at 8:00 AM on October 31, 2006


About as organized as a bag o' chips.
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 8:01 AM on October 31, 2006


He's dumber than a day old pig.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:02 AM on October 31, 2006


Some of these are fairly un-PC...

Face like a bulldog chewing a wasp
Face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle
Face like a bee keepers apprentice
Face like a sand blasted tomato
...................cobblers thumb
...................melted welly
...................welders bench etc etc
Sweating like a dog in a Chinese restaurant
She's been cocked more times than Davy Crocket's Musket
It looks like she's been set on fire and put out with a golf shoe
Tight as a camel's arse in a sandstorm
As popular as a bacon buttie at a Bar Mitzvah
More chins than a Chinese phone book
Last time I saw an arse like that Lester Piggot was whipping it
posted by fire&wings at 8:03 AM on October 31, 2006


my all time favorite is from "Dodgeball"

"It's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob out there!"

makes me laugh evertime i hear it
posted by ShawnString at 8:03 AM on October 31, 2006


I like to mix them up intentionally, like "Not the sharpest bulb in the box", "let's burn that bridge when we get to it" and "not running on all three cylinders".
Other not-so-mixed up favorites:
"Playing poker with an Uno deck"
"a few fries short of a happy meal"
"dumber than a bag of hammers"
"running like a scalded monkey"
"herding cats"
Dismissal: "He can go pound sand"

region: Midwest U.S.
posted by leapfrog at 8:04 AM on October 31, 2006


When I was a kid and would misbehave, my mom would alternately threaten to "snatch me baldheaded" or "grease and flush me."
posted by justonegirl at 8:05 AM on October 31, 2006


"Busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest"
And I always loved the MC Hawking line "I be busting more shit than an incontinent man at a chili cookoff"
posted by nickmark at 8:08 AM on October 31, 2006


"Deader than Elvis"

"Dumb as a bag of hammers"

"Dumb as a box of rocks"

"as useful as a rubber crutch"

"Nuttier than rat shit in an Almond Joy factory"

"Busy as a one armed cab driver with crabs"
posted by deadmessenger at 8:09 AM on October 31, 2006


Get thee to a Tom Robbins novel.
posted by hermitosis at 8:09 AM on October 31, 2006


"a few fries short of a happy meal" etc.
posted by gregoreo at 8:14 AM on October 31, 2006


You can't swing a dead cat without...

Screwed the pooch

As nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs

A tough row to hoe
posted by OmieWise at 8:14 AM on October 31, 2006


my fave is "crazier than a soup sandwich."
posted by chelseagirl at 8:14 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Another Foghorn Leghorn classic:

"Son, you're about as sharp as a bowling ball"

I also like:

You look like about five miles of bad road.
posted by spicynuts at 8:15 AM on October 31, 2006


"A few sandwiches short of a picnic."
posted by NationalKato at 8:15 AM on October 31, 2006


"A few sandwiches short of a picnic" is one of my dad's favorites.
posted by dazed_one at 8:15 AM on October 31, 2006


Woah. Weird synchronisity.
posted by dazed_one at 8:16 AM on October 31, 2006


This is like trying to nail jello to a tree.
posted by mullacc at 8:16 AM on October 31, 2006


The extended version of "colder than a witch's tit" is "It's colder than a witch's titty in a brass bra face down in the snow on the north side of an igloo." And you have to say it in a stupid voice. My husband learned this in Boy Scouts.

I am also a fan of the "buttload" unit of measurement.
posted by printchick at 8:18 AM on October 31, 2006


Busy as a one-armed paper hanger
Big as a house and twice as ugly
Cruising for a bruising
dumb as a fence post
two crayons shy of a box

My grandfather from Newfoundland used to say 'See you in the wetwash" as he was leaving, which I think was an alternate ti 'It all comes out in the wash'
posted by Gungho at 8:18 AM on October 31, 2006


recently i heard someone say "cute as a duck in a hat," which is not something i had ever considered; but think about it -- wouldn't that be adorable?
posted by sonofslim at 8:19 AM on October 31, 2006


Worthless as tits on a boar hog
posted by justlisa at 8:20 AM on October 31, 2006


"Shite and onions!"- a horribly vivid one.
"Doesn't know if it's New Year or New York" (alternatively "doesn't know if it's Shrove Tuesday or Sheffield Wednesday")
"Camp as a row of pink tents"
posted by Gratishades at 8:20 AM on October 31, 2006


You caused me to look up 'slicker than a cat's ass', because I wondered if we just made it up as kids. Apparently not.
posted by found missing at 8:21 AM on October 31, 2006


My grandmother's expression for someone short: He'd have to stand on a brick to kick a duck in the ass. For someone overweight: He's easier to jump over than walk around.
posted by scody at 8:22 AM on October 31, 2006


If it's an expression of frigid meteorological conditions you're after you can't do much better than:
"It'll freeze the bollocks off a brass monkey"
Obviously an UK expression...
posted by ob at 8:23 AM on October 31, 2006


"Not the brightest bulb in the hardware store"
"Not the sharpest knife in the dishwasher"
And unrelated, from Trailer Park Boys (Mr. Leahy could probably be the source of a score of these):
A shit-leopard can't change its shit-spots.
posted by greasepig at 8:23 AM on October 31, 2006


One more: "He's one ass-kicking away from being a pretty nice fella"
posted by jasondigitized at 8:24 AM on October 31, 2006


Elevator doesn't go to the top floor.
Lights are on, nobody's home.
Not the shiniest coin in the fountain.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:25 AM on October 31, 2006


Also a frequently used phrase to describe a large-framed gentleman: "Built like a brick shit-house"
posted by ob at 8:27 AM on October 31, 2006


sweating like a whore in church
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:27 AM on October 31, 2006


printchick: When using the "buttload" unit of measure, be sure to specify whether the measurement is in Imperial or Metric buttloads.
posted by leapfrog at 8:28 AM on October 31, 2006


The film Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels would be a good source for this kind of thing.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:30 AM on October 31, 2006


My UK brother in law once described someone as a few farts short of a vindaloo. I thought that was pretty funny.
posted by gfrobe at 8:32 AM on October 31, 2006


Two expressions my great-grandmother used to use:

"Uglier than homemade sin."
"Uglier than death on a soda cracker."

And one my great-grandmother never used:

"I wouldn't fuck her with your dick."
posted by La Cieca at 8:32 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


For many, many more of the mixed-up ones leapfrog describes, see Helenisms.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:32 AM on October 31, 2006


Not at all PC, and I didn't make it up, but hilarious all the same:

"Queer as a football bat."

(Sorry. If you want me, I'll be over here in diversity training class.)
posted by grabbingsand at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2006


Going with the piss-up in a brewery idea, another variant I've heard is: "They couldn't organize their way out of a brown-paper bag"
posted by ob at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2006


Idiocy: He couldn't pour piss out of a boot if you wrote how-to instructions on the heel.

printchick - "metric fuck-ton" has supplanted "assload" in my heart.

dismissal:
Go piss up a rope.
Why don't you take a long walk on a short pier?
Why don't you go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself?
posted by phearlez at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


In the same vein as 'a few fries short of a happy meal':

'A few scuds short of a gulf crisis.'
posted by BorgLove at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2006


Sweating like a fat kid in a sweet shop.
posted by samstarling at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2006


He's about as useful as tits on a door.
Alternately, courtesy of one of my redneck friends from college, "as useless as tits on a boar hog" (boars being male (unless you're talking about a species of wild pig, in which case it's a gender-neutral term. And the rooster has sex with all of them.))
posted by Doofus Magoo at 8:37 AM on October 31, 2006


"That's about as useful as an atlatl for an Alouatta palliata."

I've been told that an Alouatta palliata is a species of
howler monkey that is one of the few (the only?) monkeys that can't make the over-the-shoulder motion required for using an atlatl. But even if that's not true, it's still just a fun thing to say. It's something you can chant over and over while playing bongo drums, for instance.

posted by ewagoner at 8:37 AM on October 31, 2006


Last one! One can describe someone of less than average pulchritude:
"He/She fell from the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down."
Right, that's it, I promise!
posted by ob at 8:39 AM on October 31, 2006


I like the expression "You're looking at me like I shat in your pocket" and my brother-in-law's general expression of surprise and/or displeasure: "Shit the bed!".

fire&wings: my mum's favourite of that sort of thing is "a face like a ruptured custard" but I do like your "...like a melted welly".

Also: "Faster than a steamed powered vindaloo through an OAP"
posted by patricio at 8:39 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


When the group was taking forever to get moving, an old friend of mine would say, "And we're off!!! Like a herd of turtles." The imagery always made me smile, and "herd o' turtles" is just really fun to say.
posted by vytae at 8:39 AM on October 31, 2006 [3 favorites]


For responding affirmatively to a question about whether something happens: 'does a fish have a watertight asshole?' or 'does a bear shit in the woods?' or 'is the pope catholic?'

They work better mixed up, IMO: 'does the pope shit in the woods?' or 'does the pope have a watertight asshole?'
posted by found missing at 8:39 AM on October 31, 2006


I didn't mean to steer this question into a bunch of putdowns, which I don't mind, but was also looking for expressions having to do with other things like 'Putting all your ducks in a row', or 'It's YOUR little red wagon....you can push it or pull it'.
posted by jasondigitized at 8:40 AM on October 31, 2006


One of my dad's, for an ugly person: "He/she has a face like a man's knee."
posted by kindall at 8:40 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


"That's as fucked up as a soup sandwich"

"He's as useless as a screen door on a submarine"

If a beating with the ugly stick won't suffice, then there's always "Fell out of the Ugly Tree and hit every branch on the way down"

"A couple of tacos short of a combo platter"
posted by TedW at 8:41 AM on October 31, 2006


Another favorite, for something that nobody likes:

"That went over like a fart in church"
posted by spicynuts at 8:41 AM on October 31, 2006


And when someone cant resist interfering with whatever your doing: "You just hold the tail; I'm fuckin' this cat"
posted by TedW at 8:43 AM on October 31, 2006 [6 favorites]


Along spicynuts lines there is also that went over like:
a fart in a spacesuit
a turd in a punckbowl
posted by TedW at 8:44 AM on October 31, 2006


"Doesn't know his arsehole from his earhole" (via Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels)
"Couldn't hit the broad side of a barn" (someone with bad aim)
"Colder than a witch's tit"
"Dumb as a door nail"
"A few tacos short of a taco salad"

There are more.. just can't think of them at the moment. They don't all make sense, but I'm from "the south", so there are some regional things to take into account.
posted by thewhitenoise at 8:45 AM on October 31, 2006


Also, when someone says "I wish...":

You can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.
posted by spicynuts at 8:45 AM on October 31, 2006


I had a roommate from Newfoundland who once said "She had a face like a pan full of fried foreskins."
posted by Succa at 8:46 AM on October 31, 2006


"as funny as a cot death."
posted by jontyjago at 8:48 AM on October 31, 2006


"Independent as a hog on ice"
-- meaning technically independent, but impotent and unable to act. Used by Tom Waits in a song, but existed prior to his usage (mid 19th C).
posted by aramaic at 8:49 AM on October 31, 2006


"A face like a boiled fist"
posted by aramaic at 8:50 AM on October 31, 2006


i had a friend who was overly fond of "that's dirtier than a wet fart in church with the pope skull-fucking a nun in the next pew."

i've always liked "you shit the bed, now you have to lie in it."
posted by sonofslim at 8:55 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


About as useful as a condom machine in the Vatican.
posted by fvox13 at 8:59 AM on October 31, 2006


I want to use so many of these in conversation now. Here's my addition:

"dumb as a bag of hammers"
"whip you with a wet noodle"

of course there's more, but the best ones come up when a conversation is very animated (or there has been much imbibing of spirits - that's when the best ones get mixed up! :)
posted by melissa at 9:01 AM on October 31, 2006


Of someone who is not too fussy about who he has sex with:

"He'd pump the hole in Flipper's head"

(Sounds better in Glaswegian, trust me)
posted by DZ-015 at 9:03 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Real life example from the blue, courtesy of dances_with_sneetches: "She couldn't stack boxes to reach a banana."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:04 AM on October 31, 2006


another couple of mixaphors: "I'd love to help, but I've got a lot of feet in the fire right now."
"easy as cake"
posted by leapfrog at 9:05 AM on October 31, 2006


Dark as the inside of a cow.
Dumb as toast.
He couldn't fight his way out of a paper sack.
She looks like she's been rode hard and put up wet.
Crazy as a sack of bees.
He couldn't tell his ass from a hole in the ground.
Ten pounds of stupid in a five pound bag.
It's like swimming through peanut butter...
All hat, no cattle.
posted by naomi at 9:07 AM on October 31, 2006


All over that like a fat kid on a Smartie.

About as peaceful as two wet cats tied by the tail and flung over a clothesline.

Shit through the eye of a needle at 50 yards.

Grates me more than tighty-whities that are four sizes too small.
posted by mealy-mouthed at 9:10 AM on October 31, 2006


Just need to swill me dial (going to wash my face)
Passed around pillar to post
Mad as a mountain goat
posted by zeoslap at 9:13 AM on October 31, 2006


Dry as a popcorn fart

Doesn't know whether to shit or wind his wristwatch
posted by Freedomboy at 9:13 AM on October 31, 2006


this doesn't quite fit the formula, but:

cold as Pearl Harbor (there's a nasty little nip in the air)
posted by toomanyplugs at 9:15 AM on October 31, 2006


Ugly as a bucket full of assholes.

So bucktoothed, he could eat grapes through a picket fence.

I fell ass-end over teakettle.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 9:25 AM on October 31, 2006


Slicker than greased weasel shit on a doorknob.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:27 AM on October 31, 2006


"Putting the ass back in class."
"Putting the laughter back in manslaughter."
"If you're looking for sympathy, it's in the dictionary between shit and syphilis."
"I've got one nerve left and you're on it."
"It would be a good thing for you to find a pile of sand, and a hammer, then make yourself comfortable and pound all that sand straight up your ass."
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:30 AM on October 31, 2006


From my wife's Vermonter background:

When something is worn out or worn down to the point of uselessness (an old shirt, or a beat-up tool, or, metaphorically, a person after a long day's hard work) it is said to "have had the radish."

As in, "Man, these overalls have had the radish -- they're full of holes and covered in dirt." Or, "I have just about had the radish after chasing that pack of five-year-olds around all day."

Probably a French-Canadian connection, but I've never found an explanation for it anywhere.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:33 AM on October 31, 2006


"He couldn't find his ass with both hands and a flashlight."
posted by jvilter at 9:33 AM on October 31, 2006


I like how "useless as tits on a tomcat" sounds.
posted by booth at 9:36 AM on October 31, 2006


Two insults:

He could f-up a wet dream

He could f-up a cup of coffee. (From "Casino," but still a good line I use.)
posted by fijiwriter at 9:36 AM on October 31, 2006


Happy as a pig in Palestine.
posted by Sk4n at 9:37 AM on October 31, 2006


He's got kangaroos in the top paddock.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:50 AM on October 31, 2006


Useful as a wire mesh canoe
It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure this out...

and for mixed metaphors/"Helenisms":
Don't change dead horses in mid stream (often used at work)
Burn your bridges at both ends.
posted by alikins at 9:53 AM on October 31, 2006


He looks like the north end of a southbound mule.
posted by educatedslacker at 9:57 AM on October 31, 2006


At the end of a long night of partying, I use to use "I'm out like a fat girl stealing second." No idea where I originally heard that one.
posted by educatedslacker at 10:01 AM on October 31, 2006


For someone skinny, they look like "a bag of antlers"

For someone short and, umm, stout: "two inches taller, they'd be square"
posted by Rumple at 10:04 AM on October 31, 2006


he could fuck up a one car funeral.
posted by raildr at 10:07 AM on October 31, 2006


Martinis are like boobs. You should only have two.
posted by brina at 10:08 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut. Or: Hotter than a snake's belly in a wagon rut.

I'd hit it so hard it would take the future King of England to pull me out.

From one of the old wood working tool lists I'm on: "i'd rather be painting my beaver"

Whenever you hear about a stock +air box honda whipping a SVT Cobra or something you can refer to the Cobra driver as "A 16 second driver in a 12 second car"

Its only kinky the first time....

Fast enough to do something stupid.

It's like pitchforking mercury!

"You can call your ass a turkey, but that doesn't make it Thanksgiving."

If you haven't tested it, it doesn't work.

Like a rabid wolverine on crack with an uzi.

I was born at night but it wasn't last night.

Needs a smack with a clue by four

It's gonna be like threading a needle with a haystack

Be good, be careful, we like to talk to you, not about you.

Shiny side up, rubber side down!

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions"
posted by Mitheral at 10:08 AM on October 31, 2006



Like a rabid wolverine on crack with an uzi.

(I was so scared I was) shitting wolverines.
posted by Rumple at 10:12 AM on October 31, 2006


DZ-015: He'd pump the hole in Flipper's head

Ahem.

Anyway, I always thought the bag of hammers/box of rocks things flowed better if the adjective being used is "smart" and not "dumb" or "stupid": He's about as smart as a box of hammers.

And on a slightly different track, my father is very fond of the phrase "cementhead", and I didn't realize until university that it's not a universal term of affection.
posted by flipper at 10:16 AM on October 31, 2006


"McFly... Why don't you make like a tree, and get out of here!" (er, "leave")

or, my personal favourite:

"Let's make like a baby and head out."
posted by wesley at 10:19 AM on October 31, 2006


One of my favorites from Cormac McCarthy: someone so ugly "it looks like her face caught fire and they beat it out with a rake."
posted by gottabefunky at 10:20 AM on October 31, 2006


Another one we like - not so much about things that are useless as about being overworked:

"I'm busier than a one-armed pimp in a bitch-slapping contest"
posted by stamen at 10:23 AM on October 31, 2006


I've long been fond of a Spanish euphemism for stupidity:

Dr. Wu tiene el quinto piso desalquilado.
Which means "Dr. Wu's fifth floor is unrented."
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:23 AM on October 31, 2006


"You've got to feel sorry for her - she's had more disappointments than a damp match."

"Just because I'm in a wheelchair, it doesn't mean you can push me around."

Both from long-running UK serial "Coronation Street".
posted by Holly at 10:26 AM on October 31, 2006


And when someone cant resist interfering with whatever your doing: "You just hold the tail; I'm fuckin' this cat"

I've heard the reverse of this, namely: "You're the one fucking this cat, I'm just holding the tail."

I also enjoy: "have a Come to Jesus" as in, "Jules and me gonna have a Come to Jesus if he doesn't start working.
posted by Inkoate at 10:35 AM on October 31, 2006


Southern coach, when asked how a football play went wrong:

"I'd rather try to tell somebody what an oyster tastes like."
posted by Phred182 at 10:37 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Off like a prom dress.

Hit with the ugly stick.

He's got a face made for radio.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 10:38 AM on October 31, 2006


this here thread is handier than side pockets on a toad's ass.
posted by Fezboy! at 10:43 AM on October 31, 2006


I'm so hungry I could eat my elbows.
It's raining cats and dogs and little billy goats.
We're living at the foot of the cross (at a lucky occurrence)
She looks the last of pea time (bedraggled)
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 10:47 AM on October 31, 2006


"Slick as snail snot" and "fine as frog hair", both of which were generally used as longer forms of slick/fine as synonyms for OK.

Example: "Free money raining from the sky? Why, that's just slicker'n' snail snot!"

(On preview, how could I have forgotten "have a come to Jesus?)
posted by Vervain at 10:50 AM on October 31, 2006


To denote over-confidence or damn-fool ballsiness: "He acts like he's ten feet tall and bullet-proof."

The contemporary master of this sort of thing is Joe Bob Briggs, once the Drive-In Movie Critic Laureate of Grapevine, Texas (you might know him from cable TV). He is a master compiler of colorful colloquialisms. Also, look around for some of his B-movie reviews for some great euphemisms for the sex act, mammaries and various kinds of violence.
posted by mds35 at 10:51 AM on October 31, 2006


My brother brought a few back from the military:

"I'm so hungry I'd eat the asshole out of menstruating skunk"

"Shot at and missed - shit at and hit"

"He's so ugly, tears run down the back of his head."

"I'd tell her a joke that'd knock her tits off but I see she already heard it."

"Those legs go all the way up and make an ass of themselves."

"Check out those getaway sticks."
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:02 AM on October 31, 2006


The other day I overheard the phrase "slicker than snot on a brass doorknob" which I personally found to be damn funny.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:06 AM on October 31, 2006


"I was born yesterday, but I got up early."
posted by tumbleweedjack at 11:09 AM on October 31, 2006


Going down like a cheerleader after the prom.
posted by muddylemon at 11:13 AM on October 31, 2006 [2 favorites]


I know in spain there is one something to the effect - broke as a whore (prostitute, etc...) during lent - because they were gathered up and sent to live in the caves outside the city during lent to keep the men from being tempted...

oh and bleeding worse than a stuck pig has always been one of my favs.
posted by eleongonzales at 11:13 AM on October 31, 2006


As much use as tits on a snake / the Pope's bollocks.
posted by punilux at 11:15 AM on October 31, 2006


"A face like a can of smashed assholes"
posted by deadmessenger at 11:15 AM on October 31, 2006


"tits like a fried egg hanging on a nail"
posted by deadmessenger at 11:17 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


"The wheel's spinning, but the hamster's dead."
posted by ORthey at 11:24 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


My wife's family employs these that I'd not heard before...

"Do you want your dinner now, or when you get it?"

(On a guest leaving) "So soon? Here's your hat. What's your hurry?"

(On overeating) "Pick I up, put I down. But don't bend I."
posted by cairnish at 11:25 AM on October 31, 2006


He's in ship-shape - shaped like a ship.
posted by ORthey at 11:29 AM on October 31, 2006


Face like a slapped arse.
Fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
Who pissed on your cornflakes?

I liked "as much use as a dick-flavoured lollipop" from Dodgeball as well.
posted by ninebelow at 11:49 AM on October 31, 2006


Tighter than a preacher's dick in a cat's ass.
posted by lekvar at 11:50 AM on October 31, 2006


Shining like a diamond in a goat's ass. (Which is use to refer to either a clean place within a messy place or a person doing a good job among idiots.)

Please thank the American Heritage Dictionary of Slang for that charming phrase. (I believe it devotes 7 pages to the word fuck.)
posted by bilabial at 11:55 AM on October 31, 2006


Happier than a bastard on Father's Day

Tighter than a pig in a whorehouse chimney
posted by lekvar at 12:00 PM on October 31, 2006


his sole purpose in life is to give aids back to the monkeys
posted by krautland at 12:02 PM on October 31, 2006


"I may have been born yesterday, but I stayed up all night." (I'm not THAT much of a fool)

"Hotter than two rats f**king in a wool sock." (opposite of the witches tit)

"Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?" (when answering yes to a question)

"Staying at the motel where the gophers bring you the mail" - dead, same as "taking a dirt nap" which I found out has a German version - "Looking at the flowers from below." auf Deutsch 'natch.

"Busier than a puppy in a room full of rubber balls."

I also second "Who pissed in your cornflakes?" when speaking to a grump.
posted by asparagus_berlin at 12:03 PM on October 31, 2006 [3 favorites]


If we're using literary/film references, my absolute favourite expression is from Good Omens:

Gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.
posted by geckoinpdx at 12:04 PM on October 31, 2006


Different coach: "[Phred], anything you can't f*ck up, you'll sh*t on."
posted by Phred182 at 12:06 PM on October 31, 2006


Upon doing a little internet research, I found these gems:
posted by jasondigitized at 12:12 PM on October 31, 2006


Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining.

A dog's breakfast (something not good, but necessarily dealt with).
posted by OmieWise at 12:12 PM on October 31, 2006


my sainted mama used to say, "She has a face like a foot."

my man said, "Thank god I met you. I was one disappointment away from 'lone gunman'".
posted by thinkpiece at 12:14 PM on October 31, 2006


once bread is toast, it can't be bread again

you can't polish a turd
posted by bilabial at 12:21 PM on October 31, 2006


I'm rather late to this party but:

My father, more given to complaining about my swearing than doing so himself, will say to indicate someone he can't stand:
"I wouldn't piss on his teeth if his mouth was on fire" which is rather wonderful.

Not exactly what you're looking for, but if something's broken, my grandfather will say "he's nadgered", which I adore.
posted by prentiz at 12:26 PM on October 31, 2006


The setup:
My coworker had a piece-of-shit car that he'd managed to kee held together and running with duct-tape and bailing wire. One day he turns to me and says, "I'd that car for a dog. And shoot the dog."
You might have had to have been there.
posted by lekvar at 12:29 PM on October 31, 2006


A couple I'd heard from my Dad:
- "Like shit on a shoe, I've been around...",
- and once to my Mom: "I told you if you stuck with me, you'd be fartin' through silk."
posted by mach at 12:45 PM on October 31, 2006


Oh, and "You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose."
posted by mach at 12:51 PM on October 31, 2006


Dumber than a dialtone.
Ugly as a pan of worms.
Sicker than a broke-dick dog.
Useful as a fart in a hurricane.
Shaking like a dog shitting a log chain and dreading the hook.

Said of something disrespectful:
"That's like spitting on the Easter Bunny."

"I didn't know whether to shit or go blind, so I closed one eye and farted."

"Your John Wayne mouth is writing checks your Don Knotts ass can't cash."

We used to refer to near-accidents in terms of Pucker Factor, e.g., a PF of 45%. The PF is how much of the upholstery disappeared up your ass during the incident.
posted by forrest at 12:56 PM on October 31, 2006


The Coen brothers are fond of using the following one in their films (most notably in The Hudsucker Proxy, but I know its shown up in others):

"Yeah, and if a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its ass a-hopping."
posted by jrb223 at 1:11 PM on October 31, 2006


I just remembered a couple more!

These are from my mom, although I'm sure she didn't coin them.

"I/she/they/he won't say shit if my/their mouth was full of it"

"I/she/they/he doesn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of"

"they think you're the cat's ass" (you're great!)
posted by melissa at 1:22 PM on October 31, 2006


A monkey can't throw shit without hitting X.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:28 PM on October 31, 2006


My dad was always fond of saying to late staying guests, "Well, I better go to bed so these nice people can go home."
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:29 PM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


When things go wrong, I like to speak of them "going pear-shaped."

If someone's overly-neurotic, I refer to them as being "as neurotic as a box of ferrets."

If something is the end product of a trend or fad that is no longer in progress, it is an "evolutionary dead-end."

If someone is totally unattractive, it could be said that they "look like they were hit with a bag of nickels."

As a unit of measurement, I personally prefer the "metric ass-ton"

If the sun is shining, it's a beautiful day, and you're making steady progress, you're "rollin' like a stingray on a four-day drive."

If you are about to go home, tell your friends that you're going to "make like Santa Claus and leave their presents."

And, according to one of my friends, here's a couple from China :

- If someone is rather plain-looking, and not very attractive, the socially acceptable thing to say about them is that they "have lovely handwriting."

- If someone is so unattractive as to make passersby cringe, the socially acceptable thing to say about them is that they "are very patriotic."
posted by Afroblanco at 1:40 PM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Crazier than a Swedish chicken on a unicycle
posted by dropkick at 1:42 PM on October 31, 2006


"I love [whatever] like a fat kid loves cake" (it's always cake) is super-common around here.

"Brick shithouse" was mentioned above as describing a big guy. I've never heard it used this way (in the US); I've only heard it used to refer to an attractive, well-built woman (discussion). Apparently, the phrase used to be "built like..." or "stacked like..."; I don't know about that, but "she's built" and "she's stacked" work fine on their own today, although I think both of those refer more to the bust than to other attributes or to the whole picture.
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:06 PM on October 31, 2006


Busier than a one legged man in an ass-kicking contest.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 2:11 PM on October 31, 2006


I second "Useless as tits on a tomcat." I like a lot of alliteration.

Also, "Sucks like a fat girl in a navy town," is a horrible, horrible thing to say.
posted by beetsuits at 2:12 PM on October 31, 2006


Instead of cornflakes, I've heard it as "Who pissed in your Post Toasties?"

My dad has some colorful sayings:

"Chicken got lips?"
"like Carter got pills" (can't come up with the exact usage though)
"You need that like you need a hole in the head"
"Greatest thing since monkeys"
posted by cabingirl at 2:13 PM on October 31, 2006


I've always enjoyed

* Don't let your mouth write no checks your ass can't cash.

* as busy as a one-armed paper hanger with an itchy ass.

* "Here's an apple and a road map." (normally one of those 'I wish I'd told him' kinda things. When you wish you'd been less polite and got that time-waster out of here!)

* "Here's your hat and what's your hurry", same meaning as above.

* Harder than Chinese algebra (normally said of something physically hard, like concrete, but occasionally used to refer to difficulty)

* Slicker'n goose grease on a glass doorknob.

* Slicker'n grass thru a goose
posted by davereed at 2:15 PM on October 31, 2006


Busier than a set of jumper cables at a (insert group here) wedding.
posted by Iron Rat at 2:22 PM on October 31, 2006


I'm on it like ugly on a bear.
posted by Mitheral at 2:23 PM on October 31, 2006


Cor - there's loads of these, mostly variants on some of the ones already posted... but how about some that don't seem to have been mentioned yet:

Useless things or people can be:
as good as a one-legged man in an bum-kicking competition
as useful as a chocolate fireguard/teapot
no more use than ornament
as useful as a bicycle for fish

Stupid people are:
Thick as a plank (or sometimes "two short planks")
Several cans short of a six-pack (there's loads of other related ones from Queen's "Slightly Mad" song - e.g. knitting with only one needle, etc.)
at the back of the line when God was handing out brains (or for ugly people, "when God was handing out good looks")

Gay people might:
be as bent as a nine-bob note ("old" English)
have more mince than a Ginsters factory (Ginsters make pasties - i.e. minced meat pastry pie things)

Someone intelligent (or witty) could be:
so sharp that they need to make sure they don't cut themself
so bright that they blind you

Something that is OK but not wonderful is:
better than a poke in the eye with a sharp/blunt stick
better than a kick up the bum in a storm

Something that's nasty and tacky is:
cheap as chips
tacky as a big box of tacks

To someone that stands in the way (e.g. of TV):
makes a better door/wall than a window

To a person that leaves doors open:
Were you born in a barn?
Put the wood in the hole(, please)

Somebody that has a propensity to using lots of bad language:
You've got a right filthy cackle-hatch!

If someone won't stop talking:
Put a sock in it
Shut yer pie-hole

etc.

You're right - this'd make a fascinating study :)
posted by Chunder at 2:34 PM on October 31, 2006


You're leaving cookies, but Santa ain't hungry. (courtesy Ray Romano)
posted by danb at 2:55 PM on October 31, 2006


That's as crooked as a dog's hind leg.

I'm as confused as a baby at a topless bar.

Slicker than the devil in velvet pants.

Slicker than two eels fucking in a bucket of snot.

Slicker than snot on a glass eye.

As scared as a bird being eaten alive.

Hornier than a two-peckered billy goat.

Hornier than a three-balled tomcat.

Uglier than a dead monkey in moonlight.

Smoother than a baby's ass.

That's as tacky as a satellite dish on a hot pink house with a burgundy door.

That'd make a maggot puke.
posted by deanj at 3:22 PM on October 31, 2006


From my dad: They looked like monkeys screwin a rain barrel.
posted by CwgrlUp at 3:35 PM on October 31, 2006


My mother always said, "If he were any more stupid, he'd be a geranium."
posted by QIbHom at 4:00 PM on October 31, 2006


He's as steady as a rock, and twice as smart.
posted by Kensational at 4:01 PM on October 31, 2006


Fits like a thumb up a gorilla.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 4:07 PM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Vanished as fast as a donut at a police convention.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:08 PM on October 31, 2006


Cabingirl: I've only heard it in this context: "you've been finding more faults than Carter got liver pill" from the Funkadelic song 'This Broken Heart'.

I like:

He/she has more issues than a newstand (or National Geographic)
posted by snez at 5:08 PM on October 31, 2006


Speaking of someone who is cheap:

That person is tighter than a frog's ass underwater
posted by maelanchai at 5:08 PM on October 31, 2006


More messed up than a dryer full of drunk monkeys.
posted by 4ster at 5:42 PM on October 31, 2006


Old Irish saying , according to my Italian ex-girlfriend:

"She'd talk the ear off a tin mule."
posted by turducken at 5:53 PM on October 31, 2006


Some unique (as far as I know) ones I've heard from friends-

[Describing a flake]
She's soppier than a box of frogs!

[Describing someone becoming increasingly popular, successful]
They're blowing up faster than an Iraqi fundamentalist!!

(political and un-PC, my fav!)
posted by thejrae at 6:12 PM on October 31, 2006


Of my husband's gas-passing abilities: "Did you eat a rancid skunk?!"

Of things that are none of my business and I don't want to get involved: "Not my pig, not my farm"

Probably medically specific, but when someone is circling the drain (hey! there's one too!), but just won't die: "He died six months ago, but no one bothered to tell him"
posted by deedeep at 6:15 PM on October 31, 2006


and don't forget after too many beers: "tore up from the floor up!" (also apparently used of someone ugly)
posted by dkg at 6:23 PM on October 31, 2006


When I heard it, it wasn't queer as a football bat, it was fucked up like a football bat — and usually it meant you were drunk.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:42 PM on October 31, 2006


A couple from my high school history teacher:

"ass over tin cans" -- used when someone/something gets utterly destroyed. As in, "They bombed London and everyone went ass over tin cans."

"If looks could kill, you would be tiny!"
posted by danb at 6:47 PM on October 31, 2006


tallest midget in the circus.

Frequently used on someone who wants recognition for standing out among those lacking in something.

such as a girl wanting credit for being the most attractive student in the electrical engineering program. It's not like she has much competition.
posted by slapshot57 at 6:52 PM on October 31, 2006


"Strong like bull, smart like dumptruck."
"The wheel's turning, but the hamster's dead."
"Rode hard and put away wet."

If you have a flaky Internet connection or a bad satellite signal: "It's up and down like a toilet seat at a mixed couples party."

If someone is pouting: "Did someone break your little red wagon?"

I regularly employ the term "metric fuckton".
posted by Melinika at 7:08 PM on October 31, 2006


That's as funny as a flood in a Fizzies factory.

My brother used to say, "If you want to play with the big dogs, you better be able to bark." or he would say, "He who hesitates is a pussy."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:20 PM on October 31, 2006


Melinika writes "'Strong like bull, smart like dumptruck.'"

In the same vein: Size 2 hat, 40 shirt.
posted by Mitheral at 7:36 PM on October 31, 2006


"A few pancakes short of a stack"
"Useless as tits on a bull" is one of my faves and it embarrasses the hell out of my kids when I use it around their friends, which makes it even more fun to say!
posted by i_like_camels at 8:29 PM on October 31, 2006


You can lead a horse to water, but never eat anything bigger than your head.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:34 PM on October 31, 2006


Brag on a cow and she will shit every time.
posted by Freedomboy at 9:00 PM on October 31, 2006


This page has some beauts, many of them insults based on looks. A selection:
"I look like Annie off the pickle boat."
"You look like death eating a cracker."
"Legs by Steinway, body by Fisher."
"If somebody told you to haul ass, you'd have to make six trips!"
posted by rob511 at 9:51 PM on October 31, 2006


My father is a collector of these sort of sayings, and I'm doing him a great disservice by dredging up just a few of what must be thousands from my childhood.

A useless person "doesn't know if their asshole is punched or bored."

If someone talks a lot, their "mouth runs like a whippoorwill's ass." (My siblings and I have yet to figure this one out)

If someone's got heavy lidded eyes (ie just woken up or really high) they "have eyes like two piss holes in a snowbank."

Deep snow is usually referred to as "asshole deep to a tall indian."

A good deal is "like a sore dick--hard to beat."

A godawful smell is "liable to knock a buzzard off a shit wagon."

A insane person is "crazy as a shithouse rat."


I love this thread. :)
posted by quite unimportant at 11:30 PM on October 31, 2006



My old boss used to say "all over the place like a mad womans shit." which still makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Also:

"Better an empty house than an unwelcome guest." (on farting)

"All over you like a flannel."
posted by Giant luck at 12:22 AM on November 1, 2006


"You can stuff it up your arse for nothing and fuck off while you're doing it!" -- Withnail and I
posted by tabulem at 1:06 AM on November 1, 2006


Build a fire for a man, and he will be warm for one night. Set him on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

Quieter than a mouse pissing on cotton.

Couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the bottom.
posted by mattholomew at 3:50 AM on November 1, 2006


Happier than a pig in shit.

Dumber than a mud fence.

He's running on impulse engines only. (Of someone who is not all there)
posted by Jade Dragon at 3:51 AM on November 1, 2006


"Colder than a gut shot bitch wolf dog with nine sucking pups pulling a number four trap up a hill in the dead of winter in the middle of a snowstorm with a mouth full of porcupine quillls."
Tom Waits
posted by unrepentanthippie at 5:37 AM on November 1, 2006


She could fuck up a wet dream.

He wouldn't recognize subtlety if it wore a feather boa and sang show tunes.

Common sense ain't common at all.
posted by wordswinker at 1:44 PM on November 1, 2006


Who pissed on your cornflakes?

I prefer "Who pissed in your cheerios?"
posted by amuseDetachment at 2:09 PM on November 1, 2006


hot as a fox in a forest fire.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:40 PM on November 1, 2006


"Don't get your panites twisted in a knot" - Someone overreacting.

"Put on your big boy/girl panties and deal with it." - for the whinners.

" Family tree is a trunk" - low IQ

"Got a hair up your ass?"- someone being pissy
posted by JujuB at 8:49 PM on November 1, 2006


'Her face is writing cheques that her arse can't cash' (a pretty girl with a fat bum - the body parts/gender can be changed as appropriate).

'You're spending money like a man with no arms' (Irish expression, allegedly. God knows why an armless man would be especially free with his money.)
posted by jack_mo at 6:08 PM on November 2, 2006


He's not spending. He's a skinflint or scrooge, in other words.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:13 PM on November 3, 2006


"Fuck up a one car funeral"
Which gets funnier because I learned it from a mortician.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 2:12 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


fwiw - "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey" is an old "pirate" phrase. The triangular base which held the cannon balls was made of brass and called a monkey. In below zero temps, the brass gets brittle and may crack, spilling the balls.

....from what i hear anyway. take with a grain of salt.
posted by nihlton at 12:37 PM on May 23, 2007


i lied. snopes >> http://www.snopes.com/language/stories/brass.htm
posted by nihlton at 12:39 PM on May 23, 2007


Borat has said some colorful things. "Her 'vagine' hangs like sleeve of wizard" comes to mind.
posted by AceRock at 10:12 PM on May 23, 2007


From the The Thick of It, "as useless as a marzipan dildo".

There's an Italian expression roughly analogous to "having your cake and eating it too" that translates into "He wants his wine bottle full and his wife drunk."
posted by carrienation at 10:27 AM on May 24, 2007


I needed that like a slap in the belly with a wet fish.

I needed that like a kick in the ass with a steel-toed boot.
posted by purplefiber at 10:09 PM on May 24, 2007


when leaving:
I'm out like a boner in boxers.
I'm off like a prom dress.

Its on like Donkey Kong.
posted by premortem at 9:34 AM on May 26, 2007


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