What are your favorite quirky sayings?
November 19, 2013 8:39 AM   Subscribe

I find certain sayings particular endearing and would love to add more into my repertoire. A few examples of saying I use are: Mary Beth is as sweet as pie (meaning, I think she's just a swell girl). That new baby is as cute as a button. Spending my weekends as the park makes me as happy as a pack of puppies. I've also been known to say someone "drinks like a fish" and/or "smokes like a chimney." Your favorite sayings don't need to be analogies, I just want to know what sayings you use regularly. I am an english speaker in the us of a, if that helps at all. Thanks!

On preview I checked out this question and answer http://ask.metafilter.com/5631/Silly-Sayings, but I'm looking for sayings that do not require an etymology
posted by Stan Grossman to Society & Culture (144 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
 
- Nuttier than Squirrel Sh*t
posted by JenThePro at 8:43 AM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Throwing a wobbly

posted by JenThePro at 8:44 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:45 AM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


As busy as a fart in a mitten
As independent as a hog on ice
Got the bit in her teeth and headed for the barn
posted by Ideefixe at 8:45 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a cod fish" (means that they are bad at baseball... I'm from Atlantic Canada so, uh, this may be a regional one...)
"That's a whole other bag of cats" (same as 'can of worms' is used)
"Holy Catfish" (holy cow/oh my god/etc)
"Dumb as a pile of potato peelings"
"I know where my bread is buttered" (I know who I can count on, who loves me, who I can turn to. I usually use this in reference to my husband.)

This one my grade five teacher always used. I still don't undrestand it, but I use it now too.

When someone asks what day of the week it is, she always answered "Monday/Tuesday/etc, unless it rains."
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:45 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


As my grandmother used to say: "S/he's so cheap s/he'll squeeze a nickel till it hollers."
posted by artemisia at 8:46 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"drinks like a fish" is a cliche, which is the opposite of quirky. here are a couple of my faves:

(in response to "are you worried about that?") "my worry budget is fully subscribed right now. absolutely no additional worries will be entertained until the beginning of the next worry planning period."

the classic chicken statement of insufficiency: "you have some chicken, and you have a lot of chicken feathers, but you don't have enough chicken to make a chicken salad."

"the occasional perception of arrogance is the price of personal excellence."
posted by bruce at 8:47 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good lord willing and the creek don't rise.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:48 AM on November 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I like the alleged southernisms occasionally used in True Blood, such as "you're dumber in the head than a hog is in the butt".
posted by elizardbits at 8:49 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


My grandpa used to say, "I don't know him from a bar of soap." It's a great expression and I use it all the time!

Another of my favorites is: "Dumber than a bag of hammers" or "Dumber than a box of hair." Either is perfectly descriptive.

As for "Good lord willing and the creek don't rise." The Creek should should be capitalized as it refers to the Creek indians, not a water creek. Soo...can be interpreted as racist.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:51 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I can't get gone enough too soon"
posted by Jacqueline at 8:54 AM on November 19, 2013


Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Easy peasy pumpkin pie.
What's up, buttercup?
posted by Safiya at 8:55 AM on November 19, 2013


I've picked up most of my "unique phrases" just from TV or movies or books. Describing something difficult as "like nailing Jell-o to a wall" is something I picked up from some comedian, and I got "it's a dog-eat-dog world and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear" from an episode of Cheers. And rewatching an interview David Tennant gave once recently reminded me of an expression he used to describe someone's actions as being effective - "it butters many parsnips".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:55 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I adopted "Marching to the beat of a different kettle of fish" from a friend in college.
posted by rtha at 8:55 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can make this as profane as you like, but one of my favorites is "as screwed up as a football bat."

Other faves: busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, dumb as a bag of hammers, crazy as a shithouse rat, mad as a hornet, slower than Christmas, and the cat's ass.

As in, "I bought a new coax wire stripper the other day and that thing is the cat's ass."
posted by jquinby at 8:57 AM on November 19, 2013


Things my mom says:
Cuter than a speckled pup
Outta there like a gut-shot panther
Helpless as a mooncalf
posted by esoterrica at 8:57 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


As both my day job and hobbies often demand organisation of several disorganised people, I've become rather fond of "like herding cats into a bag"

I like this particularly because I've witnessed a single cat being herded into a spacious cat-carrying device, and the ease with which it didn't happen.
posted by greenish at 8:58 AM on November 19, 2013


If I were a bell I'd be ringing.
What do you think this is, a pork chop?
I'm as merry as a gadfly.
One beer short of a sixpack.
posted by h00py at 8:58 AM on November 19, 2013


My Nana would gently say "fight nice" to the rolling, shrieking scrum of cousins knocking about the living room or yard.
posted by headnsouth at 8:59 AM on November 19, 2013


One more: angrier than a rat in a coffee can. I've also described someone as "rip-shit and tear-ass mad."

Anger seems to bring out the best of these.
posted by jquinby at 9:00 AM on November 19, 2013


"Mad as a box of frogs/bag of snakes" (mad in the crazy, not angry sense)

"If he was chocolate he'd eat himself" (for someone who loves themselves a little too much)

"I'm so hungry I could eat the leg of the Lamb of God" (an ex-colleague always said this, made me laugh)

"I'm snug as a bug in a rug"
posted by billiebee at 9:00 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


When grudgingly admitting something might be OK: "well, it's better than a slap in the face with a wet fish".

I don't know, maybe that was just one from my family.
posted by gaspode at 9:03 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stolen from Firefly, without apology:
"If wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak." (Mileage varies by country, and veg*n tendencies of the crowd)
posted by esoterrica at 9:03 AM on November 19, 2013


"close but no cigar"

I got this from an old DOS hangman computer game my uncle let me plan in the early 1990s, and I love it. I accidentally say it to my elementary speech students sometimes, but I realize I shouldn't be talking about cigars to them.
posted by shortyJBot at 9:04 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Actually, the goldmine source of all quirky expressions would seem to be Dan Rather's commentary during any election night. Every year he covered an election when he was a newscaster, something would always happen to him a third of the way into the broadcast and he reverted back to Folksy Texas mode.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sappy as a maple tree in spring.

Crazy as a soup sandwich.

Things are gonna happen (when things are going wrong and people are flipping out).
posted by windykites at 9:09 AM on November 19, 2013


One of my grandmother's favorites was: "Better than a sharp stick in the eye" as in "The new porch swing isn't great, but it's better than a sharp stick in the eye."
posted by gregvr at 9:14 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


As for "Good lord willing and the creek don't rise" The Creek should should be capitalized as it refers to the Creek indians, not a water creek.

Holy crap I did not know that. In my family it's "lord willing and the crick don't rise", and it's always been framed as "if the stream doesn't flood". I will stop saying that now!

"Getting and spending we lay waste to our powers", which is basically Wordsworth.

"An expense of spirit in a waste of shame", which is Shakespeare.
posted by Frowner at 9:16 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


From your examples, I'm assuming that you're mainly after similes that are fairly commonly used rather than completely off-the-wall. There are a few lists of these floating round the web, often for learners of English who want to incorporate a few colloquial expressions into their speech. Here are a couple I googled up: at phrases.org.uk and at englishclub.com.
posted by pont at 9:20 AM on November 19, 2013


My Dad passed down several Grandpa-isms - Grandpa died before I ever knew him. He was a mean drunk, but he had some gems…

"Who's milkin' this duck?" (response to anyone questioning the sanity of anything he's doing)

"Gonna cut that dog's tail off behind his ears." (response to annoying pets, doesn't have to be a dog)

"Stop being ancispatorious!" (never quite understood this one. I spelled it like it sounds. It generally meant he was annoyed by an excitable person.)

But my all time favorite, which I often use to refer to customers and co-workers alike whom I find useless…

"He/she is a waste of carbon and water."
posted by Thistledown at 9:21 AM on November 19, 2013


My whole family tends to call the bathroom the 'necessary room,' which we've done since my dad saw it labeled that way at a Long John Silver's and astutely pointed out as hilarious.
posted by troika at 9:21 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Grandparents are apparently a great source for these! Mine lived near a busy road without traffic lights--I remember my otherwise stoic Grandpa occasionally saying incredulously, "Who left the gate open??" in reference to the seemingly never-ending stream of cars and it always made me chuckle.
posted by lovableiago at 9:22 AM on November 19, 2013


It's hotter out here than teenage sex.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:23 AM on November 19, 2013


I'm poorer than a can of Spam.
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:25 AM on November 19, 2013


Close but no cigar
I said that to a kid in my martial arts class once. Followed by, "But that's okay, you're too young to smoke cigars!"

A friend just told me, "I don't have to boil the ocean."
posted by luckynerd at 9:25 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


let's blow this popsicle stand
they're not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree
they're not the sharpest crayon in the box/tool in the shed
they fell out of the [undesirable trait] tree and hit every branch on the way down
they couldn't [desirable trait] their way out of a paper bag
yeah, I trust them about as far as I can throw them
they're dumber than a bag of hammers/box of rocks
don't cast your pearls before swine
jack of all trades, master of none
six of one, half-dozen of the other
(Q: "how are you?" A:) eh, fair to middling

I've also taken to saying "heavens to Betsy!" in lieu of explicit expletives.

Here are a few lists of idioms you might find enjoyable: one, two, three.
posted by divined by radio at 9:26 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ruthless Bunny: "As for "Good lord willing and the creek don't rise." The Creek should should be capitalized as it refers to the Creek indians, not a water creek. Soo...can be interpreted as racist."

Maybe, but probably not.
posted by jquinby at 9:27 AM on November 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

Busier than a one-legged man in a kick fight.

Good by the inch invites evil by the yard

I ain't gonna sugar coat this and call it a honey bun

Chinwag as a synonym for conversation

Noodle as synonym for think

Keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out.

Don't shit in your own mess kit

Act like you been there before.
posted by jayder at 9:28 AM on November 19, 2013


As much use as tits on a fish.
posted by neilb449 at 9:29 AM on November 19, 2013


"Crazy like a fox". It actually means "he isn't crazy; he knows exactly what he's doing."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:29 AM on November 19, 2013


You keep running your mouth like that, your tongue's gonna get sunburnt.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:32 AM on November 19, 2013


I say "super duper". I was told by one person that no one says that, but he seemed to like it.
posted by Blitz at 9:37 AM on November 19, 2013


From my southern mother, though I don't claim she's an example of anything typical:

"He doesn't have sense that God gave little green apples" (i.e. too dumb to come in out of the rain, not that apples move, which makes this all the more perplexing)

"... bless his pointy little head", which I'm assuming was a standard patronizing phrase before Jefferson Airplane got hold of it.

"Busy as a one-armed paper hanger"

"and we're off like a herd of turtles!" (when my brother and I finally found our shoes and were wrangled into the car about 15 minutes late)

"clear as mud" i.e. totally unintelligible, but also used as the "any questions?" phrase by one of my elementary school teachers "is that all clear as mud, then?"
posted by aimedwander at 9:38 AM on November 19, 2013


When someone starts going into pointless hypotheticals instead of dealing with a problem at hand realistically - "If we had a flying horse, we could escape the zombies!" - I fall back on something I picked up from my mother:

"If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a bus."

(The original was more often in Yiddish, translated for the benefit of the kids.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:40 AM on November 19, 2013


I often say someone is "spending money like a drunken sailor".
posted by barnoley at 9:41 AM on November 19, 2013


One of my brothers will respond to a server's inquiry as to his enjoyment of the food, "It's so good I want to roll in it."
posted by jgirl at 9:44 AM on November 19, 2013


"It's windier than a bag of farts!" is one my boyfriend stole from his ex, and we use it all.the.time.

My mom has a really slow/lazy friend, and when my grandfather was alive, he's say, "You'd have to drive a stake in the ground to see if she's moving."
posted by jabes at 9:45 AM on November 19, 2013


Bobs your uncle

christ on a cracker
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 9:46 AM on November 19, 2013


I also like "swing a dead cat," as in "You can't swing a dead cat in here without hitting some douche in a fedora."
posted by jabes at 9:46 AM on November 19, 2013


My grandfather had a bunch. My favorites are "If I had a broom up my ass, I'd sweep the floor too" (when being over tasked) and "I'm so hungry my stomach thinks my throat's been cut".
posted by readery at 9:47 AM on November 19, 2013


Expression of surprise: "well, I'll be go to hell!"

Can't pull out, too many cars: "who let'em all out?"

I drink my coffee black as the inside of your hat.

Tastes vary -- there's an ass for every seat.

In my family, you are crazy as a bedbug, or crazy as a shithouse rat (followed by "of course, that's the technical term.")
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:50 AM on November 19, 2013


I look like five miles of bad road.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:50 AM on November 19, 2013


Oh, two others. About a curvy/sexy woman "a backside on her like two eggs in a handkerchief" and "I've been in and out like a fiddler's elbow".
posted by readery at 9:51 AM on November 19, 2013


"Handier than a pocket on a shirt"
posted by workerant at 9:51 AM on November 19, 2013


I forgot some!

Comb your hair, you look like you been dragged through a bush backward.

Put on a sweater, it's as cold as a witch's tit in a tin brassiere.

One we have adopted from Monty Burns: it's not all ham and plaques around here!
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:53 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, I remember some more; these are animal-friendly variations of old sayings:

Fly two kites with one string (instead of kill two birds with one stone)
More than one way to peel a banana (instead of skin a cat).
posted by windykites at 9:56 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hornier than a three-peckered billy-goat!*

*Not recommended for use as a pick-up line
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:01 AM on November 19, 2013


Two from my grandfather, via my dad:

You flop like a wet sack of shit. (When he didn't like how I took my seat on the couch.)

She's like fly shit - all over the place. (In reference to my ADHD-tempered mother.)
posted by catatethebird at 10:02 AM on November 19, 2013


Someone who looks unhappy has a "face like a wet weekend".

And I know it's maybe a little overused by now but I still love "Shut the front door!".
posted by triggerfinger at 10:08 AM on November 19, 2013


A bird in the hand is better than a crab in the bush.
Off like a prom dress.
He folded faster than Superman on laundry day.
posted by sephira at 10:09 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also: Butter wouldn't melt
posted by triggerfinger at 10:09 AM on November 19, 2013


My dad is a font of these, and I think some of them originated with him.
  • Someone who is confused or stupid "doesn't know if it's arsehole or breakfast" or "can't tell if it's Christmas or stand-easy".
  • Doing a task with too many added, but unnecessary steps such as making scrambled eggs by cracking eggs into one bowl before adding them into another, would be told to "stop doing Holy Mass" over it.
  • The position a cat takes when it's washing its bum, with one leg stuck in the air is "up periscope pussycat".
  • Weak beer, tea, or coffee is "weak as witch's water" or "weak as madwoman's piss".
  • Something very nearly the same as another thing would be "as close as damn it is to swearing".
  • A saying that was common years ago but isn't heard much, although is still used in my family is "needing to pee like a tailor".

posted by angiep at 10:10 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is kind of crass, but years ago, my friend and I were at Dunkin' Donuts, trying to get chocolate donut holes, but they were all out. I exclaimed, "They're totally jerking us off!" (instead of "they're jerking us around"). Since then, any time someone does something annoying, I say they're jerking me off. My boyfriend used to correct me whenever I said it but now he realizes it's just a thing that's stuck and laughs about it. So that's definitely one of my favorites.

Another is one I stole from NewsRadio: in an episode Beth tried to get "bitchcakes" to take off as an adjective. Now whenever I'm frustrated and about to explode/feeling like I'm going to go crazy, I say I'm "about to go bitchcakes."
posted by dearwassily at 10:10 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


My husband made the mistake of using the phrase "hot in the biscuit" around me a few times, and now I can't stop. "I'm all hot in the biscuit to go buy new shoes!" or "He's totally hot in the biscuit to get home and eat dinner."
posted by VioletU at 10:11 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I once heard a girl from Kentucky playfully say to her boyfriend: "I'll slap you like a sleepin' hog!" I have absolutely no idea what that means.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:16 AM on November 19, 2013


My high school biology teacher would say, "Ain't no way, Henrietta" when what he really meant was, "Ain't no way in hell."

"Colder than a witch's tit" and "Colder than a well-digger's ass" are both delightful (and both came up in a family game of Scattegories. The letter was W, and the category was "cold things." I love my family.)

My mom describes particularly miserable summer days as "Hotter'n the hinges of hell."

"Bless your cotton socks" is used as a sincere version of "Bless your heart" that doesn't have the bitchy subtext.

"Sod that for a game of soldiers" as a polite "No fucking way."

And one of my all-time favorites, as uttered by Leo McGarry on The West Wing: "Thanks. Having been born yesterday on a turnip truck."
posted by coppermoss at 10:27 AM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"funny as a funeral"
posted by catrae at 10:32 AM on November 19, 2013


Yo what up homeslice?
Yo what up home skillet?
I'd like you to meet my home skillet biscuit in the pan gettin' cooked.

Spoonerisms are fun: It was a mell of a hess.
posted by gray17 at 10:32 AM on November 19, 2013


When you offer someone something nice and they are less than enthused/turn their nose up at it/want something different:

"What more do you want, jam on it?"

This one is courtesy of my dad, who was born during WWII. Jam is a luxury, dammit!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:39 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Queerer than a football bat" to describe someone odd.
posted by gnutron at 10:40 AM on November 19, 2013


From my mom's mom: "Oh, fer cryin' in the beer"
posted by chazlarson at 10:40 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


My personal favorite is adding "bless his/her heart" after saying something snarky about someone.


And THANK YOU, jquinby for the link about "God willin' and the crick don't rise." My grandma said it, my mom said it, and I say it -- it has nothing to do with Indians, it's not racist, it's straight from the hills of West Virginia and Kentucky, where a rising stream could indeed interfere with your plans.
posted by kestralwing at 10:43 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, another addition. I'd never heard "christ on a cracker" but we use "christ on a crutch" all the time. And mr. k has started saying "Holy Hannah!" as an all purpose exclamation -- picked up from some fanboy friends. I find it alternately endearing and irritating, but can't bring myself to use it.
posted by kestralwing at 10:46 AM on November 19, 2013


Numb as a hake : Clueless or hapless. A blank sort of stupid.
posted by Adridne at 10:49 AM on November 19, 2013


I have always liked these:

"Happier than a two-peckered puppy."
"In the grip of the grape." (meaning drunk on wine)
"Colder than a witches tit in a brass bra"
"Like a fart in an elevator" (to describe something unpleasant but unavoidable)
posted by Pecinpah at 11:01 AM on November 19, 2013


I have a longtime friend who absolutely excels at crazy expressions. Most of them are not for polite company. Two that have stuck with me:

Describing a wheeler-dealer type: Dude is slicker than eel shit.

Describing an old acquaintance that had gained a lot of weight since the last time they met: I'm telling you, he blowed up like a poisoned dog.

(now maybe they'll leave my head)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:03 AM on November 19, 2013


"Don't teach your father how to f**k", a Finnish response when somebody is instructing you in doing something you're obviously proficient at.
(Okay, so perhaps not the most endearing one...)
posted by honeyacid at 11:07 AM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can't believe this isn't here yet, but I often say "Now we're cooking with gas."

I also say "Son of a biscuit" instead of son of a bitch.

Oh and when having a bad day a friend of mine used to always say "My life is not a beautiful choice" referring to these anti-abortion road signs. I definitely picked that up and use it all the time.
posted by ephemerista at 11:08 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


About a clueless person: He couldn't find his own arse with both hands and a map.

My grama used to call me "cute as a bug's ear." (I am not sure why she thought that was a good thing.)
posted by evilmomlady at 11:11 AM on November 19, 2013


Hi, how are you?

Oh, I'm just jumpin' up and down.
posted by mule98J at 11:14 AM on November 19, 2013


Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit.

God only knows and He's not talking.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:22 AM on November 19, 2013


During heavy rainstorms, my grandma says it's "raining cats and dogs and hammer handles."
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:30 AM on November 19, 2013


My great-grandmother had some really great ones, translated (we think) from Hungarian:

"Her taste is strictly in her mouth" for a difference of opinions
"Handier than a pocket on a shirt"
"I will cut you into little noodles" as a threat when someone was misbehaving
"Another country heard from" whenever she heard a baby cry

And my favorite, "The car fell off the railroad tracks". I never did figure out what it meant, and now that I think about it she may have just used it when she wanted to be inscrutable.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 11:31 AM on November 19, 2013


Heard frequently here in Texas: "This ain't my first rodeo!" Meaning "I know what I'm doing."

Couldn't find his asshole with both hands and a flashlight.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:35 AM on November 19, 2013


She's lower than a snake's belly in a tyre rut (she's a mean/ nasty person)

Fair suck of the sav! (give me a chance to speak/ try this extremely tomfool idea before you judge)
posted by goo at 11:35 AM on November 19, 2013


How you feelin'? Finer than frog's hair, thank you!

oh, and -- "why don't you sh** in one hand and hope (wish) in the other and see which one fills up first?"
posted by lemniskate at 11:36 AM on November 19, 2013


My grandma also says that someone disheveled "looks like the Wreck of the Hesperus". She used to say it to us when we were little and running all over her house like hellions.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:36 AM on November 19, 2013


I love when my friend says, "Fuck me gently." Usually in a response to something funny.
posted by HeyAllie at 11:38 AM on November 19, 2013


After someone makes a prosaic announcement [ala "i'm going to make a cup of coffee"]: "I'll alert the media".
posted by chazlarson at 11:49 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's preaching to the choir.
Bless your heart...
He/She looks like they were rode hard and put away wet.
That's (food dish) is so good it'll make you wanna slap your grandma.
Cheese and Rice! (instead of 'jesus christ')
Six of one, half a dozen of another.
Who's skinning this cat?
posted by matty at 11:52 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


(this is my new favorite askme thread)
posted by lampshade at 12:07 PM on November 19, 2013


We always used to say we, "Didn't know him from Adam," but I prefer the alternative version I've heard, "Didn't know him from Adam's housecat."

Other personal faves:
Not the sharpest knife in the dishwasher = dumb as a stump.
Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Bob's your uncle.
Pull the other one, it's got bells on.

Firefly references:
Everything's shiny, captain (when we've fixed something).
My days of not taking you seriously have certainly come to a middle.
I swear by my pretty floral bonnet.

We also refer to cockroaches are Edgars.*

__

*I hate cockroaches. In Florida, though, they are a fact of life. You'll see one in your garage sometimes, and know it is time to spray for bugs.

In Men in Black, a man named Edgar is killed and taken over by an alien bug. When his wife tries to explain how exactly her husband was acting strangely, she says this:

"The chief of police himself come up to the house and did a full-out professional investigation.

Took a police report and writ down everything I said, from A to Z, not believing one thing I said. Sort of poking fun at me.

Then they asked, ''If he was murdered...how was he able to walk back in the house?''

I gotta admit to you that one got me sorta stumped.

But I know Edgar.

And that wasn't Edgar.

It was like something was wearing Edgar.

Like a... like a suit.

An... Edgar suit."

Later, Agent K is aggrieved that they have a "Bug tear-assing around Manhattan Island in shiny new Edgar suit."

So, now, I prefer to think of roaches as Edgars tear-assing around the garage in shiny new bug suits.
posted by misha at 12:22 PM on November 19, 2013


My fav, from Foghorn Leghorn:

“Nice girl, but about as sharp as a sack of wet mice”

much more here.
posted by pepcorn at 12:31 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Well, it's better than a poke in the eye."

or the (to me less appealing because just too clunky despite its charm) alternate, "Well, it's better than a slap in the ass with a wet trout."
posted by Naberius at 12:31 PM on November 19, 2013


"If you are going to be a bear, be a grizzly"
- Terry Bradshaw, from the movie Cannonball Run
posted by Flood at 12:38 PM on November 19, 2013


I heard this from an Ozzie one time... "he was off like a bride's nightie".
(he made a rapid departure)
posted by Mister Bijou at 12:40 PM on November 19, 2013


Mexican phrase dealing with bad luck:

If I had a circus, my midgets would grow.
posted by zerobyproxy at 1:19 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


An old friend used to fart and blame it on "barking spiders."
"Were you born in a barn/raised by wolves?"
"He doesn't have the sense God gave geese."
"He's a few fries short of a happy meal"
"It's enough to gag a maggot!" Courtesy of my father describing a bad smell.
And my new favorite: "Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys" (not my problem)
posted by BoscosMom at 1:26 PM on November 19, 2013


To communicate that you have other, larger problems to deal with and don't consider the current problem under discussion particularly significant: "I have bigger fish to fry."
posted by medusa at 1:27 PM on November 19, 2013


"I feel like the Mayor of Crazytown" whenever I'm the only sane person in a room (project) full of people running in all directions.

"hit two stones with one bird." That one always makes people pause.

someone not good looking: "looks like s/he ran through ugly forest and got hit by every branch"

"happier than a pig in shit" when you're just in your element

"couldn't [X] his way out of a wet paper bag" (negotiate, dance...)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:27 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I have to pee so bad I can taste it" - my grandmother
posted by anotheraccount at 1:46 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


My dear, departed mother would say "I'm not quite sure I understand all I know about that."
(said to express uncertainty, or lack of complete knowledge on a topic)

Programmer's taught me these:
How long is a piece of string? (meaning "we don't know how long it's going to take!)
"nine women can't have a baby in a month" (throwing resources/bodies at a problem won't solve it any faster)
posted by dbmcd at 2:24 PM on November 19, 2013


"One buttock short of a full moon."
posted by Jabberwocky at 2:41 PM on November 19, 2013


My dad always used to say "That's about as funny as a fart in church", meaning it's not really funny at all. I don't know why, because we kids thought a fart in church would be hysterical.

"I have to pee like a racehorse!", meaning to really really have to pee.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:23 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Using a shotgun to kill a fly"
"Jesus H. Christ on a crutch!"
"Taking a whizz in a contrary wind"
"You can't get that kind of crazy for cheap"
"Don't piss on my back and tell me it is rain" (A fun Yiddish phrase I came across in a film)
"Between you, me and the fencepost"
"Screw you and the pony you rode in on"
posted by jadepearl at 5:14 PM on November 19, 2013


For anyone who is colorfully extreme, melodramatic, over the top: Sylvia is a trip to Hollywood.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:17 PM on November 19, 2013


Not something I say, and I'd heard of it - read it in books - but never heard anybody actually say it out loud til I met a coworker who is from the south. Now her grandson is my guy, and he has said it a few times, despite his early childhood in New York, and being in OR/WA since his early teens.

They say they're "fixin' to [do something]" - and it just stops me in my tracks, every time. It's like my brain short-circuits, because I expect them to continue with what they're going to FIX, not what they're going to DO.
posted by stormyteal at 5:21 PM on November 19, 2013


"He couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel."
About someone you really hate: "I wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:23 PM on November 19, 2013


From someone I used to work with:
"Away like the clappers of bastardy."
"Up at crack of sparrow fart."

From my mom, when encouraging a more positive and proactive approach to life:
"I'm going to turn you upside down and shake you."
"I'm going to slap your hands and feet with a wet lettuce."
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 5:32 PM on November 19, 2013


Similar to the above but we say "I wouldn't spit on her if she were on fire."
posted by lakeroon at 6:06 PM on November 19, 2013


I can't afford a bargain.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:49 PM on November 19, 2013


"Makes your tongue slap your brains out." Describing good food. Unique to my extended family, as far as I know.

"Catches your eye like the hook on the screen door." Can't remember where it's from, wish I had more occassion to use it.

"That really chaps my nipples!" A more extreme version of the usual phrase.

"She's got gas in her blood and wheels on her ass." Used in my family to describe a certain someone who's always on the go.
posted by at home in my head at 8:13 PM on November 19, 2013


"Shit or get off the pot" = either DO IT or stop blathering on about it
posted by sleepykitties at 8:24 PM on November 19, 2013


My FIL would say, "I'd rather have a rat in my mouth." A similar expression used by family, "I'd rather swat flies." Both used to decline doing something or going anywhere.

My family all says, "Don't get your tail stuck up your nose." This is from The Stupids by James Marshall--the Stupids' wonderful cat Xylophone was so excited she got her tail stuck up her nose. So, calm down. Variation--"I got my tail stuck up my nose." means I was so excited/carried away I made a mistake, forgot something, or in almost any situation that didn't turn out as expected.

Also, same clowns, different circus.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 8:29 PM on November 19, 2013


"Not my circus, not my monkey" = not my problem. Supposedly a translation of a Polish phrase, "Nie moj cyrq, nie moje malpy". I asked a Polish woman, and while she immediately understood the intent, she said she hadn't heard of it as an idiom before.

"Fuck me gently" was either originated or quoted in the movie "Heathers". The full phrase is, "Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw!"

There's a professor at the University of Chicago named Paul Sally who apparently exclaims, "Well, slap my ass and call me Sally!" when he's surprised or sarcastically feigning surprise.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:40 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


More variations on ones already posted:
I wouldn't piss in his ear if his brain was on fire. (of someone not well regarded)
Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. (things could be worse)
Better than a slap in the face with a wet fish. (as above)
Don't piss in my pocket and tell me it's raining. (don't bullshit me, I guess; never understood that one too well)

Do one legged ducks swim in circles? (one of many referring to the obviousness of an answer to a question)

S/he needs a boot up the khyber. (of someone who needs to smarten up - my father, born in the 1920s, used to use the rhyming slang 'Khyber Pass' for 'arse' in many contexts; not as common in AU as it once was)
posted by mewsic at 9:09 PM on November 19, 2013


He's dumber than a sack of hot nickels.
posted by ZabeLeeZoo at 9:54 PM on November 19, 2013


Old as dirt. Frequently used to describe elderly relatives. Now, I'm old as dirt.

Shit fire and save matches. Learned this one from an old East Texas hippie. He's old as dirt, too.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:18 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Flat out like a lizard drinking (very busy)
posted by h00py at 11:50 PM on November 19, 2013


"I'm completely ass-over-teakettle for him," as in, head-over-heels.
posted by none of these will bring disaster at 12:27 AM on November 20, 2013


He's so mean he wouldn't give you the steam off last year's Christmas dinner.
He's so weak/useless he couldn't go two rounds with a revolving door.
posted by firstdrop at 2:14 AM on November 20, 2013


"Useless as a chocolate teapot."

To indicate a long period of time since something happened, my mom will often say "since Christ left Pittsburgh," as in "We haven't been to a Dodger game since Christ left Pittsburgh. When was the last time, 1988?"
posted by corey flood at 6:35 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Life's a garden, dig it."
"The elevator's working, but it doesn't go past the first floor." (Thanks Dad)
"How about you let me rob this train?" (Mr Getawaysticks to me, anytime he wants me to not worry my pretty little head about something)
posted by getawaysticks at 6:51 AM on November 20, 2013


Hot as a fox in a forest fire.
I push the button for the elevator but all I got was the shaft.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:52 AM on November 20, 2013


Close enough for rock'n'roll.

Six of one, half-dozen of the other.

We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:45 AM on November 20, 2013


My folks used to say "Bedtime for Bonzo!" when it was time for us to go to bed. I have found a handful of others around my age whose parents used to do the same. The origin of the phrase is pretty awesome.
posted by bookgirl18 at 9:11 AM on November 20, 2013


"I had to pee so bad my back teeth were floating."
"Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."
"Your eyes are brown because you're full of shit."
When talking about torrented movies: "It fell off the back of the internet."
posted by zoetrope at 9:49 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Not that old chestnut!"

A subject, idea, or joke that has been discussed or repeated so often that it is not funny any more.
posted by nathaole at 11:31 AM on November 20, 2013


"You're six jumps ahead of a fit!" (Calm down)
posted by tristeza at 2:38 PM on November 20, 2013


Too soon old. Too late smart.
posted by Bruce H. at 2:46 PM on November 20, 2013


Stump fuck Jesus in his holy gutwound!

is what I say when something goes appreciably wrong.
posted by klangklangston at 5:52 PM on November 20, 2013


I was thrilled to read corey flood's comment. I have never heard anyone but my father (and members of my immediate family) say "since Christ left Pittsburgh." Now, if you tell me your mother refers to small one-horse towns as "East Jesus," I'll know you're kin.

My father had a lot of colorful expressions. When we had a big feast of some kind, he'd survey the spread and say "May we never have less." On the other hand, his reply to "what's for dessert?" was often "desert the table."
posted by zorseshoes at 6:23 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


If someone says/yells "Hey!" at you, respond: "Straw's cheaper."

Something that is crooked or moving in an erratic path is: "gee-hawed" Comes from gee and haw, voice commands for horses to go right or left.

"That person can go smoke a pack of dicks." aka "suck it" "tough luck"

Something delicious is "laruppin" LAIR-uh-pin (apparently larrup is a verb meaning to beat or thrash)

"The hurrieder you go the behinder you get"

Check out the song "How far to Little Rock?" by the Stanley Brothers for not-quite-sayings but hilarious folksy banter that could easily be repeated to delightful effect. My favorite: "How far is it to Little Rock/or anywhere?" "Well it's 3 lengths of a fool. Don't believe me? Lay down and measure it sometime."
posted by dahliachewswell at 11:31 PM on November 20, 2013


Oh, oh I remembered another one.

When we'd have a really good dinner on the table, especially when it was something ordinary, not fancy cooking, and likely something that more gourmet tastes might not appreciate, someone - usually my dad - would be digging in and say, "Wonder what the poor folks are doing tonight!" Since of course, we were the poor folks, but you know, the food was so good we felt rich... (boy that's as much fun as explaining a joke, isn't it?)
posted by lemniskate at 4:20 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Something delicious is "laruppin"

My swamp yankee Dad would use laruppin' as a verb for "to complain about, go on and on about."

As in "He was laruppin' that he was hungry."

We would also use (still do when code switching) "some" the way "wicked" is used as an adjective.

As in, "Once he was done laruppin' and ate, he said supper was some good!"
posted by jgirl at 8:28 AM on November 21, 2013


From our Antipodean neighbours in Australia, I've had a couple of people mention, when someone has done something good:
your blood’s worth bottling
or
you're so good at that, they should bottle your blood!

Delightfully creepy!
posted by Elysum at 11:50 AM on November 21, 2013


"Well, I'm off like a prom dress!"
posted by BeBoth at 1:57 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


My uncle is fond of saying, "We'll burn that bridge when we come to it."

I get a dark chuckle out of "I hate X more than life itself."

Butt-ass o'clock is realllly early in the morning.

East Jesus, as zorseshoes mentions, is the boonies, but I've also heard East BuFu (pronounced boo foo.) It's up for argument whether East Jesus is closer or farther away than "to hell and gone."

To die: pop one's clogs, buy the farm

Pregnant: up the spout
posted by coppermoss at 4:51 AM on November 23, 2013


If someone says/yells "Hey!" at you, respond: "Straw's cheaper."

Here's how it went in my house:

Kid: "Hey Dad!"

Dad: "Hay? Straw's cheaper, grass is free, buy a farm and you'll get all three!"
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:30 PM on November 23, 2013


"Why, she's cute as a bugs ear!"
"Dumber'n a sackful of hammers ..."
"Dumber'n a box of rocks ..."
"Is it serious? Why, it's serious as cancer! Serious as polio!"
"Louder'n a popcorn fart in a tin can ..."
"Yeah, I was born at night. But not last night."
"When he was born, the doctor looked at him then slapped his mother."
posted by dancestoblue at 8:01 PM on November 23, 2013


"I'm going to see a man about a dog" (I have an errand to run the nature of which I do not wish to explain to you at the present time)
posted by goo at 2:26 AM on November 24, 2013


goo: ""I'm going to see a man about a dog" (I have an errand to run the nature of which I do not wish to explain to you at the present time)"

Oooh, a friend of mine says this, only he's seeing the man about a horse.

Occasionally, the same friend says he's "gonna go shake hands with the governor".
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:29 AM on November 24, 2013


"gonna go shake hands with the governor"

Which means he's going to go pee, in case that wasn't obvious who the Governor was.
(Sad Trombone!)
posted by Elysum at 12:02 PM on November 24, 2013


One of the things my dad used to say was "Oh, my aching back!" which is kind of an all-purpose expression of dismay.

In the summer, if there was the slightest whisper of air movement, my grandmother used to say "Feel that good cool breeze!" Now we all say that whenever it's hotter than hell.
posted by overleaf at 5:10 PM on November 29, 2013


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