Funny sayings, expressions and idioms
August 21, 2007 7:29 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for funny sayings, expressions, idioms, et cetera.

The comical value is, of course, subjective, but I like funny phrases and such. Sometimes their humor is derived from their antiquatedness, sometimes just from the way they sound. I like fun to drop these things in casual conversation, so I need to learn a collection of them.

Along the lines of what I'm looking for:
"23 skiddoo"
"Cock in the henhouse"
"Bee in your bonnet"
posted by Anoxs to Writing & Language (59 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Off like a prom dress
Time to skedaddle
posted by HotPatatta at 7:38 PM on August 21, 2007

Things that I say that crack my boyfriend up:

"Cool as the other side of the pillow"
"Shit the bed" (something that's about to breakdown or quit working)
"Black as your old hat"
posted by kimdog at 7:40 PM on August 21, 2007

Antiquated and funny (to my ear):
Mad as a wet hen
Cold as a witch's tit
(Of someone cool or aloof) Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth
(Of someone self-important) He thinks his ass weighs a ton / He's too big for his britches
posted by ROTFL at 7:50 PM on August 21, 2007

There's an italian one (equiv to the english one "Don't try to teach your Grandma to suck eggs") which translates to:
"Don't try and teach your grandmother how to make babies"
posted by Dub at 7:51 PM on August 21, 2007

Slicker than greased weasel shit on a door knob.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:00 PM on August 21, 2007

Ass over teakettle (head over heels)
bees knees
dickety (as in, "Now my story begins in Nineteen-dickety-two. We had to say "dickety" because the Kaiser had stolen the wold "twenty". I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles.")
bully this or bully that (the Teddy Roosevelt use of the word)
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:01 PM on August 21, 2007

Phrases that I've recently heard that have stopped me in my tracks:
-bunnyboiler (crazy woman, from some movie that apparently I HAVE to watch)
-gay as Christmas (as Christmas? huh?)
posted by jacalata at 8:04 PM on August 21, 2007

Blow the expense, give the cat another goldfish.
posted by pompomtom at 8:05 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Three sheets to the wind
posted by SPrintF at 8:13 PM on August 21, 2007

Useless as tits on a bull
posted by i_like_camels at 8:19 PM on August 21, 2007

"Pissed as a fart"
"Built like a brick shit-house" (used to describe rugby players)
Ri-cock-ulous (instead of ri-dic-ulous of course)

Although I come from potty mouth NZ :D
posted by puddpunk at 8:20 PM on August 21, 2007

My white, southern, prim, ultra-conservative grandmother used to say this about Harry Bellafonte (meow!):

"I'd let him eat crackers in my bed any day."
posted by Brittanie at 8:30 PM on August 21, 2007

12 kinds of stupid
posted by RavinDave at 8:36 PM on August 21, 2007

As an Aussie, I second the "bulit like a brick shit house" example puddpunk provided above.

Some others -
"Black as a dog's guts" (especially referring to the weather and impending storms)
"Through you like a dose of salts" (If you do something wrong, your parents will go through you ...)
"Useless as tits on a bull" (on review, it's been mentioned above)
"Flat out like a lizard drinking"
"Busier than a one-armed brickie in Beirut" (meaning very busy, but also referring to the long-time troubles in Lebanon, made familiar to many Aussies by the Lebanese part of our multi-cultural population).
"Busier than a one-legged man in an arse kicking contest"

And one from Blackadder:

"As cunning as a fox who has just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University"
posted by chris88 at 8:37 PM on August 21, 2007

Also there are a bunch of previously... asked .... similar questions.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:38 PM on August 21, 2007

colder than a well driller's asshole
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:46 PM on August 21, 2007

Three Dog Night
posted by Mitheral at 8:54 PM on August 21, 2007

Madder than a wet hen.
Five pounds of shit in a three-pound bag.
He wouldn't know me from Adam's house cat.
Doesn't have a wax cat's chance in hell.
Drunk as Cooter Brown.
Up to my asshole in alligators.
He thinks he hung the moon.
Slicker than snail snot.
Lower than whale shit.
Graceful as a pig on ice.
So optimistic he'd walk into a roomful of shit and look for the pony.

Better stop now, this heat's makin' me all twitter-pated.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:05 PM on August 21, 2007

my roommate said: "I have to race like a pisshorse" and it stuck.

from the junkyard:
* throwing someone under the bus (getting someone else in trouble)
* visiting the bus stop (smoking)
* watering the flowers (peeing in the woods)
posted by sperose at 9:14 PM on August 21, 2007

Cold as a frogs belly.
tooti fruity
oh snake poop
Something my sisters and I say to each other "For real Shontelle?"
posted by tradeer33 at 9:24 PM on August 21, 2007

Put the elephant on the table
It's just lipstick on a pig
Yardsale (someone falling while skiing and leaving their gear all over the slope)
posted by iamabot at 9:24 PM on August 21, 2007

No one has mentioned one of my favorites, for when someone says something critical. "Hello, pot." - It might take them a minute to get it, as the phrase it's in reference to is not used much anymore (The pot calling the kettle black.)
posted by jesirose at 9:36 PM on August 21, 2007

Spoonerisms are rife with what you're looking for.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 9:38 PM on August 21, 2007

Oh - and my grandpa once said (about someone who he was not fond of) that the person wasn't worth a bucket of worm spit.
posted by jesirose at 9:47 PM on August 21, 2007

"It went pear shaped." - analogous to "shit the bed"
posted by SpecialK at 9:53 PM on August 21, 2007

"That'll put marzipan in your pie plate!" - No freaking clue, from a friend's away message
posted by SpecialK at 9:54 PM on August 21, 2007

My google-fu fails me, but many Mr. Burn's quotes from The Simpsons are based on a similar premeses.

Yes, I'd like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?
posted by porpoise at 9:59 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

the cat's pajamas
hoist with his own petard
don't shit where you eat
little pichers have big ears (never thought that it made any sense at all)
crusin' for a bruisin'
ya want a mouth full of bloody chicklets?
posted by BoscosMom at 10:06 PM on August 21, 2007

Tighter than frog pussy (watertight) so broke I can't pay attention. Tires so bald you can see the air in them.
posted by hortense at 10:12 PM on August 21, 2007

Wittier than a really witty thing.
posted by flabdablet at 11:00 PM on August 21, 2007

"I'd rather nail my nuts to my knee."
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:08 AM on August 22, 2007

He's as much use as an iron-on tattoo. (one of mine)

About as funny as cot death.

"Well I'll go to the bottom of our stairs." (exclamation, my dad came out with that gem one day)

"Well I'll go to sea." (my gran)

"Hold 'er newt she's headin' for the Rhubarb!" (christ knows where that comes from, but it's my Grans again and she's Canadian)

"He couldn't carry a tune in a pail." (canadian relative saying)

Mad as a box of frogs.

....and my possibly favourite....

"She had a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle."
posted by 6am at 1:50 AM on August 22, 2007

One of the elderly incorrigibles who used to be a regular at the pub I worked in would say, if you disagreed with him on anything, "Don't come that with me son; I was in Baghdad when you were still in your dad's bag."
posted by Abiezer at 2:23 AM on August 22, 2007

Dumber than a sack of doorknobs.
As much sense as a slowly-stewed rhubarb stalk.
As much sense as a submarine with screen doors.
Funnier than a rubber crutch.
Finer than frogs hair, split three ways and sanded!
A World's Fair load of logs! (Self-invented, because of a town in Michigan's UP sent a load of logs to a world's fair. To be totally crude, use to describe a good dump. Otherwise, something one person finds special and another, ordinary)
If I was any weller, you'd have to bleed me. (Heinlein, from "Friday")
posted by Goofyy at 2:39 AM on August 22, 2007

Nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Like trying to put an earthworm back in his hole after a rainstorm.
posted by bricoleur at 3:43 AM on August 22, 2007

As nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot

More quotes from Life on Mars
posted by Ness at 3:51 AM on August 22, 2007

Drop the kids off at the pool.

You wouldn't ride her into battle.

I'm as sick as a small hospital.

I feel like a boiled shite. (hungover)

I left her with a face like a painter's radio.

She's got more chins than a Chinese phone book

A sniper wouldn't take her out.

Like shoving butter up a hedgehogs hole with a hot needle.
posted by kenaman at 3:56 AM on August 22, 2007

the author will self once described his face as ugly as "a bag of genitals."

others i like:

batshit crazy
dumb as a box of hammers
turd in the punchbowl
sweatin' like a whore in church
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:35 AM on August 22, 2007

Put that in your vagina and smoke it!
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 4:37 AM on August 22, 2007

when asked how I am, I often reply: "Fine as frog hair!"
posted by konolia at 6:25 AM on August 22, 2007

"I've been up since sparrow fart." i.e. the crack of dawn.
"I feel like death warmed up" -- useful for describing your hangover
"You've got eyes like pissholes in the snow" -- usually describing someone who's just woken up
"He's like a dog with two dicks" i.e. sexually excitable or excited.
"As happy as a pig in shit"
"She's sticking to me like shit to a blanket" - i.e. she's a clingy person.
"You look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards" - i.e. unkempt.
"As much use as tits on a bull" - i.e. useless
"Running around like a blue arsed fly" - i.e. very busy.
"If wit was shit you'd be constipated" - i.e. stupid or not very witty.
"She's got a face like a smacked arse"
"He's got a face like a bag of smashed crabs" i.e. terrible acne.

and my favourite, because it sounds a bit rude but isn't:

"Its cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey" - derived from the practice of piling cannonballs on a brass triangle on a ship's deck, if it's cold the brass shrinks a bit and the balls roll off.
posted by jonesor at 6:29 AM on August 22, 2007

"Sweating like a whore on nickel night"
"Uglier than a bucketful of assholes"
"Busier than a three-legged cat trying to bury shit on a marble floor."

Apparently, all my sayings are profane.
posted by mckenney at 7:18 AM on August 22, 2007

"Like a broken record"

See, they used to have these things made of black vinyl that you could play music from if you put a needle on them and ... hey stop that, I'm serious.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:35 AM on August 22, 2007

You lie like a rug!

P.S. My favorite so far in this thread: the fox appointed Professor of Cunning. hee!
posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:31 AM on August 22, 2007

(for a poser) He's all hat an no cattle.
Couldn't get a needle up his ass with a hammer.
posted by sauris at 9:27 AM on August 22, 2007

"He couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel."
posted by electroboy at 9:37 AM on August 22, 2007

TB or not TB? That is congestion.
Consumption be done about it?
Of cough! Of cough!
But it'll take a lung, lung time.

You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil has to be lead. (Sounds better than it looks in print.)
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:03 AM on August 22, 2007

kicking butt and chewing bubblegum

boot, scoot, and boogie (phrase for hittin' the road or otherwise vacating the premises)
posted by Soulbee at 1:07 PM on August 22, 2007

Oooh, a question w/eponysterical answers:

You really fucked the chicken on that one, didn't you?*

Ideas are like hemmerhoids:
every asshole gets one eventually.*

OFAT = Obligatory Fucking Around Time *

He was as welcome as shit on a white rug.*

Fuckyou verymuch*

A day late and a dollar short*

The only reason why he pulls his thumb out of his ass is to change thumbs.

Fucknozzle spoogefart.

Fuckity fuck cuntflaps!

Time to put my mouth where their money is.


*= copyright Prof NC Seeman
posted by lalochezia at 4:20 PM on August 22, 2007

I frequently find use for the phrase, "Might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb." I like it, it makes sense, and it amuses people to boot.
posted by chihiro at 4:58 PM on August 22, 2007

From my Iowa Grandma:
"Closer than two in the bed and three in the middle." = close friends.
"Didn't have a pot to pee in or a pan to throw it out the window." = very poor.
posted by RussHy at 5:38 PM on August 22, 2007

He's all tip and no iceberg.
posted by flabdablet at 6:02 PM on August 22, 2007

jonesor writes "my favourite, because it sounds a bit rude but isn't:

"'Its cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey' - derived from the practice of piling cannonballs on a brass triangle on a ship's deck, if it's cold the brass shrinks a bit and the balls roll off."

A bit of math will show that it's probably the dirty derivative rather than the cannonball derivative that led to this saying. Assuming the cannonballs were iron the coefficents of expansion are 11 x 10-6/C for iron and 19 x 10-6/C for brass. A difference of 8 x 10-6/C. A 100 degree change in temperature (say 35 to -65) would result in a relative change of 0.8mm/m (IE: if the "monkey" was 1m on a side there would be an additional 0.8mm or just over a 1/32 of an inch of slack) essentially an unnoticeable amount. For example 0.8mm is about the thickness of 5-6 sheets of paper.
posted by Mitheral at 6:07 PM on August 22, 2007

Charles Mackay's wonderful Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds has a chapter on "Popular Follies of Great Cities" which describes these phrases as popular before its publication in 1841:

"What a shocking bad hat!"
"There he goes with his eye out!"
"Has your mother sold her mangle?"
"Does your mother know you're out?"
posted by nicwolff at 8:21 PM on August 22, 2007

"Crazier than a shithouse rat"
posted by AceRock at 8:45 PM on August 22, 2007

Borat has some gems: "I am big like can of pepsi.", "Her 'vagine' hangs like sleeve of wizard", etc.
posted by AceRock at 8:56 PM on August 22, 2007

As rare as a queer tomcat
posted by hortense at 10:04 PM on August 22, 2007

"My Mom used to say, "It's colder than a well-digger's armpit."
She also said, "Let he who lives in a glass house cast the first stone." This was my opening line in her eulogy.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:55 AM on August 23, 2007

Mitheral: You're right. I was given this version by a sailor on a tour of HMS Victory. This is what Snopes says.
posted by jonesor at 9:53 AM on August 27, 2007

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