RSS Feed

Mother’s tongue

Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 in Mom

Today Mom tried to tell me some story she obviously thought was hilarious about some man who sat across from her at bedtime. But she just couldn’t get the correct words out of her mind. When this happens she says, “Well anyway” and laughs.

That got me to thinking about sayings Mom used to have. Here are just a few.


LaMata a couple of years before I came along. So she must be about 38.

Has the shick o’shock train came yet?
This means “Is it time yet?” A little boy used to ask that question regularly of Mom since he had to go home for supper once it came.

DeeDee TYE Toddy
No idea what this means. Sometimes she’d say it when we played cards. It came from her high school days, I think.

Well, I guess I’m sucking the hind tit.
This came out when she was losing at cards. I don’t recall her ever losing at cards, but she must have been behind a few times.

Scared the pee waddin’ out of me.
I say this too, but don’t like to think about it.

Damn it to hell.
Or Shit Fart. Or Shit, fart and apple butter. Or Hellty Poop.
These were the only swear words I ever heard her say until she was at least 70.

Crooked as a dog’s hind leg.
I thought everyone said this. I’ve discovered that this is not true.

Ornery as owl shit.
I don’t understand this one at all. I asked her for sayings for some English paper or project I had once, and she shared this one.

Don’t cha know nothin’? Ain’t cha never been to Bushnell?
Bushnell had a dance hall when she was a party girl. But it was still one of those towns of a size that “if you sneeze you’ll miss it.”

added Oct. 26th or later


These are the entire lyrics for Mom’s only lullaby. It has a tune that’s about five measures that get repeated and repeated. It might not be much, but I loved it as a child and can stand it as an adult. I’ve also sang it myself.

Get out of my dirt!

Mom got possessive of the dirt she accumulated when sweeping the floor. It made her angry when a pet or a child walked through it.

Hell, shit, STAP!

This was something Mom heard in a car while her friend was driving. It was screamed by the friend’s mother. Mom says it with much less hysteria. I just used the phrase myself today while running a large multiple search-and-replace on a website.

Remembered by my sister:

Don’t wear that I just washed it!

It was supposed to sit in your drawer for awhile and rest, I guess.

By request of my niece’s husband:

I’d eat just about anything with nuts in it.

Mom loves nuts more than chocolate. So do I.

Archaic terms Mom uses

In the 21st century my mother mentioned that she did her trading at the local grocery store, but she used to trade at Red Owl in Wayzata. So I think she only trades for groceries.

Since I say fireplug instead of fire hydrant, I assume I get that from her.



As in “I was just setting there when…” I never saw Mom with an egg under her, so I assume she meant sitting. She uses this pronounciation almost exclusively now. It used to come and go.


Mom warshed the clothes and hung them on the line. This was a common pronounciation where I grew up. But my first grade teacher didn’t like it and I took on her fervor to eradicate it for about a week. I changed my pronounciation, but couldn’t get Mom to change hers. But at least she never said “this here” or “that there.” Or, at least, not very often.

Her own vocabulary


My sister created this word as a very young child. It means monotonous and tedious.

No reason

My other sister says this instead of “no wonder” for some unknown reason and Mom picked it up.


This is Mom’s euphemism for female genitalia.  It might actually be spelled cudigi like the spicy Italian sausage sandwich. I saw that once on a menu in some little town in the UP and thought I might have to leave the cafe.

  1. You will be (perhaps) shocked to know that I grew up hearing “crooked as a dog’s hind leg.” Very common in my childhood.
    I think if you look at a dog’s hind leg, or a cat’s for that matter, the expression makes sense.
    Same as a “dog’s leg turn” on a windy road.

  2. You look even more like your mom in this picture than you do your Aunt Blanche. I didn’t see it when I met your mom — what — 10 years ago? But in this picture it’s totally obvious.

  3. I think it’s lovely that you are collecting these sayings. And, your mom looks great in that pic.

  4. Oh my gosh! I totally thought that was you! What a great photo – FULL of attitude and character…no wonder I thought it was a contemporary sepia toned photo!

  5. Kris, Jer just read this with me. Loved it! I remember most of them. He wanted you to add… “I’d eat just about anything with nuts in it.”

  6. Boy, do you certainly look like your mom! I love all of this history that you share too. I’ve always been accused by my kids of saying “warsh”, although I don’t believe it.
    My dad used to tell us kids: “Get out of the house and get the stink off you you”! That used to upset me 🙂

Leave a Comment