Monday, June 9, 2008


Tonight a friend stopped by and a couple of times she said, "Holy Smokes." I hadn't heard that exclamation for a long time. Do you think that's what someone said when a church/chapel/temple/sanctuary/monastery/etc. burned down? Or is it a big cigar that a religious figure smoked behind the wood shed? And the funny thing, when she left the air smelled just like smoke. It smelled like the forest was on fire.

Another friend says, "Oh my stars." She's the only one I know who says that. Does she stand in the front yard looking up? Actually there aren't hardly any stars if you live in the city unless you are experiencing a blackout and then the sky would be filled. Would they be her stars or would she share?

'When Phil and I used argue one would say, "For crying out loud," and then the other one would say, "For Pete's sake." (We were such brilliant arguers. Witty with the quick come-back.) Who is Pete and why was someone crying out loud? This has evolved over the years to "For crying out the window." I can just picture a sad woman in an old fashioned house dress, leaning against the window frame and crying. Out loud. We don't argue any more. We're too tired. We might lean the against window but that's about it.

My Aunt Lill, who was the most gentle woman I have ever known, used to say, "It's enough to frost your bottom." Can you imagine, my dear little auntie saying such a thing? And what does it mean? She also said, "It's enough to hark a dog." The dictionary says hark means: "...a hunter's shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent." That almost works.

And who ever "Put a sock in it?" And where was the sock supposed to be put? In the mouth, maybe.

If anyone recognizes this one I will know they grew up in Sevier county. "Too late! George is dead!" George was with the family's herd of sheep on the mountain. (People took their sheep to the mountain for free grazing and they would stay all summer.) George's brother was supposed to bring him provisions. A day went by, two days, George was almost out of food. Three days went by, a week. I don't know how long it was but George was out of food for a long time and by the time his brother finally showed up George was so mad he yelled, "Too late! George is dead!"

I shouldn't end with this but when I was growing up we used to say, "Kiss Rosy." We said this like someone might say, "Bug off!" I always wondered who Rosy was. No one seemed to know and then one day it hit me--this was only a couple of years ago. Rosy was code for that piece of anatomy that was frosted. I am so embarrassed. I must have said, "Kiss Rosy" hundreds of times. I hear by apologize to everyone I have ever known.

"Bug off," instead.

Oh, now you know I am just kidding.

Kind of.


TSannie said...

My great aunt used to say "Doesn't that just blow your skirt?" when she was amazed or impressed by someone/something. Never really figured that one out.

Love how you write!

N7GMT said...

Oh bird! (Can't believe you forgot that one.)

Michael Rawluk said...

I believe Pete is St. Peter.
I still say choke a horse. I don't when I first heard that. That smell is bad enough to choke a horse. Do horses have a poor sense of smell?

Muum said...

My usual expressions are "Bless your (or their) heart" and 'for heaven's sake' . I agree about St. Peter.
The worst for me, was when , as a child I copied my aunt who often told us how 'P.O.'ed' she was. THen I found out that was NOT a polite expression.

Karen Deborah said...

Makes you wanta slap yo mama!
like who would dare? How bout crack the winda, are you from Texas? My mama was from Texas and she taught me how to talk.
we say "purty" too.

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

My neighbor says oh my stars ALL the time, and I love her to death.. She was sitting right next to me at Weight Watchers last night.

tearese said...

It would be fun to research all of those phrases to learn where they came from. I have a friend in her mid-thirties who says Holy Smokes all the time.