UPDATED May 22, 2008 (Old Expressions)
~ OLD EXPRESSIONS
The Toilet Tissue Roll
We hear so much about the toilet tissue
roll and how it should be placed on the roller. Many say that
it should roll 'over' and others say 'under'.
From experience, I think there is an easy
answer to this much-publicized dilemma.
I believe that if the polls were taken
showing the sex and age of the family members, the people voting
for rolling 'under' are mothers.
Is there really a mother out there whose
child has not, at some time in their young years, brought them
the tissue still attached to the roll and feeling very helpful
and proud, while the tissue streamed through the house?
As a mother, while my children were young,
the toilet tissue in our home ran from 'under' - more difficult
for little fingers to reach. As my children grew older, and much
to my husband's delight, the roll was changed to come 'over'.
"2sides2aCoin" ~Joan Adams Burchell~
Hummingbird feeders hung up and down the
streets at almost every home. They always looked clean and filled
to the top. Did the liquid nectar never go down and need replacing?
I wondered about this while weeding in
my garden early one morning. As I worked, I heard the loud, unmistakable
hum that only the wings of the hummingbird makes. I could see
the wee bird, not a foot away, going from one red bee-balm to
the next. Red flowers! I guess if they were available to them,
they liked the real thing - and why not?
On my next walk, I took note of the colours
of flowers in the gardens. Wherever there were flowers, it was
a certainty that some of them were red.
My question: Why hang a feeder if you have
the space and are able to garden? Plant red flowers!
"2sides2aCoin" ~Joan Adams Burchell~
Dogs and Cats
Do you own a dog, a cat, or both? A dog
requires a license; a cat does not. A dog is required to be on
a leash and not allowed to run free; a cat needs no leash and
can roam. A dog must not be a nuisance barker; cats can spoil
your night's sleep making noise that isn't questioned. Dog owners
stoop and scoop; cats use neighbourhood gardens as a giant litter
You may be a responsibe cat owner so I
may take flack on this one, but -
"2sides2aCoin" ~Joan Adams Burchell~
Do you rake your leaves in Autumn? If you
do, and have neighbours who do not, you know only too well how
the story goes. You rake, rake, rake - leaves blowing all over
your yard until the snow flies. Then, in spring, you rake again
trying to remove the ones that you missed when the cold set in.
Where do the neighbours think their leaves
go? I guess they are happy that they just magically blow away
- away where?
"2sides2acoin" ~Joan Adams Burchell~
Left, Right, Left, Right
Have you ever heard the discussion of which
foot you put into your socks,slacks, shoes, etc. first? Well,
I have and the majority of people say "the right". Oh,
and I've heard some really wild stories, too, like "it depends
on which way the bathtub faces, etc., etc.
Are there really more lefties than righties?
Are there switch-hitters, to use a baseball term?
My logic is that if you are right-handed
(or footed), you would feel steadier standing on that foot and
put your left foot into your slacks or shoe first; or, if you
are left-handed (footed), then you would probably put your right
shoe on first. Am I really the only one that stands up to do these
*2sides2aCoin" ~Joan Adams Burchell~
A visit to the fruit and vegetable section
of our supermarket is a must on my shopping day. It is amazing
how the many fruits are sized and how we are told what country
the fruit came from. This is a definite help for the clerks, and,
for the cashiers who have to scan to get the price. I admit that
it can be helpful for the customer while choosing the type of
apple, orange, tomato or pear that they like. How else would we
know if a yellow grapefruit got mixed in with the pink ones? It
isn't difficult to peel the innocent-looking sticker from a grapefruit,
orange, apple, or even the tough-skinned tomatoes of winter.
But......... can you please tell
me how you take the dratted thing off a delicious, thin-skinned
pear? I inevitably pull the skin off along with the sticker. Is
it just me? Please tell me that it isn't!
The only solution I can come up with is
to not remove the sticker until you are ready to eat the fruit
immediately. Then ..... don't forget to wash your pear again.
*2sides2aCoin" ~Joan Adams Burchell~
Does 'more' mean 'better'?
When you walk or drive around to see the
Christmas lights, do you only see the large displays of breathtaking
enormity? Have you ever noticed, here and there, a candle-wreath
in a window or a simple strand of coloured lights hung along the
front of a tiny home? Perhaps there is a single strand strung
lovingly and invitingly around a doorway. If you look closely,
some of the lights might even be dim from hanging there since
the owner was able to climb up and replace a bulb or two.
The simple string of lights might be all
that the residents can manage - physically or financially, but
they are celebrating the Christmas season with a heart filled
with love. Do you think that the bigger display at Christmas
means there is more Christ in it?
I love to see the Christmas lights
but I see them all. I notice the smallest and I feel the
true meaning of Christmas because ...... someone has given Him
Upon reflecting, I feel the same way about
our flag. Because someone hangs an enormous flag on a flagpole
near their dwelling, does that mean the people living in that
home are more patriotic than the person next-door who has a small
In my mind, perhaps the only difference
is what is in the person's heart.
*2sides2aCoin* ~ Joan Adams Burchell ~
This is a "Spirit Stick" ... Please
take it and pass it along in a gesture of Love and Friendship.
(Just in case you missed it on the front page. There are two more
gifts in the Memory Album)
Some Old Expressions - some still
"Being a dog in the
manger" - You dont want it yourself
but you don't want anyone else to have it.
"Cutting off your
nose to spite your face" - Saying
"no" to something that you really would like, just because.......
"Wearing out your
shoe leather" - Walking a lot.
"Take the bull
by the horns" - Just do it!
"What's good for
the goose is good for the gander"
- What she can say when 'he' says something to 'her'.
"Don't put all
of your eggs in one basket" - Don't
depend on any one thing only.
"Make hay while
the sun shines" - Do it while you
have the opportunity.
"I'm not broke.
I'm just badly bent" - Only a penny
in her purse. (This was one of my mom's expressions)
"Try sleeping on
your back" - My dad said this when
my sister complained she couldn't sleep on an empty stomach.
"Pshaw" - My grandmother said this rather than 'darn' (or
other). Actually, I was told that it was in an old comic.
"If that's supper,
roll on breakfast" - A reply to
"Did you enjoy supper?"
"If you break where
you crack, you'll be short" - A
remark made when someone broke wind.
"I didn't know
they piled it that high" - A remark
when seeing a really tall child.
"Penny wise and
pound foolish" - Someone who pinches
pennies and then squanders the dollars.
"Look after the
pennies and the dollars will look after themselves" - Save your pennies and you will have dollars.
"A penny for your
thoughts" - Said to someone being
"Get behind me
satan - but don't push too hard"
- Wanting to do something but feeling guilty about it.
"You'll have your
head in your hands to play with"
- Threat to someone wanting to do something you disapprove of.
"Old man Can't
is dead and he left a little boy named Try"
- Never say can't.
"Handle that with
kid gloves" - Be careful and/or
is suffonsified; any more would be double superfluency" - I'm full!
- A pie was cut into 6 pieces in our
house. There were 5 of us and Dad always claimed the "Trailer".
"Poor wee lamb"
- This was what my grandmother always
said when she saw a baby.
"Well, you just
take a run around your collar and slide down your tie!" - Mom to Dad if he criticized her in jest.
be seen and not heard" - Speak
only when spoken to.
"Up the wooden
hill" - Upstairs to bed.
"More hurry, less
speed" - The more you try to hurry,
the slower it goes.
"Take the bitter
with the better" - You have to
take some bad along with the good.
"Get your skates on"
- Hurry up!
"Six of one - half-dozen
of the other" -
One is the same as the other.
"It's as broad as
it is long" - It's
the same thing.
"Don't bite off more
than you can chew" -
Don't take on more than you can handle.
"Waste not, want not"
- If you don't waste,
you will not go hungry.
"Scratch the mad spot"
- Remark you make when
you think someone is angry with you unjustly.
"Button your lip"
- Be quiet.
"My stomach thinks
my throat's cut" -
"I'm pulling your
leg" - I'm teasing
"Necessity is the
mother of invention" -
Really needing something has led us to many good solutions.
"There's a long drink
of water" - Remark
made when seeing a really tall person.
"A galloping horse
wouldn't see it and a blind man would be glad to" -
Something to think about when you worry about a small flaw.
"Slower than molasses
in January" - Now
that is SLOW, here, in Canada.
"A watched pot never
boils" - The more you watch for something
to happen, the slower it seems to take.
"Put that in your
pipe and smoke it!"
- Remark made, emphatically, when you were trying to get a point
"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
- It is better to take
one dollar than wait a long while, hoping for two or more.
"Chewing the fat"
"Use elbow grease"
- Scrub really hard.
"Keeps a stiff upper
lip" - Doesn't
"The quickest way
to double your money is to fold it and put it in your purse."
- One of my mother's
"I don't chew my cabbage
twice." - Said
when the person does not intend to repeat themselves.
"Their right hand
doesn't know what their left hand is doing"
- When a company or
person continually makes mistakes.
"He couldn't chew
gum and walk at the same time!"
- Meaning one who repeatedly
gives excuses for not following instructions.
"I feel as busy as
a one-armed paper-hanger with the hives"
- I have "too many
irons in the fire". (Oops! I guess that is another old saying.)
"Isn't 'that' a fine
kettle of fish!" -
Not what was expected.
"Picking up the pieces"
"Bending over backwards" - Nothing to do with aerobics - it means trying
your best to do something.
"Jumping on the bandwagon" - Joining in.
"Eating crow" - Not a new fowl recipe; means apologizing and
taking back what you have said that turned out to be wrong.
"Tooting your own horn" - Nothing to do with a band. Means bragging.
"Adding fuel to the
fire" - Nothing to do with your
fireplace. Means to keep a disagreement of some kind going - usually
"I'll be a monkey's
uncle!" - I'll
"Stir their stumps!"
- Hurry them up!
"You cant make a silk
purse from a sow's ear." - You
cannot make something beautiful without the right materials to
"Take the bull by
the horns." - Just
tackle the problem!
"A new broom sweeps
clean." - New things
and sometimes relationships usually look great at first.
"There's more than
one way to skin a cat." -
There is always more than one way to handle something you are
"Use it up, wear it
out, make it do or do without." -This was one of my mom's. Quite appropriate in the
'olden' days - at least in our family.
"Take that with a
grain of salt." -
Don't be upset about it.
"A lick and a promise."
little dusting today and a promise to do better tomorrow.
-"Outside, perhaps in the back field." This was
one of my grandmother's.
"So mad I could spit
hot water." - Very angry!
"Chew the fat."
"Wet your whistle"
- Have a drink. (Since
this was one my mom used it would mean water, tea, juice, gingerale)
"Don't burn the candle
at both ends." -
Don't work day 'and' night; you need 'some' sleep.
"Mind your P's and
Q's!" - Don't be nosy!
"Not half bad!"
- Good! (That was what
my dad meant when he said it.)
"Take the whole kit
and kaboodle!" - Take it all.
"Keep your shirt on!"
- Wait a minute!
"Don't cut off your
nose to spite your face! "
- Don't say "no" to something you would like because
you are stubborn.
"Beggars can't be
choosers." - Be happy with what
you can afford.
"Don't look a gift
horse in the mouth." - What do
you expect for nothing.
"My stars and garters!"
- Just another way of expressing surprise.
"That's really the
Cat's pajamas." - Cool!
"If it ain't broke,
don't fix it!" - One of my husband's
old sayings and he meant just that!
"Let's get this show
on the road!" - Another of my husband's,
meaning Let's get on with it!
"The better the day
the better the deed." -
An expression Mom used when she had to do something on Sunday
that she ordinarily wouldn't.
"A man convinced against
his will, is of the same opinion still." - Your opinion cannot be forced on anyone.
"Putting your foot
in your mouth." -
Saying the wrong thing!
"I was knee-high to
a grasshopper." -
I was very young.
"An ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of cure." -
Take care of things as you use them and prevent needing a major
repair or replacement.
"You hit the nail
on the head." -
You are right on.
"Don't buy a pig in
a poke" - Don't
by just anything. Choose wisely.
"Rob Peter to pay
Paul" - Borrow from one place in your budget to pay something
else for which you don't have enough money.
"Do you mind?"
- Do you remember?
~ The following ones I had forgotten but were taken from Pamela Perry Blaine ~
"A Bone to Pick" - Someone wants to discuss a disagreement.
"A bad apple" - One corrupt person can cause all the others to go bad if you don't rmove the one.
"Bad Egg" - Someone who was not a good person.
"Been through the mill" - Had a rough time of it.
"At sea" - Lost or not nunderstanding something.
"Bee in your bonnet" - To have an idea that won't let loose.
"Between hay and grass" - Not a child or an adult.
"Calaboose" - A jail.
"Hold your horses" - Be patient.
"I reckon" - I suppose.
"Jawing" - Talking.
"Lower than a snake's belly" - An unprincipled person.
"Madder than a wet hen" - Really angry.
"Pert-near" - Pretty near.
"Scarce as hen's teeth" - Something difficult to obtain.
"Skedaddle" - Get out of here quickly!
"Sparking" - Courting.
"Sunday go to meetin' dress" - The best dress you had.
"Straight from the Horse's Mouth" - Privileged information from the one concerned.
"Wearing your best bib and tucker" - Being all dressed up.