Things Your Family Says

When Mal got home from school yesterday afternoon, we decided to take Murphy to the dog park. It was a “nice” day for February in New England (mid-40s and sort of sunny), so we figured Murphy would appreciate some outdoor activity in his life. He was starting to get a little cabin fever.

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When you enter the park, it has two main paths: one that goes to the right along the water and one that goes to the left, which is a little more desolate. We typically take the path to the right because it’s more scenic and there are more dogs for the pug mayor to meet and greet, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t plowed yesterday.

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I assumed we’d walk on the plowed path to the left, but Mal had other plans for us and declared: “We’ll blaze our own trail” and started walking down the path to the right.

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Murphy ran after him, so we walked in the snow.

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The pug, who typically hates snow, had a blast at the park yesterday. He even frolicked (can pugs frolic?) in the snow at one point.

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We spent about an hour at the park, tromping through the snow and blazing on our trail.

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Mal’s comment about “blazing our own trail” got me thinking about common sayings we use in our house– many of which came from our parents. My mom had tons of mom-isms when I was growing up. Here are some of our favorite sayings:

  • If it was a dog, it would have bit ya.
  • We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
  • Kill two birds with one stone.
  • Long run for a short slide.
  • Were you raised in a barn?


Last night’s dinner was one of my favorites: Gingery Beef and Broccoli!


We were out of ground flaxseed meal, so I just made the recipe without. It still tasted delicious, but I prefer it with the ground flax.


For dessert, I made a batch of No Bake Chocolate Fudge Cookies and ate them all. Holy deliciousness.

Questions of the Day

What did your parents always say to you when you were growing up?

What are some of the common phrases you use in your house?

P.S. Be sure to enter my Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt! You can win a sweet pair of custom Reebok sneakers!


  1. My dad always says “Attitude is Everything!” And when my mom would ask us to do something we didn’t want to do, my dad would be there to remind us to say “Yes I’d be happy to.” Even though I usually followed that with an eye roll!

  2. My dad always called my brother and I Fred and George… I think that’s from an old TV show? My dad also said the common phrase: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise..” Or something like that? Lol 😀

  3. I’m so happy Murphy frolicked in the snow! My parents used to also use the “Were you raised in a barn?” and if we didn’t want to do something for someone we would be told to “Step up to the plate”. Makes me laugh!

  4. My mom always says “cough it up chicken” when someone is coughing/choking on something. I never thought it was weird until I said it to a friend and she looked at me like I was crazy.

  5. My mom would always say ‘were you raised in a barn’ which was funny because I kind of was. I rode horses competitively for years and spent every night at weekend at the farm. My mom didn’t appreciate the horse smells and habits that came home. Poor Murphy, thats a lot of snow for his little pug legs.

  6. My dad would say “I’m smelling what your stepping in.” by way of affirming that he understood what I was telling him. 🙂 I have 3 daughters and I am constantly telling them to “Lead by example!” which is usually preceded by “That’s not good sistering!” because they are being mean to each other.

  7. “Six of one, half a dozen of another”
    “If a frog had pockets he’d carry gun and shoot snakes”
    “Oh dear, bread and beer, if I wasn’t married I wouldn’t be here”
    “If it were a snake it would’ve bit ya”

  8. dad-isms in our house:
    “sh*t or get off the pot”
    “we’ll cross that imaginary bridge when we get to it”
    “if that vest had sleeves, it would be a jacket”

  9. One that has stuck is quite crude…. “I’d eat a nuns arse through a tennis racket!” …when you’re really hungry! “See you later alligator”, “Pasta la vista baby”, “Cuppa cha?” “Away with the fairies” My mum also had a habit of bursting in to “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” !

  10. Both my mom and grandma say “It will go away by the time you get married..” if someone got hurt and was being dramatic about it!

  11. My mom would always say “woulda, coulda, shoulda!” And today was “nice” in Chicago too, so I took my brother’s golden retriever out for a walk! It was just muddy though, so my brother was super happy when I brought her home with mud all over her 🙂

  12. My dad would always say, “Up and at’em, kids!” It would drive me nuts! My mom would always say, “you never know who is watching.” I am sure this was her way of making us behave, but I still always think about it! haha

  13. Wow, this makes me realize how horrible my memory is haha! I have no idea what sayings my mom used to say! I can remember plenty of events from my childhood, but I can’t remember any particular mom-isms. I do remember my friend’s mom always saying, “Remember that you’re representing your family” before we went out for the night! 😉

  14. My mom never wanted to swear in front of us, so she would say, “dirty rotten sock a boca”. My dad’s favorite was, “bus is leaving”!

  15. I can’t really think of any that stand out except for one which was when my mom was kinda angry and didn’t know what was going on she would say “WHAT IN TARNATION….etc” …I don’t even know what that is…i think she made it up…or it might be a southern thing. Maybe I’ve heard it in Gone With the Wind?

    1. @Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake: Tarnation is definitely a Southern thing (or at least for this Southerner it is a euphemism for hell or damnation) and once after commenting that we had “driven all over tarnation” that day while standing in line at Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont getting ice cream, they person behind us in line asked “where is that?” and seemed satisfied by the smart alec remark “East of Eden” (think Steinbeck novel) since there is an Eden Vermont.

  16. My parents said a lot of the same yours did! I also got a lot of “speak now or forever hold your pee” when we were at a gas station during a road trip. “Sh*t in one hand, wish in the other and see which one fills up faster,” was also pretty popular. And when I didn’t want to do a chore I got a lot of “if you went ahead and did it, it woulda been done by now!” during my protests… That one definitely still sticks!

  17. I know all your Moms quotes very well. My favorite Grampy quote was always “Dont take it personally”.Grampy would also yell Jack daw !! not really a quote when we would spill our milk at the dinner table.Until fairly recently I thought he was calling us a Jack dog. (Jack daw = Jack -ass)
    xoxo Auntie Mom

  18. Murph is so cute….my dog loves going in the car 🙂 I had some sea salt dark chocolate for dessert, it was sooo good! When I was little my dad and I would always say “see ya later alligator, after while crocodile” haha

  19. In Cantonese: “Did you give it all back to your teacher?”

    My parents sent my sisters and I to Chinese school to learn Mandarin (at home we speak a different dialect–Cantonese). To this day when we struggle with reading characters, my mom will always say that phrase.

  20. My siblings and I are all pretty good cooks, and we tease my mom about that because she’s (mostly) a teeeerrrible cook, so we had to learn how to cook in order to eat growing up 🙂
    She’d make the nastiest hotdishes, and when we’d complain, she’d respond, every time, with “Well I haven’t poisoned you yet!”

  21. Actually no to both questions which is probably why I hate sayings so much! They never make any sense because I’m learning them at 27. Like when people say “6 of one, half a dozen of the other”, I look at them like, seriously?? Is that really faster than saying “eh, same” or are you just trying to make me feel stupid? 🙂

  22. Okay, Murphy is such a bad*ss little man! That’s great that he put aside his snow-hate and embraced the trail 🙂

    As for my family, my dad was notorious for saying “Mind over Matter.” Whether it was some sort of illness coming on, or I was stressed out with school, my dad would tell me that I had mental control over the situation. Pretty effective, actually!

  23. My dad has always said, “put a penny between your knees and you’ll never go broke”. I’m from the South, so I could probably spend all day telling y’all some of the things we say ’round here!

  24. Hey Tina, what are those boots you’re wearing in one of the above photos? I need a new pair and love that style. LL Beann or UGGS? Thanks!

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