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Old sayings that you heard in your childhood.

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Xenophon PCDGS

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I might be a tad older than most (but not all) on the website, so I wonder if "strange sayings" were common at one time.

One that springs to mind from the early 1950s was if two women were very annoyed and argumentative, the term used was " They are playing Hamlet".
 
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AlterEgo

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Not sure if obsolete now, but the Geordie expression “worky ticket” means a difficult person who is trying their luck. I heard it plenty as a kid!
 

Welshman

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Sayings in use in Yorkshire in the 1950s-60s, included:-

"That's summat or nowt" meaning something insignificant [interestingly, Ian McMillan in his book about Yorkshire reverses it and calls it "Neither Nowt Nor Summat].
"All fizz and no pop" used of a showy, but unreliable person.
And, when in desperation at trying to tell someone they were wrong, we'd say "Nay, I've told and better told him"
And one my father used of something that was broken was "it's gone for a Burton" [Something, I think, to do with Burton's tailoring and wooden overcoats - possibly of an RAF origin]
 
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farleigh

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In Sussex, it was common to be referred to as 'old young'un' by adults when i was a child.
 

DarloRich

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Not sure if obsolete now, but the Geordie expression “worky ticket” means a difficult person who is trying their luck. I heard it plenty as a kid!
Still in use round my ( former) way.

Also, surely workie ticket as per the very acceptable ale by Mordue Brewery.
Neither Nowt Nor Summat
Most Yorkist types I know still use this.
 

Gloster

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And one my father used of something that was broken was "it's gone for a Burton" [Something, I think, to do with Burton's tailoring and wooden overcoats - possibly of an RAF origin]
There is a discussion about the origin of ‘Gone for a Burton’ and many other phrases on the worldwidewords.org site. (Sorry, can’t do a link.)
 

_toommm_

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‘It’s looking black over Bill’s mother’ was something my mum said a lot - it’s a very roundabout way to say it’s looking overcast.
 

SteveM70

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If someone was longer than expected doing something, or if someone asked where my grandad was when he’d gone to the betting shop, she’d say “they’ve gone to get two eggs and a bag of cement”, or occasionally it would be prefixed with “they’ve gone to Egypt to get….” Never heard it anywhere else

The wife of one of my old work colleagues would occasionally respond to questions about where something or other might be with “up Jack’s arse, hanging on a meathook”. She was from Norwich, and claimed it was something people said there.
 

61653 HTAFC

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"Well, I'll go to t'foot of our stairs!" -Old Yorkshire expression of surprise.
"Put wood int' 'ole" -shut the door.
Both frequently heard at the grandparents house when I was a nipper (1980s).
 
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Paul Jones 88

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Living over the brush.
Unmarried couple living together.
Her at no5 is living over the brush with him from Unigate.
 

DelayRepay

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When I was little and I asked my mum what was for tea, the reply would often be 'fresh air and a run round the table'. I have no idea where this comes from and have never heard anyone else say it. (We didn't get fresh air for tea, we'd get a pie or something!)

A favourite of my dad was 'You make a better door than a window' which roughly translates to 'please could you move because I am trying to watch TV and you are blocking my view'.

And, probably not uncommon but he'd often say 'It's like Blackpool Illuminations in here', which translated as 'someone's left a light on for longer than strictly necessary'.

When I was young it was common to refer to elderly gentlemen as 'grandad', even if they were not, in fact, your grandad.
 

birchesgreen

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And one my father used of something that was broken was "it's gone for a Burton" [Something, I think, to do with Burton's tailoring and wooden overcoats - possibly of an RAF origin]
i still use this phrase a lot, i've althought it was something about beer and drunkenness?

one i use myself a lot too is climbing the wooden hills to bed-fordshire
 

Springs Branch

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When I was young it was common to refer to elderly gentlemen as 'grandad', even if they were not, in fact, your grandad.
In the street where I grew up, most women of mature years who were either a neighbour or friend of the family would be referred to as "auntie". In my case, for example, there was Auntie Pearl at no. 16 - who was no relation whatsoever.

A mildly eccentric or humourous person was described as a "Rum 'Un".

With more extreme unconventional behaviour, they were "Pots For Rags".
 

Jaz avalley

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Where I live nowadays they often refer to a woman as ”duck” I always feel like I should quack, it is not meant as offensive,and actually seems to be a positive term but,”Quack, quack!” I breed ducks and love them so no idea why I always think it odd.

I also heard the gone for a burton,and yes it was broken or shoddy,so I assume Burtons was seen as shoddy workmanship ship quick to fail or fall apart.

The term, ’hammered’ is referred to as worse very worse for wear drink wise.

My mum would say bee waxed instead of buggered for tired, so I am totally bee waxed, she did not approve of swearing so this might be just her.
 

birchesgreen

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In the street where I grew up, most women of mature years who were either a neighbour or friend of the family would be referred to as "auntie". In my case, for example, there was Auntie Pearl at no. 16 - who was no relation whatsoever.
Same here, though its also something my wife does (she was born abroad), she refers to the old lady next door as Auntie.
 

SteveM70

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We used to have the Alpine lorry where you could buy fizzy drinks and stuff. None of our parents could really afford it so we were told we could have “council pop”, ie tap water
 

LSWR Cavalier

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I love being called 'love' or 'duck' by strangers, at the till for example, but one has to be careful sometimes.

'Don't thee thou me! Thee thous them as thous thee', said the Yorkshirewoman.
 

SteveM70

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“Me duck” is great, got it a lot when I was at college in the East Midlands. Then I worked in rural Somerset and occasionally got referred to as “my lover” which seemed a bit forward even for 30 years ago!
 

Master Cutler

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One that always perplexed me in our area of Mansfield was when someone was in a bad mood they'd got a "monk on" .
 

Calthrop

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If someone was longer than expected doing something, or if someone asked where my grandad was when he’d gone to the betting shop, she’d say “they’ve gone to get two eggs and a bag of cement”, or occasionally it would be prefixed with “they’ve gone to Egypt to get….” Never heard it anywhere else
My mother's equivalent of the above, was "gone ashore for a loaf". (She was from Chester, though "in exile" further east.)

“Me duck” is great, got it a lot when I was at college in the East Midlands. Then I worked in rural Somerset and occasionally got referred to as “my lover” which seemed a bit
forward even for 30 years ago!

In Birmingham, any woman (tending to be older rather than younger, but that far from universally true) is likely to address any person of any gender, as "bab". Birmingham males are wont to address any other male, as "our kid" -- even when the speaker is clearly a good deal younger than the person addressed; which I find delightful.
 

adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
In my original neck of the woods of the West Midlands, I have heard the phrase "gone round the Wrekin" as meaning to have took the long way round to get somewhere, rather than via the shortest route.

The Wrekin being a range of hills and twisty roads in Shropshire.
 

Mcr Warrior

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In the area between Wigan and Leigh in the 1960s, it was the tradition to put a pie between two rounds of bread and call it a "slappy".
Isn't that essentially the same as a "Wigan pie" / "Wiganburger" or more simply just a "Pie butty"?
 

birchesgreen

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In my original neck of the woods of the West Midlands, I have heard the phrase "gone round the Wrekin" as meaning to have took the long way round to get somewhere, rather than via the shortest route.

The Wrekin being a range of hills and twisty roads in Shropshire.
Another Midlands saying i still use :)
 

Altrincham

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A phrase I often heard said years ago when I was little (usually applied when someone was embarking on something deemed to be a bad idea) was: “he must want his head reading”.
 

GusB

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One or two from my childhood:

"Dae ye think ma heid buttons up the back?"
"Awa 'n' bile yer heid!"
"Haud yer wheesht!"
"We're a' Jock Tamson's bairns"

There was another which my gran used frequently, but having just googled said phrase it would appear that it has racist connotations - something I hadn't even thought about until now.
 
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