In this blogposting...
*The Things People Say
*Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know
*In Memoriam
Now, read on, Macduff...

In a recent posting I mentioned a saying my Nana used which has puzzled the whole family for decades. If, when we were kids, she thought we were being boastful or ‘showing off’, she’d say ‘You’d be a genius if you had a glass arse’. To this day, none of us has any idea where she picked up this colourful and - to some people - indelicate phrase. If you can throw some light on this mystery, please get in touch.

(Incidentally, one of the reasons this phrase stands out so much in my memory is - as well as its impenetrable lack of logic - the use of the word arse. The use of four-letter words was, and remains, utterly unknown in my family. In truth, this is the only example I can think of. I apologise if anyone is offended. Perhaps I should have added a warning preamble.)

Anyway, I’m delighted to say that quoting my Nana’s weird adages has jogged the memory of Peter, from South Shields. He’s sent me an email quoting some of the stock phrases his Mam and Nana used to say in a wide range of situations.

To someone who was taking a long time to get to the point of a story: ‘Tell us the time, not how the watch works’. Truly elegant!
To someone who was standing in the way: ‘Let the dog see the rabbit’. This one interests me because my Mam uses it too, but to mean something different like ‘let’s get organised, let’s get down to business’.
To someone who is trying to speak while they are eating: ‘Let your meat stop your mouth’. Yes, my Nana used this one too.
On getting home and opening the front door: ‘Home again, home again, jiggedy jog’. Yes, my Mam uses this one too.
About someone considered ugly: ‘A face like a Dutchman’s bum - turned inside out and well whitewashed’. I’m not entirely sure I understand that one! And apologies to Maureen's other half.
Peter’s Nana once described a woman as having ‘a face that would stop a clock’. I love that one.
An eccentric or weird person was ‘as queer as Dick’s hatband’. Both Peter and I would like to know who Dick was and what was so queer about his hatband.
My Nana used to describe an indecisive woman thus: ‘She’ll neither heck nor ree’. I wonder what language that started out out in?
She would also describe the very early hours of the morning, when many miners would trudge to work, as being ‘before the streets are aired’.
And finally, another phrase used my Peter’s Nana about anyone she considered miserable or grumpy; ‘Every time she laughs, a donkey dies’.
I love that one. Perfection.

If you have any contributions, please use the comments box or email me.

...will take place at 1100 on Thursday 3 December at the Biscuit Factory on Stoddart Street in Newcastle. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Charles Dickens invented the word boredom. Surprise surprise.
Water is not colourless; it really is blue.
A man called Charles Osborne had the hiccups for 69 years.
There’s a place called Why in Arizona; Maine has a Pardon; Tennessee has an Only and a Difficult; and Newfoundland has a Dildo and a Blow-Me-Down.
Panama hats are made in Ecuador.
The Canary Islands are named after dogs, not birds.
Wild animals don’t snore.
The collective noun for crows is a murder, for skylarks it’s an exaltation, and for cats it’s a clowder. Lovely.

It has been brought to my attention that I neglected to mark the passing of Vic Mizzy on 17 October. In the unlikely event that you can’t immediately call to mind who this man was...he wrote the ‘kooky’, click click theme tune to The Addams Family. If there was a tv theme tune Hall of Fame, that would be in it. Along with Emergency Ward 10, Robin Hood, Doctor Who...and your own favourites.

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com


Hildie said...

I'm curious now, about that saying of your Nana's, Ian. Do you remember the one that went ... "Well, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye"??
Sid, hello, I haven't been far away
.... it was school Thursday, school Friday, Marcellos Friday night to celebrate my friend Trish's 50th birthday, Consett Saturday with my sister, and watching Joe McElderry tonight. Didn't he sing "Don't let the sun go down on me" just superbly?
Hope I don't get that detention you mentioned! You see, it's really Liam's fault ... he kidnapped the laptop for most of tonight. Honest, Miss Marple!

Hildie said...

Ummm, it IS a trifle catchy .... that theme tune .... unfortunately it's been on my mind since I read Ian's posting last night ....
I think it's one of those
sound-worms ....
They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.
Maureen, I too was wondering if Mietek had lived here in the North East at sometime. Do you think he must have done .... considering he was a fan of the Blue Bus programme? Not to mention Newcastle United!
Hello, Peter in South Shields ...
do you not fancy coming to the Biscuit Factory or writing on the blog?
Here we go wondering again .... wonder if Val or Margaret or the other Margaret or Gerry are able to make it to the next AGM. We haven't heard from them in a while.
Hope you are all okay.

Maureen said...

Love those expressions Ian. Maybe the Dutchman one is a little un-pc? Don't worry I won't tell him, but someone didn't like the Dutch did they? And what about the back of a bus? why is it considered more ugly than say, the back of a lorry, or a train? I can remember if the house was untidy we were told that it was like Paddy's yard. I learned later that there used to be a place on the Quayside that sold old second-hand clothes and shoes called Paddy's Yard. I suppose that it would have been pretty messy ...

Maureen said...

ps Collective nouns, did you know that you get a parliament of owls and a deceit of lapwings? Now where did that come from!

Sid said...

It was a bit messy Maureen, that Paddy's Market. It was a sort of an early Primark, only the clothes had been worn.
I once had an Anorak bought from Paddys Market, it had a Ramblers Association badge in it. A teacher got her eye on it and asked "How long I'd been a member". I told her it came with the coat.
Mam was mortified, but I was to young to know why.
Strange how some folks brag now about 'good purchases from second hand shops...

Sid said...

Collective nouns...How about a Wondering of Truckshunters.

Ian Robinson said...

Hildie...well done for remembering the words! I used to be glued to The Addams Family. I know it wss just a one-joke series but I liked the joke. Morticia 'live-heading' her roses. Wonderful.
Paddy's Market...A listener once called in to say an untidy room was like 'a tagareen shop' and it took another listener to explain that a tagareen shop was a ships' chandler. Were they particularly chaotic?
As for a 'Wondering of Truckshunters'...I LOVE it.

Maureen said...

Ooh, yes Sid, a 'Wondering of Truckshunters' brilliant! and would the AGMs produce a 'Wandering of Truckshunters?'
I see that you are both calling it Paddy's Market, now I'm wondering (again!) was that the same place as Paddy's Yard, or was I on the completely wrong track?

hairyoldhippy said...

My Grandmother used to say of me too “You would be a genius if you’d a glass arse” likewise not prone to bad language. She was a Mackenzie from Dumfries, nee McAdam from Kirkcudbright. Wonder if there is a connection. The interpretation was “Pigs might fly.”