something a parent said that always made you smile

my late mam was a few inches smaller than me and when she wanted something from a high shelf she would shout ‘wendy, come here with your arms and legs’ it’ll always make me happy to remember that.

so, what’s your memory?

wendy xx

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My Mum (who is still with us) is a great one for unintentional puns, so it’s not things she meant to say, or in some cases even realised she’d said. Sometimes the family have been half-collapsed with laughter, and she’s sitting there, nonplussed, saying: “What? What did I say?”

A few that were so good the memory has survived decades include:

“This choux pastry [pronounced: “shoe”] is like old leather!”

In reaction to raffle tickets with a prize of a rocking-horse: “Who’d want to be saddled with that thing?”

When we (and Dad!) were playing with a train set, and asked Mum: “Did you see that?”, and she replied: “No, I’m not watching points.”

I’m sure there have been others - I wish I’d written them all down. The best part is it’s completely subconscious. People who really tried would struggle to come up with a better pun, but she does it without thinking. I’m sure, at some level, she’s made the mental connection, and it isn’t completely random, but it’s not something she sets out to do.



thanks for sharing your freudian slipping mum tina. looking forward to polar mama/papa too. i started the post because i’d thought of the ‘arms and legs’ line from my mam. i’ve since realised that the REALLY obvious one had slipped my mind.

first off, my dad was quite hard of hearing and had a tendency to talk really loudly, if there was the slightest background noise and my mam had lots of problems with arthritis, so, my dad gets it into his head that some kind of back massaging equipment would be good for arthritis, it wasn’t, but he did it out of love, so my mam was positive about it.

some months later and they’re having a pub lunch together, just a nice couple in their late 60’s/early 70’s, it’s a busy day there, so my dad’s pretty much bellowing his lungs out and my mam’s trying to encourage him to dial it down a bit. suddenly there’s one of those lulls in the noise level that tend to happen, and my dad bellows: ‘are you enjoying that vibrator i got you then, elsie?’ my mother did NOT blush easily, but she was virtually purple just talking about it, some days later. she’d realised what he’d said instantly, he was completely clueless though. my mam said that every adult head had snapped to attention and pointed in their direction, it was only after she’d clocked the audience that she’d realised that my dad was very loudly extolling the virtues of all the exchangeable heads the ‘vibrator’ had. fortunately they’d already eaten, so, apparently she’d just about sprinted out of there and away from him and hidden behind the car until he’d worked out that she wasn’t in the pub any more. after the fact, my dad was also horrified, according to my mam. but if the subject was ever brought up, my dad did his ‘disappearing to his happy place’ trick and just kind of checked out of the conversation. it was a neat trick that he’d had all my life and involved him hiding behind his newspaper.

I used to love sitting on our stone steps outside our front door when I was likkle and I can always remember my mum and dad saying “don’t sit there or you will get the pip”. I didn’t know what the pip was then but it makes me laugh now.

Shazzie xx

yeah, i remember sitting on the little front wall under a small cherry blossom filled tree in our tiny front garden, while my mam and/or dad put things in to or took them out of the car. it does help that i’ve got a photo of that very scene, when i was about six. would i be right to guess that ‘the pip’ is piles?!


hi wendy

great post. this could run and run.

my lovely mum was always singing to the radio and dancing as she did her jobs.

best one ever was when she was reggae dancing to bob marley “is this love” the lyric “we’ll be together with a roof right over our heads” became “with a roof rack over our heads”!

me and my sisters were crying with laughter and even when we explained it she decided that she liked her version more.

so do i and now if i ever hear it i sing along about the roof rack.

bless you mum, still miss you every day.

carole x

years ago my oldest decided to join a band and played bass guitar, my late mum was 4ft 11in and my son was a teenagers at the time used to rib her about her height until she said to him lets go buskin you play and i will sing, look from my son was classic, mum walked away and said under her breath don’t kid with the kidder


This one’s not as upbeat, but a couple of my dad’s favourites were: “Don’t worry, it may never happen”, and: “You’ve got to die of something!” (Mum’s a bit of a hypochondriac - Dad was the voice of reason.)

Unfortunately, for him, the worst did happen and he died of an unspeakably horrible illness. True, there is no really peaceful and pretty way to go - most of us hope to go quietly in our beds at home, but few of us manage it.

He was right that we do all have to go of something, but I don’t know why he had to get anything so vile. Basically, by the time you have symptoms, it’s already too late - there is nothing to be done, and even symptom relief is very limited.

I’m not going to name the disease - which is unrelated to MS and quite rare - in case anyone here has a loved one diagnosed, or is unfortunate enough to be diagnosed themselves. Although I think, in that case, the doctors leave little ambiguity about the prognosis. We were not given the impression, at any time, that there might be a miracle.

It has made me ponder Dad’s pearls of wisdom a lot. I’m sure it does make a lot of sense not to worry about things unless they’ve happened, and you can’t waste your life worrying how you might die - although it is certain to happen eventually.

So in that respect, his philosophy was sound. But for someone whose motto was: “Don’t worry, it may never happen”, an unfair amount of shit did. And as for “having to die of something”, I wouldn’t wish what he got on a dog. I suppose his point was still valid that it’s out of our hands. Even if we have a horrible destiny, there’s no point dwelling on what we cannot foresee, let alone control. So I suppose he was right, even if it’s somehow not much comfort that: “may never happen” doesn’t mean it won’t. :frowning:



that is sad tina.

it is hard to remember our loved ones in pain.

better to remember when he was well.

grief lasts for a long time.


carole x

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My mam is still here but when I was little and used to whine on about ‘it’s not fair!’ She used to say to me ‘neither’s a darkies arse!’. I work in a school and have a child who always says to me ‘it’s not fair!’ Do you know how hard it is for me to not give my mams response!!! Lol hope I haven’t offended anyone :slight_smile:

Yes. I reckon the pip is piles!!! Hahahaha!!

Shazzie x

Another one was “you daft apath”. What the hell is an apath?

Shazzie x

Contraction of ha’pennyworth, surely?



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As a child if I moaned to my mum ’ I’m bored’…she would respond with ‘only the boring get bored!’…I now say the same to my daughter!

hi wendy

i agree- brilliant post. my dad (who died in 2013 rip dad xxx) was deaf and used to attempt to repeat something he did not quite get, but some of his phrases i often find myself using e.g. when my kids are nagging me about doing a physical activity, i say ‘i can’t, i’ve got a bone in my leg’.

i also often exclaim ‘gods teeth’, which is another dad-ism.

the funniest thing was my daughter, who at the age of three when i presented her with a sandwich said ‘what the hell is this?’… my dad would be very proud!

apologies for the blasphemy. blame my dad… fluffs xx

hah! love it fluffyollie!

got a bone in my leg too.

a man who used to work in goods receiving when i was 16 and in my first job used to always use the wrong word.

his best was “you should never use it on an open womb”

carole x

I never let my mom forget this (This is because I am a horrible son ).

When I was a teenager I was taking out the rubbish for her when a shard of glass had ripped through the bin bag and my foot as I went to pick it up. My mom… ever being the house proud woman she was said the epic line “Don’t get blood all over the floor… we have guests coming later.” I don’t think she quiet realised the extent of the injury (in which required stitches) and i’m sure feels terrible to this day… but every once in a while… I have to remind her of that day when the kitchen floor being spotless was more important than her poor old son bleeding everywhere.


I remember my dad who died in '86 used to call me a ‘tattie ash’ or ‘Irish tattie’ when I did something silly…which was often

Great post


mum used to say that it was “pots for rags” if something or someone was daft.

there must be some historical explanation for it.

carole x

ah just googled it and it comes from the rag and bone men

you’d be daft to swap pots (worth more money) for rags.