Community Web Version Now Available
Erica
Professional Teacher
Strange phrases your parents or older relatives use
My mum is a native English speaker (her parents were Scottish and she grew up in England), but there are many phrases she likes to use that I've never really heard anywhere else. One that we all tease her about is: "I've been running around like a dingbat". She uses it to mean that she has been very busy doing lots of things for work or around the house.

I googled "dingbat" today out of curiosity, and apparently it means a stupid, silly or ridiculous person.

Do your family members have their own "catchphrases" that wouldn't make sense to anyone else?

14 de may de 2020 12:32
12
4
Comments · 12
Haha Rosco I love that! We have lots of words like that in my family as well, some of them quite rude! One my dad uses a lot is "dumf", which would be the same as your dad's "buffo".Urban dictionary has a definition that is waaay ruder but I think since my dad has been using this word since long before UD's existence it wouldn't even occur to him that he could be saying "dumb f*ck"
14 de Mayo de 2020
My father would call me and my brothers a "boobus" while growing up. Never given a definition. But now I use it when someone in the family does something dumb. Like when I tried making bread and forget the yeast =I'm a boobus. Or like when I had to come back and edit all my mistakes for this post
14 de Mayo de 2020
Haha oh dear, Grace! I have to say though, I had no idea dawdle was outdated...
14 de Mayo de 2020
Hi Erica! I *am* the older person who got a strange look from a younger classmate once. (And if memory serves, I was only in my thirties when this happened.)

I was attending classes at a local community college for personal interest. The classmate and I were between classes, standing on the sidewalk between classrooms, having a conversation. Suddenly I realized we had been there a while, and I said "Oh, if we don't want to be late for class, we better not dawdle."

The younger classmate looked at me and, very, very quietly, under her breath, laughed and said "Daaaw-dle." But not quietly enough. I was only in my thirties and my hearing was still pretty good.
14 de Mayo de 2020
My father grew up in South Fork, Pennsylvania, which was where the dam broke that caused the Johnstown flood. (That was before his time.) If someone were to ask him how far away something is, he would say something like "It's about three miles from here as the crow flies." (i.e. in a straight line)
14 de Mayo de 2020
Show More
Erica
Language Skills
Dutch, English, French, Italian, Spanish
Learning Language
French