Family sayings

Do you have sayings in your family that you use without thought.  You grew up using the saying, or word, as part of your vocabulary.  It is an accepted word, until you say it in front of someone outside your family and they give you a funny look.  Then you quickly remember that not everyone speaks the same fun language as your own family.

I remember a time in college when a roommate was making cookies.  She had the dough all mixed up and ready to go when I walked into the kitchen.  I saw the bowl of dough and said “Ooh, is it ok if I smickle some of that?”  She gave me the aforementioned funny look and said “You want to do what to my cookies?!”  See, smickle is a common word in my family.  Apparently it hasn’t caught on in general population.  Smickle, verb, to sneak or snack on a bite of food.  By asking for a smickle all I was asking was if I could take a pinch of dough to taste it.

When my family would spend time at my grandparents we would tend to spread out around the house.  Cousins would be playing downstairs, while adults sat in various places catching up or watching TV.  Whenever it was time for all of us to come to the table Grandma would put out the ‘Netta Betta Peta’ which means she’d yell “Netta, Betta, Peta, come and eat-a”.  What is that, some kind of strange Dutch phrase?  Close.  When Grandma was growing up on the farm, their neighbor lady was fresh off the boat from The Netherlands.  She had 3 children, Nettie, Betty, and Peter.  When it was time for them to come eat a meal, she would yell the phrase that is now a part of my vocabulary all these years later.  No relation between me and the original owner of the phrase, yet all these years later, hearing the ‘Netta, Betta, Peta’ called out means I’m about to have some delicious food.

What kind of phrases does your family have?  Do you know from where they originated?


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