Despite having grown up in a very conservative Christian household, I can remember being exposed to vulgar language at a pretty young age. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly didn’t hear much swearing at home. The strongest word my Mother ever used was damn and she would apologize even for that. I heard my Dad say, “Oh, sht*t!” but only when he didn’t know I was within earshot. Maybe the exposure to foul language was the result of spending my first five years on military installations or spending the rest of my childhood in a small town in rural Maine with lots of fishermen. Either way, chances were good I’d end up swearing like a soldier or swearing like a sailor! These days, I try really hard to keep it clean, so I like to “collect” cute, funny, old-timey expressions — here are some favorites:
10. Whew, my dogs are barkin’. — This one is particularly funny if you actually picture your feet as a couple of barking dogs. Go ahead, I’ll wait…………………… See? What’d I tell you?
9. Well, isn’t that the living end? — My Grandma Vande Vrede used to mutter this under her breath.
8. If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black… — My parents used to say this all the time.
7. Oh, for sweet Pete’s sake! — I have no idea where I first heard this one, but it makes me smile to think of my Grampie — his first name is Peter.
6. Oh, my stars. — A co-worker who used to be a nanny used this expression. She also said “Oh, sugar!” instead of “Oh, sh*t!” Child care givers are a great resource for non-swearing expressions.
5. Cuter than a bug’s ear — You know, because bugs are tiny. Tiny stuff is cute.
4. Now you’re on the trolley. — Blame The Simpsons for this one.
3. Best thing since sliced bread — I heard this one for the first time in Annie, which was my absolute favorite movie growing up. I didn’t know what it meant then, but had a bit of an “A-HA!” moment when I finally figured it out…years later.
2. Holy doodle, that’s a pip! — First read this one in a yearbook from the 50s. To me it sounds like something a reporter from the 40s would say to his gal Friday as he’s getting the “scoop” on a big story. Makes me smile every time!
1. Geez, Louise. — I say this one all the time.
What about you — know any good, clean phrases?
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