I don’t think anything has made me question the English language and weird sayings we have, more than having kids.

Especially when it comes to them learning to read and write…

“The ‘e’ sound darling”

now would that be ‘ea’ ‘ee’ ‘e’ or ‘y’.

Not to mention trying to explain why house isn’t spelt ‘howse’ or ice isn’t spent ‘ise’, or that giraffe begins with a G and not a J. It’s all very tricky.

And then there is the fact that kids take everything you say very literally. When Big was a lot younger my mum had a croaky voice due to a sore throat. She told him she had lost her voice. “Don’t worry Nanna. I’ll help you find it.”

Even as an adult there are plenty of sayings and colloquialisms we use that I barely understand myself, let alone the kids!

weird sayings

Weird Sayings I Don’t Get

Just like riding a bike

Easy right? Well no actually. Some of us took forever to learn to ride a bike. We never got very confident at riding a bike. Some of us fell off our bikes a lot. And some of us never took the cycling proficiency course because the thought of having to take one hand off the handle bar to signal turning was absolutely terrifying.

Yes that someone was me. So when I hear it’s just like riding a bike, I think it will be difficult and painful. We can’t all be good at everything ok. I have other skills. Tricycles on the other hand come with three wheels, so are much easier to ride and give you a bit of extra stability. There’s a great range of tricycles from Jorvik Tricycles and tricycles like these would have made life much simpler for me.  

weird sayings

Slept like a baby

Really? Whomever decided that ‘slept like a baby’ would be a term for a deep and restfull nights sleep has clearly never had a baby. Babies wake up countless times in the night because they want food. They wake up because they have soiled themselves. Hell, they wake up because they have just decided that 2am is the perfect time for a game of peek-a-boo with Mummy, or throw my cuddly toy out of the cot and see how many times Daddy will get it for me. If I slept like a baby I would be exhausted!

Couldn’t score for toffee

Maybe this is more about my hatred of toffee. But if you want me to do something don’t try and entice me with a sweet that has the potential to wind me up in the dentists chair. I am much more likely to perform for chocolate. Or cake.

weird sayings

Lucked Out

I was 39 when I realised I had been using this phrase wrong my entire life. For 39 years, I thought it meant your luck has ran out, not in fact that you had been extremely lucky. I remember laughing at my friend when she used it correctly and telling her she was wrong. So convincing was my belief, that she too started to use the phrase incorrectly.

Getting a taste of your own medicine

Surely if it’s your medicine you know what it tastes like already? And being that it means to have someone treat you in an unkind manner as to which you have treated them, you wouldn’t give them medicine, because medicine makes things better?

The Bees Knees

I like bees. But to describe something as excellent and high quality by comparing it to the tiniest part of a creature? I can think of a lot of things more excellent than a bees knees. Same can be said of the “dogs bo**ocks”.

weird sayings

Cat got your tongue?

As far as weird sayings go, this one is right up there. Why has the cat got your tongue and what is he doing with it?

Butter wouldn’t melt

The phrase butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth or butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth describes someone who appears demure, innocent or sincere but is in fact unkind, devious or insincere. The idea is that the person in question is so calm, cool and collected that butter wouldn’t even melt in his mouth

I understand what this phrase means, but I see people quoting it with cute pictures of their kids and think ‘do you really mean that?’

Rock paper scissors

Not a phrase, but a game. One that I don’t get the logic of when it comes to the rock and the paper. The paper wraps the rock so paper wins. But isn’t it far more logical that the rock would sit on top of the paper to stop it blowing away, and therefore the rock wins? And yes, I know this would mean the rock would win all the time as it also blunts the scissors, and it would therefore render the game completely pointless. I have no control over the thoughts in my head.

Of course my kids are already teaching me new words and phrases, which I know will only increase as my coolness decreases.

We all know what a wedgie is. But do you know what a widgie is? Answer in the comments if you think you know.

In the meantime, can we bring back the work codswallop? I like that one.

What weird sayings don’t you get?

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Claire Kirby

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