What sort of sayings, colloquialisms, or proverbs did your family say when you were growing up? When were they used? What do you find yourself saying that you vowed you would never say? What do you say that drives your kids nuts? Is there a regional aspect to your speech? Do you have an accent and were you ever teased about it?Oh, boy . . . this one has Susan written all over it. The accent thing, that is. I'll start with that and move to the colloquialisms and family proverbs.
I have a deep Southern accent. I was born in Newport, RI, to a US Navy sailor from South Carolina. We moved back to SC when I was small and I grew up there. After I married, I spent 3 years in South Dakota, but then we moved to Texas, where we spent 14 years. So yes, I have an accent! We now live in Canada, and my accent really stands out here. I am asked all the time where I'm from, and it provides a wonderful opportunity to tell why we're here (my husband is a pastor, so we're here for him to pastor a church), which can lead to opportunities to be a witness and/or invite people to church. But I am still very conscious of my accent and have tried to change it. It's not nearly as thick as it once was, but it's thick enough that people do a double-take when they hear me!
Several years ago an area church was performing a play that needed people with southern accents. The pastor asked Wes and me to help out, so I pulled out all the stops and really let my deep-down southern accent come out. People were amazed! They just thought they'd heard my southern accent before that night! LOL They would ask how I did that, and I told 'em the truth: I just turned it loose.
I was not teased about my accent as a child because most everyone I knew sounded the same as I did. We made fun of Yankees! They were the ones with the accent!
Things often heard in my family:
- Pretty is as pretty does.
- If everyone else jumps off a bridge, are you going to do it too?
- You got many more biscuit to eat. (said to remind me I wasn't quite as big as I thought I was)
- You're just a bit too big for your britches, young lady. (said when my attitude was bigger than I was)
- You catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
- Stop crying. You wouldn't want your face to freeze like that.
- This place is lit up like a Christmas tree!
- Do you think money grows on trees?
- Why didn't you think/I don't pay you to think (depending on whether I said "I didn't think . . ." or "but I thought . . ."
- If I've told you once I've told you a thousand times . . .
- I have eyes in the back of my head.
- Hop up and try it again (when I had fallen or gotten mildly hurt)
"You wanna Coke?"
The one thing I thought I would never say was "If everybody else jumps off a bridge, are you going to do it too?" I hated that when I was a child, but I heard it come out of my mouth when my children were growing up. Now I tell them to "remember who you are." They are not only representing their family name, but also their Savior - and I want them to remember that it only takes a second to destroy the good reputation they have among their friends and their parents' friends. They don't exactly hate that statement, but they usually just mumble an "I will" as they walk out the door. And so far they have! :)