Friday, 27 September 2013 19:37

What's the Story of Your Favorite Family-isms?

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family storytelling family sayings superman's capeGrowing up, I learned some important advice from my dad that I never forgot:

  • You don't tug on superman's cape
  • You don't spit into the wind
  • You don't pull the mask off the old lone ranger
  • And you don't mess around with Jim


My dad wasn't Jim Croce, he was Jim Brown and most of dad's parenting advice came from the lyrics of songs, poems, and even from advertising jingles: advice and comments that he would sing or quote to you when you came to him for various problems or just to talk,with a different sound track for each of his 7 children.  Trust me - he had one for every occasion.


Didn't get asked out on a date or invited to a party - there was this:

I overlooked an orchid while searching for a rose.

Crushing on a new boy at school was sure to be met with a chorus of:

With his jeans swung low

Hangin' on his hips

Last night's lipstick still upon his lips

Who makes the girls all do backover flips

Igmoo the pride, of South Central High

It's the morning class looking like a 'rangutan

Twelve minutes after the last bell has rang

The girls all sigh, "Ain't he the cutest thing?"

Igmoo the pride, of South Central High

Mom was a big fan of made up words like: ying-yang, wazoo and whoop-de-doo; all had rather vague meanings, but generally we knew it had to do with your outfit being too tight, too low or too high and meant go and change.

My husband, a former USMC SSGT, didn't waste time singing his parenting advice to our children.  It came out more like a Drill SGT barking commands on the parade deck without the catchy cadence, but the kids, still to this day, know the tune


family storytelling family sayings superman capeAfter being a high school cheerleader, my personal family-isms weren't so much advice, as how to spell important words like grizzlies, spirit and banana (G-R-I-Z-Z-L-I-E-S GRIZZLIES!  S-P-I-R-I-T SPIRIT, SPIRIT - LET'S HEAR IT; GO BANANAS, B-A-N-A-N-A-S).

Along with a few well beloved wake-up cheers like: GET UP, GET GOING, GET READY TO SOCK IT TO 'EM!

Every family has their sayings, their colloquialisms, and their quirky sayings.  Those family-isms may tell you something about your family, your history and are worth saving for next generations.  Write them down; tell their story and how and when they were used.  Continue to use them, even after a loved one is gone.  Well, as Grandpa Brown would say, "You are my sunshine..."

To get you motivated my dad would probably tell you a nice poem or maybe sing the lyrics to Dust in the Wind right now. I could give you an inspiring cheer of: LET'S GO, LET'S GO, L-E-T-S G-O!  But maybe the best advice could come from my husband: NOW DO IT!  DO IT NOW!



Last modified on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 18:47
Valerie Elkins

Vlaerie is the CEO and founder of Advantage Genealogy and serves on the Board of Directors for both Story @ Home and for the Utah Genealogical Association. She utilizes her experience to blend research and technology with the art of storytelling, to help make the past come alive. Valerie believes that every family has an amazing family history full of stories of love and loss, guts and glory, victory and deafeat... along with a few skeletons in the closet. Finding those stories and learning to dance with them is her passion. Valerie is a Pinterest "pinja" and a blogger at Family Cherished. You can find Valerie on Twitter @elkinsvalerie.

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