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Entries in Dad Phrases (1)


Passing on the Dad Phrases

My baystateparent blog has a subtitle, “Things My Kids Now Say.”  There are certain phrases now a part of the family lexicon.  Some are serious, some are just humorous.

Here are some examples:                     

  • “Hi, I’m Dad” – spoken in response to the moan of, “I’m hungry/thirsty/tired/sleepy.”  Of course, the response is met with a louder moan.
  • “All Rotten Potatoes” – the family name of au gratin potatoes.
  • “Don’t let your gas get below half” – this was something my dad always said, especially in winter.  I suppose it is possible to slide off a road and need this fuel to keep warm.  I also suspect it had to do with minimizing (water) moisture in the tank leading to fuel line freeze up – something we never hear about with today’s fuel additives.
  • “Don’t make me stop the car” – there are many good reasons to stop a car, and this phrase is often uttered by exasperated parents.  What’s funny is all cars do eventually stop.
  • “One.  Two.” – a friend used to count to her kids as a way to send a strong message. And her kids responded….by the end of the number “two” they had fallen into line (although “one” was generally ignored.)  We often wondered what would happen if “three” were ever reached….would there be a cataclysmic explosion.  In ten years she reached three only once…and while we awaited the tremors the truth is nothing happened.  It was a bit of a letdown.
  • “Three Second Rule” – typically uttered when consuming something falling off a plate and immediately picked up.  What is interesting is scientists have studied this, and even determined the types of surfaces where this does indeed work.  Personally I contend a McDonald’s French Fry can be picked up safely within 3 seconds from any part of a car interior.  Alas, I am not a scientist.

Some phrases have been retired in my generation.  I’ve determined these phrases have no place in my family:

  • “If you don’t go to school the truant officer will come” – today there are school resource officers, and they don’t seem to come drag children to school.
  • “Your face will freeze” – When was the last time you saw someone with a frozen face?
  • “Go to your room.” – This was a common term to have grounding for a child.  The issue is “going to your room” isn’t much of a grounding with the internet and devices in bedrooms.  “No screens” is a definite alternative.
  • “Step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back” – I may have broken my mom’s back (especially as a teen) and certainly not from stepping on cracks.

How about in your family?  What are the phrases you are passing on, and the ones you are retiring?