My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Slower Than Cold Molasses Running Up Hill

That’s something my mom used to say. Well, she probably still says it, but I haven’t heard her say it lately.

It is a good description of my knitting progress this week, though. I knit exactly three rows on my shawl last night before I was too tired to think straight. Here you go:


Looks pretty much the same as yesterday, yes?

The title for my blog post got me wondering about the expression “slower than cold molasses running up hill” so I started a-googling. Here we go a-googling among the leaves so green! Come on, sing it with me.

The search returned 13,000 results.

One of those results was a site on how to speak like a Canadian. Go figure. My maternal grandfather’s family was Canadian, so perhaps how the phrase insinuated its way into my mom’s vocabulary.

But I also found it listed on a website of old Southern slang. Well, now.

And more specifically, I found it referred to as Tennessee slang. Hmmmmm . . .

But no matter where it came from, it is designated as Worthless Saying #67.

What’s your favorite worthless saying?

(Did you see what I did there? I have almost no knitting content to speak of so I quickly diverted your attention away from the knitting.)

Lucy Sez:


Most worthless expression? “You’ve had enough Wildside Salmon Treats.”


  1. How about, “More _____ than you can shake a stick at.” Why would you need to shake a stick at anything?? And how many of whatever is more than you can shake a stick at? Would that be just one shake per thing, or continual shaking? I dunno, but you can tell I’ve given it more thought than I need to.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Putzing Along =-.

  2. How about, “Light dawns on Marblehead” (which happens to be a town in Massachusetts where I came from)
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Monogamy =-.

  3. Kathy Sue says:

    I have a friend from Minnesota who says “Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick”. Even uses it if you say “You want to go for lunch?” My Dad from the midwest always said “Save the pieces” when he heard a crash (Ihave 3 brothers-lots of crashes). His other favorite was “What are you waiting for–Christmas?” That one always tickled me for some reason.

    I have a book called “I Hear America Talking”. I think you would enjoy it.

  4. You and I seem to be following a similar path πŸ™‚ I have about 15 rows left to go on my Faroese shawl design for a well known British mag and the rows seem endless…… πŸ˜‰

  5. I like “Slower than a three-legged turtle” but I don’t remember where I picked it up. I do not advocate the harming of defenseless turtles to test it.
    Another favorite is “colder than a witch’s t*t in a brass bra.” I had a disagreement with a writing professor in college over that one as he had never heard the “brass bra” part. He declared it too regional/unique to my family and made me take it out of my short story. humph!
    .-= Ann in CT´s last blog ..Day 5: Carcassonne-Lyon I =-.

  6. You and I seem to be treading a similar path πŸ™‚ I’m doing a Faroese shawl design for a British mag – down to the last 15 rows and they seem endless…..

  7. Our family’s version of that saying is “slower than molasses in January.” We actually say it now and then. My favorite expression is for describing someone who just doesn’t catch on. “He is thicker than two short planks.” (I use that one all the time at school.)

  8. Alex Fagelson says:


    Since you seem in need of knitting content, would you mind a few questions? I’m knitting a sweater using mosaic knitting, similar to your miter squares sweater but with vertical strips not squares. What is the advantage to picking up stitches from the proceeding piece instead of knitting each piece separately and then sewing them all together? Specifically do the picked up stitches make the garment more structurally sound?


    P.S. My favorite useless phrase is “less productive than a dead gerbil.”

  9. In our house it was “slower than cold molasses in January”, especially on days that were “colder than the balls on a brass monkey”.

  10. My family favorite is “The faster I go, the behinder I get”. I work for a small company and I feel that way all the time! It also applies to knitting projects I rush through and then need to fix.

  11. Useless phrases…..that’s all I speak in sometimes! It’s in January here too with the molasses..but ya know, I like the visual on yours better. My Granny was famous for these things

    hot as a fox
    the pot calling the kettle black (gotta love cast iron!….and I have her pots!)
    happy as a pig in sh*t
    and Gretchen…if you come back…granny had a juice glass with that one on it…and I didn’t get it until I was about 12…(not the brightest bulb, am I)

    slick as sh*t (as in that went slick as)
    busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest

    aren’t you sorry you asked?!?
    I’m not I’m enjoying the reading!
    .-= shelly´s last blog ..My Rainy Thursday =-.

  12. “6 of one, half a dozen of the other”.
    most of my grandmother’s sayings couldn’t be repeated in a family-friendly blog like this one…

    p.s. alas, no highlighter tape at Target….

  13. anne marie in philly says:

    “that’s the way the cookie crumbles!”

    steven and meredith say: “cousin lucy, make sure momma puts out extra treats for you tonight; you DESERVE them!”

  14. linda-kay says:

    My father-in-law had some winners. One of my favorites is “a useless as a t*t on a bore hog.

  15. “More nervous than a longtailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”
    “Finer than a frog’s hair split four ways.”
    “Got more problems than Carters’ got pills.”
    “Fell out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.”

    I’m from TN, btw. LOL.
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..Loss =-.

  16. Hotter than two rats f*&^ing in a wool sock.

    I’m just hoping it’s not a hand-knit.
    .-= Megan S.´s last blog ..I’m Meeellllting!! =-.

  17. Dang, someone already beat me to my grandma’s favorite about being as useless as “t*ts on a boar hog…”

  18. My granddad’s favorite saying was “Dumber than a bag full of buttholes…”
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..I’m working on it!! =-.

  19. My mom will declare that someone is in need of “thirty lashes with a wet noodle.” Also that getting the entire family (7 people) moving in the same direction is like herding cats.

  20. My favorite saying is “Going ’round Robin Hood’s barn” (for getting somewhere in an indirect manner). It describes how I navigate in an unfamiliar town. Or knit when I am too tired to think straight.
    .-= claire´s last blog ..That time of year again =-.

  21. I guess this is one of the idioms I use a lot when I get impatient. Slower than Molasses in January. I went to Dogpile and there were some interesting info on needless to know trivia!! Lucy is a sweety as usual.

  22. Wendy Reres says:

    Is this printable? My mom used to say: “don’t look up a dead horse’s ass!” God knows where that came from, but it applied to any useless endeavor. (Would you get a different result if you looked up a live horse’s ass?!?)


  23. When I was talking about how pretty my baby was, my mom said that her mom would have said”Every old crow thinks hers is the blackest.” Another one from the same sweet lady was “I’ll bet you a Yankee dime”, meaning that if you won whatever was being bet, you would get a kiss. My sweet grandmother’s family came from Mississippi after the Civil War. That must have something to do with that wording.

  24. My dad likes, to tell me I’m “as graceful as a bear humping a football” of course he’s a little cruder when he says it, but one of my favourites has always been “ass over tea kettle”
    as in “she fell ass over tea kettle”… why in the heck is your ass anywhere near your tea kettle?
    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Sticky =-.

  25. Our family favorite is ‘slower than dirt.’ It gets mostly used on my youngest dd, who always seems to lag behind everyone else (hope she’s not too warped when she grows up!)
    .-= Tabby´s last blog ..14 pints and counting… =-.

  26. Lucy, you are priceless! (as are some of the sayings above)
    .-= kmkat´s last blog ..…and also on the way home. =-.

  27. Fun to see these. Our upstate NY family also had the molasses in January as opposed to running uphill. The one my mom used to say I didn’t see here. She was prim and proper and would never swear (she consider “shut up” to be swearing and we were punished for it). She would say, “What in the sam hill is … ?” or “Where in the sam hill is… ?” I guess that was one way to avoid saying “what or where the hell is whatever.” She was no alone in using that phrase. “Ladies” did. I use foul language. It’s easier! HA.

  28. Ok – here are a couple of my Dad’s
    Colder than a witche’s t*t
    Darker than the inside of a welldigger’s ass
    Dumber than dirt
    Ok – I guess my Dad was prety crude – LOL

  29. “Colder than a mother-in-law’s kiss.” But I love my m-i-l, so it doesn’t apply here!

    I’m not knitting fast enough, either…
    .-= pdxknitterati´s last blog ..Sock Summit: it followed me home =-.

  30. One of my mother’s favorite (when dealing with some fantasy plan or other) was: “Good luck to you and the Red Sox”……..i

  31. My family’s fav is
    Slicker than donkey snot on a glass door knob.

    Meaing — that’s really cool.

  32. Darn. I was really hoping you were working on a lace book. πŸ™ The shawl looks beautiful.

  33. And who decides they’re worthless? They provide a picture.

  34. Jen in MN says:

    OK, I use “wound up tight as a 10-day clock”, “slim chance, fat chance, same thing”, “dead as a fart in church”.

    Fun topic!

  35. “If wishes and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.”

    “Shoulda, coulda, woulda’s.”

    My personal favorite is from my Grandma. Whenever we ask what time it is, she goes, “Half past kissing time, time to get a kiss!”
    .-= Andrea´s last blog .. =-.

  36. My dad always said Slower than Molasses in January. He was from Big Stone Gap, which is sitting between VA, KY, and TN.

    He was also fond of telling me what was what and asking, “How do you like them apples?” Once I got over the weirdness of the question (I was about 4 or 5), I started responding with a different apple option: baked, in a pie, candied, dried, as a cobbler…

  37. “Don’t talk like a sausage” is my husbands favorite saying and every time he uses it,I cringe. For me those word are like nails on a chalkboard!

  38. Elizabeth H. says:

    According to my mother, everything (and everyone) who was frustrating was “Dumber than a box of rocks.”

    She was also fond of “What are you waiting for – an engraved invitation?”

    Grandma was fond of “Never be seen on a galloping horse”. As in ignore any knitting goof to small to be seen on a fast moving equine.

  39. “Fine as Frog Fur” – never made sense to me at all…but there we are. “Not the brightest bulb in the chandelier” but my all-time favorite is “Denial is not just a river in Egypt”

    BTW – I’m almost halfway through the the Exonomist Shawl in white bamboo – and I LOVE it!!! Thanks for the wonderful pattern; I bought it within a few hours of its release.

  40. If we dared to say we were cold in winter (in South Buffalo, NY with the heat down low), my mom would say “Do some work, that’ll warm you up!”
    If we asked her where she was going she’d say, “Crazy, want to come?”
    I heard these over and over again as I was growing up. Also, “Slow as molasses in January” was a standard refrain.

  41. Have I been asleep at the wheel here? I see you have new book on the sidebar publishing in March 2010! Do tell more! Can’t wait, by the way, I have knit 3 different patterns in the Toe up book and love them and the fit. More to go.

  42. This was the one I always heard growing up-“Root, hog, or die”. This means the same type of thing as S*&t or git off the pot, but is lots cleaner.

  43. Up here in the Canadian prairies it is Slower than molasses in January. If you’ve ever been here in January, you’d know that molasses isn’t moving too far in the cold.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..just call me gimpy =-.

  44. Favorite useless saying ” if a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his butt when he hopped” used to reply to someone else’s useless saying or something you deem not worthy of knowing. Perhaps instead of saying “so what?”
    .-= Milly´s last blog ..Weaving and Poll Results =-.

  45. My dad used to say “I love you more than shoes on a rocky road” which my youngest brother could never remember so it just became “I love you more than shoes.”

  46. No cat has ever looked at another cat and accused them of having enough Wildside Salmon Treats. It is possible Cat A said, while pointing, “Look at the size of that halibuit!” and then stole Cat B’s treats.
    .-= Terri´s last blog ..its not hard people =-.

  47. Mwhahahahaha. Reading these makes me laugh. Our family favorites were: greener than bat’s guts (referring to fruit!); uglier than a mud fence; and slicker than deer guts on a doorknob. When you were talking about someone being dumb, it was stuff like: a few rhinestones short of a tiara, a few fries short of a Happy Meal, etc…

  48. Danielle from SW MO says:

    How bout “Madder than a wet hen” and ” bee in his/her bonnet”… Dont remember who in my family used to say those but suspect it was my Great-Grandma. My husbands favorites are: “slower than molasses in January” and “crazy…its a short trip” πŸ™‚

  49. i picked up “slower than cold tar” from my best friend who grew up on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. my mother always says “slower than molasses in January”, so im well-versed in that version.

  50. A favorite of mine is something my Grandma used to say…”It’s raining like a mare mule peeing on a flat rock”…I’ve had to explain to my city friends why the mule being a mare makes a difference in that scenario. πŸ˜‰

  51. Useless saying: “She looks like she’s been beaten by the ugly stick.” This person, who shall remain nameless, had very specific ideas of feminine beauty. I can laugh now, but it was somewhat disturbing when I was younger!

  52. My mother also had a lot of, er, interesting sayings. One that immediately comes to mind is, “If you’re born to hang, you’ll never drown.” This was supposed to be comforting …

  53. linda-kay says:

    Got another one – one brick shy of a load!

  54. How about “Bob’s your Uncle”?

    My mom always says, “It takes all kinds to make a world.” A friend adjusted that to, “No, it’s that we have all kinds.”
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Immersion Knitting =-.

  55. To refer to something that tastes amazing: It’s so good, it’d make a tadpole slap a whale. Another version of the same idea: It’s so good, it’ll make you slap your grandma!

    Taking the long way to do something or get somewhere? That’s “going around your elbow to get to your nose”. Of course!

    (Disclaimer: I never slapped my grandma. Promise.)
    .-= toni in florida´s last blog ..The Silken Kydd Caper… solved? =-.

  56. OMG I have tears in my eyes from laughing – and I have to admit to using a lot of these sayings. (especially “I’m fine as frog’s hair)
    How about:
    Cold as a polar bears butt
    Slick as snot
    Dumb as a hay rake
    He’s got more s**t than a Christmas Turkey
    and finally:
    If you’re bumped on the butt “Ooh, I got my Christmas goose early!”

  57. My Mom always says something is “fine as frog’s fur.”
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..A Questionnaire =-.

  58. OMG, these are so funny! And the scary thing is I’ve heard so many of them used in my own family!

    How about:

    Dead than a doornail (though my ex- insisted it was ‘doorknob’ in his family)
    Numb as a hake (a fish)
    One sandwich short of a picnic
    We’re off like a herd of turtles (for a family outing off to a slow start)

    thanks for the chuckles!
    .-= Michele In Maine´s last blog ..Sunshine Flowers Project Bag Set =-.

  59. My paternal grandma had lots of them, but I think my favorite is one of my husband’s sayings: Harder than woodpecker lips….

    I remember my mother breaking down in a fit of laughter the first time she heard him say it.

  60. “Busier than a one-armed paper hanger”.
    “It went over like a lead balloon”, for an idea that bombed.
    “Do you have a piano tied to your back?”, when the kids didn’t want to help out with chores.
    I’m loving the other comments!

  61. Sandy in South Dakota says:

    How about……… be so mad at someone that you say “I’ll get all over him like ugly on an ape”…….”like white on rice”. Or, that girl has put on weight……….she’s big enough to eat hay and pull a wagon…………….or she’s big enough to eat off the top of the hay stack…………… My husband likes to use those 2

  62. Sandy in South Dakota says:

    I just thought of another after reading Patty’s………….busier than a one legged man kickin’ butts……….LOL

  63. My father always said “its not what you want, it’s what you get that makes you fat”. I had forgotten all about it, till my own daughters were pestering me about something they wanted, and BAM, that phrase just came out of my mouth, out of nowhere. Totally blew me away. Now I use it alot, and not just on my kids but on adults always carrying on about their “wants” πŸ™‚

  64. Similar to “It went over like a lead balloon” are the local versions “That went over like a fart in church ” or “like a stripper (condom) in the collection plate”

    Another local variation to one mentioned above is that something (or, more often, someone) is “as useless as t!ts on a bull.”

    Referring to someone’s lack of intelligence – “The light’s on, but nobody’s home” and “The wheel’s still spinning, but the gerbil’s dead” and (the one that made me laugh out loud) “So dumb he couldn’t pour water from a boot with instructions on the heel” – I can just picture this!

  65. Sandy in South Dakota says:

    As nervous as a whore in church…………..Okay……….I’ll stop now………….I’m laughing too hard to type any more of them and you might be tired of hearing from me. LOL LOL LOL LOL…………..gasp………..

  66. I’m getting such a laugh out of these, and sadly, I’ve heard most of them from my own family over the years! Here’s another on though, that my grandmother used to say : “he/she is so tight they’d fart up against a flat rock and save the grease”

  67. My maternal grandmother had a few I remember well…….”holy mackerel Andy” ……..”I’ll be there in two shakes of a lamb’s tail”……… fav was “not worth the powder to blow them up.” When I was a kid my dad would tell me I was “squirmier than a worm in hot ashes” if I wouldn’t sit still.

    And, as I know my friend Charlene would say if she read these……”Give a kick!”

  68. A favorite I picked up in Maine, “Can’t get there from here”

  69. My dad has a few gems, but they are mostly along the lines of happier than a pig in sh!t. Not very clean at all.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..the numbers lie =-.

  70. We also said “slower than molasses in January.”

    A couple more from my family, variations on what have already been said:

    About as useless as a milk bucket under a bull.
    He could lose a battle of wits with a box of rocks.
    He ain’t worth a hill of beans.

    And my Mammaw always told me, “Don’t just sit there like a bump on a pickle!’
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..One Question =-.

  71. We weren’t allowed to visit my Dad’s mom without being accompanied because of her tendency to use “indelicate” expressions. The one I heard at age 9 and promptly shared with my mom? “Why, it’s slicker than owl sh!t on that porch since it rained!” To this day, if one of us 5 siblings starts to say “it’s slicker..” we get “that look” from Mom.

    My Mom’s dad used to tell us grandkids he was “going to jerk a knot in our tails” if we didn’t mind. Never could figure that one out, but I believed he would do it.

    And the only thing vaguely mean my Mom’s mom will ever say is “her elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor” which means the person in question doesn’t seem to be very bright.

  72. My favorites:
    When my mother was particularly tired she’d say..”I feel like I’ve been pulled through a knot-hole backwards”.

    When you said to my mother ‘so….’ and paused, she’d jump in and say “buttons on a rubber duck, see if it sinks or swims” (though I have recently also heard “so….buttons on your underwear, I’m not your tailor).

    A friend from the south (that I met in California) used to say ” I’m so hungry I can see cornbread a-walkin’ ” (the work “cornbread” was drawn out…and with the southern accent…it was just perfect).

  73. Robin Fremer says:

    If someone said ‘so?'” the answer was “sew buttons”. One of my favs is “not the brightest bulb in the sign”. When arguing with my dad if you said “but if” he used to say “If I had boobs I’d be your mother!” The one legged man in an a#s kicking contest was another one of his.

    When I lived in the south I picked up “As nervous as a longtailed cat in a room filled with rocking chairs.!”

  74. My dear mom would describe a stingy person as “tight as paper to the wall.”
    .-= ellen´s last blog ..Knitting with Chickens, or Wishing on Starfish =-.

  75. My Mom always used to say (and I seem to be saying this a lot lately too), “It’s better than a sharp stick in your eye.” πŸ˜‰
    .-= Daniele´s last blog ..Button-Up Neck Warming News =-.

  76. Oh Oh – and she also used to say, “Let me take a look at my driver’s license and see if I was born yesterday… ” Ha Ha – Good ‘ole Mom! AND – her oldey but goody – “I don’t care if it’s for the Pope.” Of course, I had no idea who the Pope was until I grew older, but I was in awe of him!!!!
    .-= Daniele´s last blog ..Button-Up Neck Warming News =-.

  77. OMG – someone stop me …. What time is it??? “Why, it’s half past the monkey’s ass and a quarter to his balls…..” I have no idea where we got that one!! Okay – I promise I’ll stop now! he he hehe LOL
    .-= Daniele´s last blog ..Button-Up Neck Warming News =-.

  78. I like “slower than a Mud Duck on a frozen pond”

  79. Hmmm… not the sharpest knife in the drawer; hotter than the hinges of hell; jumpy as a flea; as much use as a fish’s bicycle; scarce as hen’s teeth; got a burr under her bustle; bald as a baby’s bottom; happy as a clam.

  80. I got one and I have no clue where my grandmother picked it up but here goes… “Smells like the brakes on an alligator’s A**.” I laugh everytime I hear that one, because it is just so out there.
    .-= LeenieBeenie´s last blog ..New Projects =-.

  81. Ok, I have to chime in here:
    This is what I grace my staff with when leaving work for the day:
    “Time to make like a horse turd and hit the trail”
    And other favorites:
    “The light’s on but nobody’s home”
    “Doesn’t have both oars in the water”
    “Shovelling s*it into a fan”
    “One crayon short of a full box”
    I have more but at the moment I am drawing a blank ’cause I am having too much fun reading other’s sayings! Great stuff!

  82. My family also says, “slower than molasses in January”…my family has been in Massachusetts for 350+ years, dunno when the phrase started, but I have to wonder if it’s related to the Boston Molasses flood of January 15, 1919!

    Wiki has a photo

    Of course, that cold molasses was NOT slow….until later.

  83. Whenever my grandmother or her sister wanted to describe someone she considered exotic, or who had a wild looking hairdo she’d say, “She looked like the Circassian Lady.” I always thought that was something she made up, but apparently there was a Circassian Woman as a sideshow in the circus long ago.

    Another unique saying of hers referred to something that looked crooked. Then she’d say, “It looked like Molly went to Gott.” I have no idea where Gott is – or if it’s even spelled that way.

    My mother was fond of saying, “I can’t go a hen’s race without……” whatever she might be referring to. Instead of cursing she’d say, “Oh, fiddlesticks!” Another favorite was, “There were more ……… than you could shake a stick at.

    My father-in-law would poetically describe someone as being, “uglier than a bag of a-holes” from time to time.

  84. Lois Boulware says:

    Good Lord a’willin’ and the creeks don’t rise.

  85. One of my favourites from my mother was – She looks like she’s been dragged through a bag of nails backwards – you get the picture.
    .-= Nigel Pottle´s last blog ..Toe-up or Top-down? =-.

  86. I LOVE these useless sayings…and they are a lot more colorful than using obscenities! This has been a very entertaining group of comments.
    My Dad’s absolute favorite was “Can’t died in the cornfield.” if you said you couldn’t do something. And, if you asked the price of something, it was always “a buck.295”.
    And a co-worker, in talking about something we were marketing (and trying to put the most flattering light on) that was in disrepair would refer to it as “like putting lipstick on a pig”.

  87. I picked up a few rather dirty ones from my father, like “he don’t know/that isn’t worth sour al sh!t” and “raining harder than a cow pissin’ on a flat rock”. When I met my husband, I learned a few more, like “Well, he’s not the sage of Vilna” and our personal favorite, “dumber than a bag of hammers” — the number of bags uttered in proportion to the amount of dumbth we detect, up to three bags of hammers thus far. Me, I like “not the brightest bulb in the chandelier” and one I got from a composition student’s paper: “peachy king”.

  88. My Dad always said ” I’m busier than a one armed paper (wallpaper) hanger”. Or when the project was not fitting together “I’ve cut it off three times and it’s still too short”.

  89. From my father: “I was doing —– whatever—– before your head was as big as a grape.” On cooperation: “One hand washes the other.” And if he had a second beer: “A bird can’t fly on one wing.” And from my mother: “I wasn’t born late last evening, you know.”

  90. Muriel Correa says:

    Ok, here’s one from my Daddy…”We’s educated now, so instead of calling me Hill Billy, I’d rather be referred to as Mountain William, thank you.”
    Yes, Dad can be quite the character!!

  91. This morning, while we were driving home from running errands, my husband said, “I’ve got to pee like a Russian race horse.” Not a pretty picture.

  92. My mother always said “slower than molasses in January”

  93. My mom always said “f*ck a duck!” When things didn’t go as planned. I have no idea what it means. But then I saw Finding Nemo and the pelican exclaimed “Rubber Duck!” but in the Aussie accent it sounded just like my mom’s Phrase. It made me giggle.

    My favorite German idom is “Ich kann auch eine loch ins knie bohren und heisse milch reinschussen….” The translation is “I could also drill a hole in my knee and pour hot milk into it.”

  94. Knittingvt says:

    My mom always said….this room looks like a cyclone hit it.
    Whenever my husband asked questions of his father when he was a boy….the answer usually was: to make little boys ask questions

  95. My Mom claimed when in need of grooming to look like “The Wreck of the Hesperus”. It was many years until I ever heard of the poem. My father-in-law who was an excellent craftsman would occasionally reach a point when a project wasn’t going as he envisioned it, but he had run out of things to attempt, would proclaim, “It ain’t no Taj Mahal”, whereas my father (NOT an excellent craftsman) would suggest that “We give it a little kiss with the maul”.
    Others have listed responses to kids wishing, but my grandmother rather graphically would tell us to “wish in one hand and shit in the other to see which one filled up the fastest”. Crude, but we got her drift real fast.

  96. Guess I’m the Pope’s Nose … at least for the moment. Great thread!
    My additions are ‘I feel like I’ve been sent for and couldn’t come’, ‘she’s all done up like a dog’s dinner’ , ‘ I didn’t come down with the last big rain’, slick as a three legged cat on a marble slab