Origin of “Were You Raised in a Barn?” Quote
I rushed through the laundry room to close the garage door. One of the men in our house habitually leaves the door open while unloading vehicles. The heater or air conditioner senses the rapid air change and comes on. This makes me crazy. Aloud I said, “Were you raised in a barn?” The question startled me. I hadn’t said that in decades. That quote was dormant in my brain. Funny how it just popped right out my mouth at that time.
I often heard it growing up in a North Dakota family of 11. Leaving the door open in North Dakota is a big deal. Sub-zero temperatures chill the house instantly; sometime snowflakes blow into the foyer. Asking “Were you raised in a barn?” makes a point, especially during winter months.
I began to wonder. What other sayings or quotes did I hear as a child that I’m using today? I asked Midwestern followers. The findings are below. I thank the many who shared. I understood most quotes and also remembered hearing them as a kid. Each brought a smile as I recalled memories associated with the quote.
Hope they do the same for you. Here’s what a follower called the quotes:
“Stupid Things My Parents Said That I Now Say”.
Child Rearing & Development
- “A rooster is going to come poop on that lip!” Parents said when I was pouting.
- “Don’t make me come back there.” When kids fighting in car.
- “Right is Tight; Left is Loose”-when opening or closing something-mostly jars.
- “People die in bed!” Said if I was sleeping or napping too long.
- Grandpa would grab me by the back of my neck and hair and say “Do you know how a rooster looks when he looks over a log?”
- “If you had a brain, you’d be dangerous.”
- “Hit the hay.” -Meant get to bed.
- “Get the lead out!”-Meant hurry up.
- “Cool Your jets.” -Meant slow down and be patient.
- “You’d lose your ass if it wasn’t tied on.” I lost everything, always, but not that.
- “Go ask your father.”
- “Have you asked your mother?”
- “Don’t let the sun shine up your keester”…as in get up and out of bed.
- “Slow as molasses in January”-when not moving fast enough
- “Don’t make me stop that car.”-Usually when we were fighting in the backseat.
Moms as a Teacher Quotes
- Mom would say “Weight broke the wagon down.” She would use this when we would say, Wait, we aren’t ready to do X yet. I don’t know if that was a school teacher thing with the play on the spelling of Wait/Weight, or not?
- “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.” –meant-look on the bright side it could be worse, I guess.
- Mom would say, “to make it stretch” when adding macaroni to a hot dish to make the pound of meat go farther
- “There is no sea to it, it’s all dry land.” Mom would say this to us when we would say, See. Again, it may have been a school teacher thing playing on the spelling of see/sea.
- Mom used to say “You are a poet but don’t know it, but your feet show it – they are long fellows.” She would say this when we rhymed words.
- “Back to back, they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other.” It makes no sense and I can’t think of when she would say that to us.
- “This too shall pass.”
- “There, but for the Grace of God, go I.”
- “It’s a sin!”
- “Sweet Jesus Come to Mama!”
- “May his soul rest in peace.”- every time we passed a hearse or cemetery.
- “Help yourself. If you go away hungry, it’s your own dang fault!”
- “The almond is the king of nuts. ‘Almonds have it all! Therefore, they’re the king of nuts.”
- “Were you born in a barn?”
- “We look like a bunch of gypsies.” When taking the whole family out for a family drive
- “Cracked a korny”- when telling a joke
- “It was quite the shindig,” referencing a great celebration or party.
- I remember Mom always yelling upstairs asking “What do we do with the hallway light?” My usual response was “Leave it on so mom has something to complain about.” I think she meant, “turn it off.”
- “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Preparing You for the Workplace Quotes
- “A function of getting the right answer is asking the right question.”
- “Haste makes waste.”
- “Practice makes perfect.”
- “Don’t let the grass grow under your feet.” Get out there and get to work.
- “Wait 3 days before acting on major life decision.”
- “Fail to Plan; Plan to Fail.”
- “Keep your nose to the grindstone.”
- “Simmer down”-meant settle down
- “Calm, always be calm.”
- “Practice 10 times before giving a presentation or speech.”
- “Get on the stick!” -Meant hurry up.
- “Do you think I’m made of money?”-when I asked for school trip money
- “Finish up and call it good.”-when I obsessed about project perfection
- “You made your bed, you lie in it!”
- “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.”
- “Take care of each other”
- “Think enough of yourself and others will think enough of you”
- “Thanks for the visit.” “Tenks for da wizit.” I still say it to this day after an especially pleasing chat. Then I tell them about my German-Russian grandpa. I just said it to my boss last week.
- “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
- “Like something out of VOGUE”-when someone looked beautiful or “like Aster’s plush horse” or the “cat’s meow.”
- Boys get hair cut they were “going to get their ears lowered.”
- “It fits like a glove” When trying on something for size.
- “They’d even look good in a gunnysack”…when someone would look good in anything.
- “Don’t eat too many prunes or you will get the trots.”-meaning diarrhea.
- “Clean as a whistle” or “smell like a rose” when you got a bath
- “A site for sore eyes”-when bathed
- What did you think of supper? Ehhh, “It’ll make a turd.”
- “Cut the cheese” when passing gas or “pull my finger” and the person would fart
All-Time Favorite Quote Learned While Living in the Deep South
“Give Me Some Good Lovin'”
To this day, my son dips his head and lets me kiss it.
Yup. I’m hoping this quote is the one that sticks and gets passed on.
What quotes or sayings do you remember from childhood? Add them below! Such great language memories.
©Copyright. December 2016. Linda Leier Thomason
All Rights Reserved.