Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

Saints and begorrah! Wordy Wednesday falls on St. Paddy's day!

Which gets me to thinking about the cultural texture of words. In Ireland, there are leprechauns and shillelaghs and colleens. I don't know much about Yiddish, but I love the tender habit of adding "ela" (pardon my misspelling!) to the ends of names (as in Kirbela). And about all I remember from my many years of French was that one parental endearment "mon petit chou" (my little cabbage).

What words/phrases do you treasure -- or puzzle over or detest -- that have tight cutural ties? I'll be like that cat that got the cream (English/Australian expression) if you share.


  1. Mike and I say "Oy vey!" a lot, though neither of us is Jewish or have ties to Eastern Europe. It's just a really fun thing to say as you roll your eyes at all the craziness of life:)

  2. My mom used to always say "What does that have to do with your sister eating onions". No one, of course, has heard of this and my kids think I"m crazy because I say it all the time.

  3. I hope you are going to use that "sister eating onions" in a book sometime! It's too good not to!

  4. People here seem completely flummoxed when I use the very Kiwi expression,"I don't know him from a bar of soap."

  5. And we would say, "I don't know him from Adam."
    I like the Kiwi version better!