Platter of Pork Chops, family sayings


Families and work groups, especially those who live stably for years, get these sayings.

Sometimes it’s a single word that means something to them but an outsider doesn’t know what it means.

Sometimes it’s a word or phrase that seems normal enough on its own but seems non-sequitur as they use it and requires backstory to understand their usage or most often ‘why it’s funny.’

And as we all know, even with explication, it just doesn’t come off the same to the outsider.


Wobber-jaw (phonetically): this is at least 4 generations old in a friend’s lexicon. It means what my family would call ‘catty-angled.’ Thing is, I’ve often heard ‘kitty-angled’ from others, so I can’t claim a high ground on wobber-jaw with catty-angled. Oh, and of course, ‘kitty-cornered’ is pervasive in Missouri. All mean the same thing.

How does your family say ‘wobber-jaw?’

Another friend’s family had ‘being have.’ That’s not to be and to have.

It was from a toddler’s response to, ‘Daphne, are you behaving?’ The mother was in the kitchen and Toddler Daphne was in the front room. Things had gone quiet. -always a sign of devilment/em> Daphne, not having a full grasp of her native tongue yet had answered petulantly, ‘I AM BEIN’ HAVE!’ -rhymes with stave

There are loads of these toddlers misunderstood-structures! And almost all are pretty funny.

Then you have a spin-off which is the oft-repeated old timer saying. Made famous in Cold Comfort Farm as ‘I saw something nasty in the woodshed.’

Another friend’s great-uncle who was not mentally feeble, just easily amused, would exclaim joyfully, ‘Lookie dare!’ when virtually ANYTHING happened.

Hell, we’ll say it when nothing happened and get a chuckle. You can’t help it, it was quite silly of him (bless him) and we’re just being silly on purpose.

What about you repeaters?

The poor nieces-3 do a sort of pained head bob, mouth-along when I say, ‘Always put things in their place, that way you’ll always know where to find them.’

Hey! I’d stop saying it if they actually didn’t require me to begin it. I get to ‘things’ and they’re moving and mumbling. HAR!

I’m kind of ashamed that my warning to them to mind Bobby (don’t run him over with a tractor or whatever as he never learnt the art of getting the feck out of the way). ‘Mind him, he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.’

Ashamed cos I’ve heard them apply it to others. D’OH!

Lastly, I’ll talk about the pork chops. Remember the title said something about pork chops?

My mammy owned many businesses but her last job was doing piece work for Bussman Fuse. It paid exceedingly well. She earned a lot, lived simply, invested it all and retired in her 40s, living off dividends.

Her time with Bussman introduced her to some real characters. When Francie and her husband argued, her reaction was to come into work and tell the girls, ‘I’m going to fry up a platter of pork chops and crawl up in the middle of the bed and eat them.’

They were her comfort food.

It became my family’s colloquialism to be recited when pork chops were on the menu. At least 30 of us still use it any my mammy has been dead 16 years.

Today, I am literally frying up a platter of pork chops (for lunches). This means when somebody pops in my kitchen today, they’re gonna hear the platter…middle of bed…eat ’em’ phrase.

Got any oddball phrases like that?


5 thoughts on “Platter of Pork Chops, family sayings

  1. Families come up with all sorts of interesting stuff.
    Maybe it’s a universal saying, but Australians often say someone is “as silly as a pork chop”


  2. We just say “diagonally across from” for catty-angled, which seems an unnecessary mouthful now I think about it. I don’t think kitty/catty cornering is in use at all in Australia. I’m going to start spreading wobber-jaw around to see if it takes off.

    My family has ‘arckling’, for when you’re mucking about and wasting time. “Stop arckling and get in the car.” Also someone will yell “liberties!” if you try to take advantage of someone’s apparently benevolent state…for instance if you raid your dad’s peanut stash. Then there’s a whole swag of toddler-speak that’s stuck around since I was two, not to mention random words from Mum’s languages. Families are weird organisms.


    • Cool! I like arkling!

      As a kid, I grew up very isolated, like you, but I had lots of family who’d visit and then some beighbours, corse they were 12 miles away…

      They were German and still spoke it mostly. My family were Russian Jew on one side and Irish on the other BUT even the English the Irish used was current from the mid1800s.

      I used different verb tenses and a pidgin, so when I went to school, they gave me the Special Test. REALLY.

      What’s hilarious is what came if it: linguists from far flung universities came to talk to me for the next couple of years.

      I was sort of a time capsule. I still talk funny sometimes and my spelling goes from Canadian to American (just to eff things up farther, I was taught to read and write before school age and that was Canadian!!).

      I only wish I still remembered all my weird talking because school basically knocked it out of me, not to mention, I miss my original accent!


I like it when you talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s