She Said What?

When I was growing up, my grandmother (and my mother) had quite a few sayings that they’d use on my brother and I.  We heard them so often that they just became part of the fabric of our lives and thus we ended up weaving them into the lives of our own families.

Yesterday, for some reason, one such expression popped into my mind and I decided that I’d double-check the meaning, since one of the words was in German.  I typed the word into Google Translate and the words that came up weren’t even close to what I “thought” it meant.  I tried some other variations in English but no luck.  Nothing was remotely like the word Grandma used.  I even tried the same choices in Dutch but still no luck.  Then I had a brainstorm.  “I’ll ask my friends up on Facebook,” I thought.

Surely among all my friends and acquaintances, someone might be familiar with the phrase and could confirm my translation of this phrase, which we always thought translated to  “If you don’t stop misbehaving, I’m going to grab you by the pants.”  So I typed in my query and logged out of Facebook.  Then, on a whim, I went to my favorite search engine and just typed in the query “Meaning of the word xxxxxxx.”

Angelic?  No! We were full of mischief.

By golly, I got a page of hits BUT was I ever surprised.  Seems that German word doesn’t mean “pants.”  Oh, my!  Back I went into Facebook and quickly typed “Never mind.  Don’t translate this.  I know what it means now.  You don’t want to translate this.  I can’t believe Grandma knew that word.  Grandma, I’m blushing!” (And thank goodness that I’d misspelled the darn word in my original question.)

Last evening over dinner, I said to the Commander, “Did you happen to go up on Facebook today?”

“Yes,” he replied, “And I can’t believe you asked that.  What did you THINK it meant?”

“Pants,…..maybe suspenders,” I answered.

Then my eyes narrowed as I looked at him over my BBQ chicken sandwich.

“Hey, how do YOU know what that word meant,” I said.

“I had a German mother, too, you know,” was his answer.

He smiled and I started to laugh, almost snorting Diet Pepsi up my nose.

This morning I went to visit my mother in the nursing home.  She always asks me if I have any news to share.  Well…….

“Mom, remember that thing that Grandma used to say all the time when she’d catch us misbehaving?” I asked.  “What do you think “xxxxx” meant”

“Pants,” she promptly replied.

“Um, not quite,” I told her whereupon I told her the actual meaning.

“What did you say,” she asked.

I leaned over and whispered it in her ear.  Believe me, this is not the type of word you want to say LOUDLY in public, especially in a nursing home.  Or at least have some oxygen standing by.

Mom started to laugh.

“But Mom, what’s worse is that I’ve been saying that exact thing to MY kids since they were little,” I wailed.  “Who knows if they’ve said it themselves.”

Mom was laughing even harder now.  Hmph!  And all this time I thought Grandma was this sweet, proper, old lady.  What was I thinking?  Makes me wonder about all those other German and Dutch sayings I grew up hearing.  Oy!

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

  • nice generation story to pass down, lol. I posted this past week on sayings also you should come by for a visit sometime.

  • LOL


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