As I was growing up, my family had a couple of sayings I took for granted were universal, at least within my language. As I became an adult I have learned that these are not universal at all:

  • the ketchup effect. It is an expression meaning that when things arrive, they all arrive at the same time. Think of an old school glass ketchup bottle. When you hit the bottom of it, first there is nothing, then there is nothing and then the entire content is on your food.
  • faster than Jesus slid down the mount of olives. Basically a saying that implies that the mount of olives is slippery due to olive oil and Jesus slipped.
  • What you lack in memory, your legs suffer. An expression meaning that when you are forgetful, you usually need to run back and thus your legs suffer.

Please share your own weird family sayings.

  • dgmib@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    My mom used to describe a solution to a problem that worked well as “slicker than snot”

    Used that phrase in a work meeting once when I was younger and got the most eclectic mix of reactions ranging from, “ think I’m going to vomit” to full on LOLs.

  • Cagi@lemmy.ca
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    9 days ago

    A Dutch one I got from my Oma: “It’s as if the angels upon my tongue have pissed”. It means “yum”.

  • NichtElias@sh.itjust.works
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    9 days ago

    The last one’s very similar to a german saying: “Was man nicht im Kopf hat, muss man in den Beinen haben.”

    That literally translates to “What you don’t have in your head, you have to have in your legs.”

  • 9point6@lemmy.world
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    9 days ago

    Funny my grandad had a little rhyme related to your ketchup effect:

    “If you do not shake the bottle, none’ll come and then a lot’ll”

    Clearly ketchup bottles have been a bigger influence on culture than we realised

    • illi@lemm.ee
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      9 days ago

      Shaking the ketchup bottle is a great pro tip. No idea why it works but it does.

      • Joe Dyrt@lemmy.ml
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        9 days ago

        Vigorous shaking mixes the thicker areas (where the sauce has settled) and the thinner (more watery) areas so they now have the same viscosity (pouring characteristics). Most importantly, this lets the mass of sauce slide cleanly down the bottle, helping the air bubble to also slide up in one unit at the same time, preventing the “air-lock” blockage at the opening. Important Note: Before vigorously shaking any container, ensure that the cap is truly secured! Now you are in control!

        • MadLegoChemist@startrek.website
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          9 days ago

          I think what you said is true but that also ketchup as a material is shear thinning—meaning as you shake or tap the bottle, this creates stress or “shear” on the liquid which causes the viscosity to decrease. It also takes a little bit of time for the liquid to re-thicken, so it will actually pour pretty well a few seconds after shaking it.

          https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ketchup-is-not-just-a-condiment-it-is-also-a-non-newtonian-fluid/

        • illi@lemm.ee
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          9 days ago

          Before vigorously shaking any container, ensure that the cap is truly secured!

          Wife has this bad habit of not closing stuff all the way. Learned this the hard way :D

        • corsicanguppy@lemmy.ca
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          9 days ago

          Aeration of the ketchup causes regions of elasticity, and the vacuum lock fails when any part of it has ‘give’.

        • TheDoozer@lemmy.world
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          9 days ago

          Especially hot sauce. I missed that the cap wasn’t closed on some… I think Sriracha, and ended up pepper spraying myself. The waitress was very concerned.

          BTW, actually getting pepper sprayed is MUCH worse. Getting bear sprayed is worse and also disgusting, because on top of the pain and misery, it also has a really gross musk stank. It took A LOT of washes with vinegar to get the smell out of the clothes I was wearing.

          Do not recommend getting spicy stuff of any kind in the eyes.

  • zecg@lemmy.world
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    9 days ago

    We have your last example in Croatia, usually told as: “they who don’t have it in the head, have it in the legs”

  • Paraponera_clavata@lemmy.world
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    9 days ago

    To correct someone from saying “so” too much:

    “Sew buttons on ice cream”

    “Hey” too much:

    “Hay is for horses”

    “Well” too much:

    “Well, well, well - that’s three holes in the ground”

    Micromanage much?!?!

  • klisurovi4@midwest.social
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    9 days ago

    “watch the ficus” - telling somebody to be more careful after they do something clumsy like tripping or nearly dropping something. I used it in front of some friends once and got confused looks. Apparently grandma used to have a potted ficus tree and used to tell me to watch it when I was playing close to it, so it stuck as a saying in the family.

  • NABDad@lemmy.world
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    9 days ago

    My mom often used two:

    “Useless as tits on a bull” (often referencing her husband, my dad)

    And also, “shit fire and save matches”, which I never understood to actually have a meaning, it was more like just an exclamation of surprise.

    • rc__buggy@sh.itjust.works
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      9 days ago

      shit fire and save matches

      If a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump it’s ass when it jumped.

      I’ve heard these used when someone says something nonsensical, just as a completely worthless reply.

      Worst case Ontario!

  • 11111one11111@lemmy.world
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    9 days ago

    “Life’s tough. It’s even tougher when you’re stupid.”

    -my grandfather quoting a line from a John Wayne movie I think.

  • emptyother@programming.dev
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    9 days ago

    You might already heard this one but I didn’t learn until a relatively recent internet meme that its only here in Norway that something being “complete texas” means its completely chaotic and messy.

    Also I’m using “what the fir forest” (“hva i granskauen”) as a replacement for “what the hell” and I have no idea where I’ve picked it up… Nobody else around me do, not even family. Works just as fine though against pain and annoyances.

    • corsicanguppy@lemmy.ca
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      9 days ago

      complete texas

      I have distant family who moved to Texas. I will steal this, but only to give it away.

  • Peppycito@sh.itjust.works
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    9 days ago

    My mom used to tell my brother’s and I to eat vegetables that were longer than they are wide because it’s good for growing an ankle duster.

  • BCsven@lemmy.ca
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    9 days ago

    My Grandmother used to say “It’s better than a kick in the teeth” when deflecting disappointment in an outcome–putting a positive spin on a negative. Being from the UK it seemed universal, but moving to Canada and saying that, people gave me odd looks.

    The other one is when somebody is talking nonsense or a bit crazy, they would say “They are out of their tree”. For the Welsh the tree symbolizes stability and mental wellness (druids I guess) and if you were stressed or needed to chill their phrase translates to “I need to go back to my trees”

  • Zeratul@lemmus.org
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    8 days ago

    DEGUSTIBUSNONESTDISPUTANDUM

    not sure I spelled it right, means “regarding personal tastes, there is no dispute”

    Also another good one, “moderation in everything, including moderation.”