10 Sayings & What They REALLY Mean

10 Sayings & What They REALLY MeanPINIMAGE

10 Sayings & What They REALLY Mean

I can not tell a lie (lie) I love using colloquialisms.


They make you sound clever and witty. Sometimes as smart as a book, sometimes as sharp as a tack and tacks are sharp. That’s their purpose. I love something that does it’s intended job.


And so goes the cliché phrase; the one that leaves everyone within ear shot deciding you are the “cat’s meow for Pete’s sake” even though no one knows Pete and wouldn’t recognize his momma if the sun spit in her face.






But butbutbut there are several that are just dumb.


In fact, when I hear them uttered I usually check the person who’s uttered them off my list (Because I keep a list).


In this spirit I’d like to explore a few of my pet peeves (Yes, in addition to cats I keep peeves) and what they really mean.



You know the ‘old’ saying…


  • Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Who the hell would do that?

  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Not really. It’s sweet but not true.

  • No pain, no gain. From every scientific piece of evidence I’ve ever studied this is in fact the opposite of true.

  • Being a second banana. You’re a banana for using a fruit-based pun.

  • Wet behind the ears. What am I missing here? Is there a time in life when one can assume another is moist in strange places? And if so, please see a doctor.

  • Dead as a doornail, because we all know that doornails begin life as living organisms.

  • Soup to nuts. Are we talking awesome cafeteria style food here? I don’t get ‘it’.

  • Being a fair weather friend– which pretty much means you’re going to be very lonely the other 150 days of the year when it rains.

  • You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Actually, I’m good with just calling Sven.

  • A rose by any other name would smell so sweet. I’ve heard this, read this, and taken it to the bank to get a loan and I still believe with my Spidey olfactory sense that a rose smells unique, but is not the only heady smell given forth from the garden of Eden. Am I being too literal or was Will stretching with this one?

  • Nice guys finish last. Oh yea. ‘Cause THAT’S the world I want to live in. Idiots.

  • Nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof. I think anyone would be uncomfortable on a hot tin roof, least of which would be a cat who could easily jump off- though I do love the Tennessee Williams play. I guess I’ll let it pass for great drama- and Paul Newman.

  • Sitting in the catbird seat. What is this mysterious seat and how can I get one?

  • And lastly, Don’t let the door kick you in the ass on the way out.



That one’s good to go.

  • Carla - YESSSSS
    I am with you, Sister, on the ass one 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Carolann - LOL I love them too. I especially love the snarky ones. I made sure to copy down the ones I want to use. It’s always great to have a good retort when someone is being a PIA.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Are there really enough snarky retorts for all the PIA’s in the world???? Please send some my way- the retorts, that is.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Havey - Love this, you’ve got me chuckling. The wet behind the ears has to apply to birth–so when we first come into the world–we are wet all over and know shit!!


    • Cheryl - Actually I think my kittens came into the world smarter then a lot of humans I know. Go figure. HA!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - I always thought it should be nuts to soup. But that’s a limited menu. I know, just saying.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - The Shakespeare quote is a bit off, which may be part of the difficulty. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell AS sweet.” I love how phrases change over time. ‘Dollars to doughnuts’ is a family favorite. No clue what to make of it or how it originated, but anything that involves doughnuts is good thing!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Ohhhh. I love that one! Dollars to Doughnuts. Have no idea what it means… but i LOVE it!ReplyCancel

  • Adela - Great laugh! I love to hear the origin story of some of these sayings. Like “rule of thumb.” I try hard not to use this one because it comes from the size of the stick a man could legally beat his wife with. No thicker than his thumb. now, if it was no longer than his thumb, I could maybe live with that.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Fascinating! We could talk about origins forever.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Hodor Greenthal - My daughter’s choir teacher used to say “Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.” I’ve always liked that one (similar to yours).ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - Don’t you wonder who came up with these in the first place and how they became so popular? And is doornail really a word?ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - You left out several, but a few are politically incorrect, but here is one I did use when a character was speaking in my novel. “You’re as white-faced as a hooty owl.” Southerners have such a delightful way of speaking.ReplyCancel

  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - Love these. I imagine you saying them and they are even better!ReplyCancel

  • Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA - They get to be adages because they worked in one era or another. And, whether it’s the world in which you want to reside, that one applies more today than in a long time. Which is why we have to work to change the world!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Amen brother! Words and their usage are such a lens into the past. I could talk to you all day!ReplyCancel

  • Sue Pekarek - In the early 1900s one of their slang words was “giggle water” which meant = an intoxicating beverage, and that is what this post made me do… giggle, but I am not intoxicated.ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Enjoyed this. From beginning to end (soup to nuts)!ReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - LOL!! How great minds think alike! 😛 I just took a break from compiling this massive list! I promise I won’t use any of these. Just wanted to tell you though that you are the bee’s knees!ReplyCancel

  • Abby@Midlifecrisisnut.com - I loved them all! I feel like calling Sven too:) xx AbbyReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’ll tell him your calling. HeheeeeeeReplyCancel

  • Christopher Mitchell (Another Government Employee) - Ah, yes… The Fair Weather Friend. Loves beach days but leaves when the storm comes. Only to come back to gloat over the pieces.

    Damn, Son! You could at least give me a towel.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - And a sand bucket, but not for sand. Plus a shovel. You get the gist…ReplyCancel

  • Myke Todd - Finally, I got in. I guess this really is a smart phone. You shared some really good examples here. My favorite was… Wait a minute. The dog is barking outside. He sounds serious. Be right back…

    Okay. I am back. Nothing major. He just has a bobcat treed up a Sycamore. Back to your post. Reminds me of a couple of poems I have written. One was “The All Cliche Poem of Unrequited Love.” … Don’t see any of my cliches in you list. And, by the way, no one loves a good list more than me. Ever since Myspace went on hiaitus, I just can’t locate good lists. Yours is premium… I am just a Wed tad shaken over your interpretation of fair weather friends. I have a poem named… You guessed it… “Fair Weather Friends” and to make matters more studious, that poem serves as my mission statement on my poetry blog… Go figure.

    Anyways, really nice go find your post here. You brought me joy today on a day I did not think I had a smile in me, and darned if I am not grinning like a chicken eating briers… Best of luck to you in both coming and future events… Myke ToddReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - You wax poetic my friend. May the wind be at your back but not blow you down, as wind as apt to do, so let’s just skip the light fantastic because light is a good thing. I can’t find my shoes in the dark. I could go on… and on….ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - Cheryl – some might criticise you for being a bit too literal/concrete in your thinking, but I’d defend you to the hilt/ as if my life depended upon it because I’m bold as brass. And don’t let criticism get you down because, remember, cream always rises to the top so don’t hide your light under a bushel.
    Best wishesReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - From your lips to God’s ears- like he needs ears. Jeez. XXOOReplyCancel

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