Monday, July 25, 2011

Colloquial Conundrum Contest

Sleep delays my life.
--Get Up, REM

It’s been an amazing few weeks of being a newbie blogger.  I’ve had a blast meeting so many talented and fascinating people.  In honor of my new friends, I decided to hold a little festival.
The inspiration for this celebration is my father.  Occasionally I get an artsy bent, and usually enlist my dad to help me out because he owns many tools and is crazy enough to let me use them.  On Saturday, we went garage sale-ing looking for cheap crystal bowls and such.  On Sunday, we courted electrocution and horrific eye injury while drilling through our trinkets.  Drilling through glass is unsafe enough--doing it while the object is submerged in a roasting pan full of water to keep the drill bit cool may be bordering on Darwin Award territory.  Here’s a sample of our final product:

I love flowers! And these don’t need water!
But the best part of the day was listening to my father’s never ending litany of clever colloquial phrases and metaphors.  These fantastic bits of speech just roll off his tongue; a completely normal part of Bob’s lexicon.  When I was a kid, I was mortified when dad would greet me and my friends with exclamations of how it was hotter than a popcorn fart outside.  My mother perfected the evil one eyebrow raised scowl when he would call her latest concoction tougher than boiled owl.  During election years he’d yell at the TV about the latest politician sounding like a shit salesman with a mouthful of samples.
Except for Dan Rather’s truly unique election night coverage of 2004 and episodes of Swamp People, these verbal gems are sorely under appreciated.  In literature, many novels are peppered with colloquial sayings, especially Mark Twain’s works and Catcher in the Rye.  I feel compelled to give them the spotlight they deserve with the Colloquial Conundrum Contest.
I don’t want to get too technical in terms--I consider colloquialisms to encompass many things others may call slang, metaphor, aphorism, or hyperbole.  If it’s a figure of speech you’ve heard said in your part of the world, that’s what I’m looking for--even “y’all” could be considered a colloquialism.  In its broadest application, it’s simply the manner in which a group speaks.  Here’s how to play:
1.  Put your favorite colloquialism of any type in the comments.
2.  The winner will be chosen at random, but I will give added chances for mentioning this contest on your blog or Twitter.
3.  Following my blog is not necessary, but it would be cool if you did.
The prize?  Well, it involves a literal twist on one of my dad’s sayings.  This one’s a little less colorful than the others, but I use it as inspiration almost every day--at work, at the store, while waiting in line at the DMV. . .
  You’ll get more flies with honey.
The winner will receive a gift basket from It's All About Bees, this fun little store down the street from me that focuses on using bee products in food and beauty items.  Included in the basket is:
Local honey, zesty honey BBQ sauce, Bee Butter body cream, Bee Magic Salve, Buzz off Insect Repellent, Honey sticks, Raw honey (3 flavors), Bee Lip Balm, Honey Almonds, and Choke Cherry Honey Jelly.

The contest will end Sunday, July 31st at midnight, central standard time.  Then I’ll tally and alert the winner on Monday.  Anything goes, after all, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  And sometimes soda is really pop, except when it’s a Coke.
***Did a quick search of customs rules for food and glass containers, as well as international shipping costs, and unfortunately I will have to keep this one limited to folks in the U.S.  Sorry!


  1. I'm assuming you won't want to post a haul like that to the UK... and I'm not sure this counts as a colloquialism.....however:

    When I was a kid and I used to ask my Dad "What's that?" or "What are you making?" he would always say: "It's a wigwam for a duck's eyebrow." I've no idea where the phrase came from, but I loved it.

  2. Morning AJ--Thanks for pointing that out, I forgot to make that disclaimer. I updated the post to reflect that. But your example is exactly what I am talking about--and I'm not sure what that would mean, other than it would keep a kid perplexed for hours just with the thought.

  3. I know a whole bunch of these, but now that you're pressuring me I can't think of single one. Wait, it's as cold a witch's tit comes to mind. Is that one?

  4. My husband loves to say, "That sticks out like a turd in a punch bowl!"

    My mother in law likes to compare my children's antsy behavior to a "fart in a skillet."

    For the contest, I'll go with number one (which is about number two). ;)
    Fun contest!

  5. Hello I invite you to my blog.
    I am new to this I hope you accept my invitation.


  6. Not sure if these count, but I'll throw 'em in here, being as I am leaving the state and have to get my last licks in.

    The best thing to come out of Kansas is Interstate 35.

    Kansas has two seasons: Winter and road construction.

    Kansas: Take the even letters only and you have its postal abbreviation.

  7. Now that's original! Not entering to win, but my father always started every trip with the phrase "We're off - like a herd of turtles!"

  8. I'm so going to use Alex's father's phrase when we leave for our next trip!

  9. Laila--that is also one of my dad's favorites, but he adds "in a brass bra". Which I think would be not conducive to flying if you were a witch.

    Kelly--the visual I had for fart in a skillet caused me to snort my latte.

    Patrick--thanks for visiting

    Bryce--Kansas colloquialisms totally count. Although the second one can be applied to Nebraska as well.

    Alex-- was your father a herpetologist?

  10. Mine would be a Balmorism, which is "Hey Hon'!" But it has to be said just so.

    Hey if I win there's no shipping involved. Just sayin'.

    (Ignore me. I know I've just disqualified myself. Plus I owe you lunch.)

  11. those are all so great!
    my dad and his twin bro are full of those sayings but i cant be witty under pressure...all i thot of was, "you know what thought did"

  12. So, I wasn't sure about this one but after reading Kelly's comment decided it was pretty tame. I lived in Australia, where the people have heaps of naughty sayings and this is my fave: "Pigs ass", meaning, "I'm not really sure I agree with you." :)
    Oh and Julie, great blog! I am following as of now, and you can find me :) nudge, nudge, at

  13. I love the flowers. I have to ask, did you wear goggles?

    Your dad sounds similar to mine, though I don't think my dad's were as colorful.

    "A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush."

    He'd also recite snippets of songs:

    "I've got tears in my ears from lying in my bed crying over you."

  14. One of Dad's favorite sayings was: "What doesn't kill will fatten." He usually said this while eyeing a bag of circus peanuts or pork rinds. Eeep!

    I’m delighted to be a new follower and have left a response to your comment on Bird’s-eye View at

    P.S. Like Alex, I'm not commenting to win, just to share a witticism. :)

  15. Lydia--Hmm, I might be tempted by your offer, especially since you talked me out of my curry fit yesterday.

    Tara--I've never heard that one, but if thought did everything I thought, I'd do a lot. Whoa. I think I'm confused now.

    Tracey--love those Aussies. And I'll bet that Pigs Ass sounded absolutely poetic in that accent.

    Theresa--uh, no goggles. But I squinted really hard.

    Michelle--That's quite the combo of junk food goodness! Thank you for stopping by and following me!

  16. Jules! Super cute idea. I, too, like Alex's 'turtle' colloqualism.

    The one that comes to mind for me, at the moment, is 'I'm busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kickin' contest.' More south than southwest but my husband's from the south so I think it should count.

    Honorable mention:

    'My family's like a classroom in summer-- ain't got no class.'

    (Both borrowed from the husband.)

    I read the 'butt-kicking' quote to my sis and she just asked me if I was 'blogging about how busy she's keeping me.' :)

  17. Great idea! I'm also not entering, but wanted to add this just for fun, " He's as handy as a pocket on the back of a shirt!". Julie

  18. Love the artsy bowls and what a cute idea for a contest. There are some folks out there who are "more lost than a golf ball in high grass." Thanks for the contest and stopping by my blog.



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