Please note: One of my loyal followers emailed to me asking for a clarification about some data on my last blog. They are correct; in the first sentence of the article below the picture of St. Michael’s School, the original author wrote that “she interviewed PM Beaupre in 1948 and that he was 98 at the time”. He may have looked 98 , but actually he was only 88. Perhaps it was a typo. PM Beaupre died in 1956 at the age of 96. Thanks so much for your question.
I am sure every family passed down it’s sayings from one generation to the next and ours was no exception. My mother, Claire Beaupre, seemed to have a saying for every occasion. I find myself frequently repeating these sayings and have heard on numerous occasions my siblings doing the same. The following is a list of these much beloved terms:
Bless Your Little Pointed Head….her standard reply after we couldn’t find the object right in front of our nose or when we uttered something particularly idiotic.
You Have To Be Dead To Be A Martyr….. although normally a very kind and loving mother, her patience would wear thin at times when we would complain bitterly at our lot in life
No Sense No Feeling……when we would walk around with our coats flying open and no hats or mitts in cold weather
I Love You All Dearly, But Next Time Around It’s Goldfish….. this was a certain indication that we were skating on very thin ice
They Have Guardian Angels and Insurance Policies…..this was uttered in answer to someone asking Claire why she didn’t seem worried that we were playing on the railings of a bridge.
A male friend would ask my mother how she was feeling? Her instant reply (with a twinkle in her eye) was always, “Fine, Want To Feel?”
When anyone would express concern about dying and going to Hell, my mother would just laugh and say “Don’t worry, they’ll have to stoke Hell a lot longer to get it hot enough for you”, OR, “Well at least you’ll be warm”.
As a teenager, when I would ask her to buy me another pair of shoes, she would inevitably say… If They’re Looking At Your Feet, Then You’re Doing Something Wrong.
Another gem when things were going right: God is good and the Devil ain’t bad
We often had guests at the dinner table, but when it was just the family, we were allowed to pick up a steak or chop bone so that we could enjoy every morsel….but only to a point. If we were knawing too long or too noisily, Claire would lean over, look us straight in the eye and say…would you like to take that down on the floor?… A clear signal to put the bone down.
Claire’s best advice to us was Be Careful What You Wish For, You’re Almost Certain To Get It!
Claire probably heard some of these saying from her parents. Helen Magdalene Small, nickname, Henner, her mother, also had some special phrases:
Just An Inch To Say I Tasted It……. her standard reply when asked if she would have dessert. I understand she would then proceed to eat the entire dessert with enthusiasm.
I Never Closed My Eyes…… when asked if she had a good night’s sleep. On at least two occasions my father, Basil Derek Keane, found this most frustrating as the family pub, which Henner lived above was vandalized twice over the years and when asked if she heard anything she replied…I didn’t hear a thing!
What Would The Neighbours Think!…..this was very common of this and previous generations. What the neighbours thought was of paramount importance, and to act in a refined and upstanding manner was everything.
Indulge me now as I step outside Beaupre family content to add some of my father’s line. The Keane’s were from London England and before that Ireland. In London my father’s family lived in a district of London where they would have been considered Cockney. I assume some of his mother’s sayings, and his, were derived from London and Ireland.
Eat It Against Ya Do…..this is still one of my favourites. It meant, I know you don’t want to eat it, but be quiet and eat it anyway.
Put That In Your Sky Rocket…… when handed something from my father that he wanted us to put in our pocket. I know this was part of the Cockney rhyming slang.
Tell Me What It Is And I’ll Tell You What It Eats! ……..usually heard when we were behind a slow driver and my father was anxious to get home to his lunch after church on Sunday
The Pig Will Be Up In A Minute…..another one of my father’s gems which he said every time he burped. I’m still not really clear about that one.
If any family members can think of any other sayings, please add them in the comments and I’ll include them in an updated version. Thanks!