Words of Wisdom from Dad


My dad has a lot of thoughts, opinions, and ideas, and he’s not afraid to say anything out loud. Today I want to share some of the words that came out of my father’s mouth repeatedly during the years I lived under his roof. (Not all of these sayings originated with my dad, but he said them so much, I think of them as his.) I’ll let the reader decide for him/herself which words are really wise.

A lock is to keep an honest man honest.

You know what thought did? He thought he’s farted, but he’d shit his pants.

It’s not illegal if you don’t get caught.

If everybody liked the same thing, there wouldn’t be enough to go around.

Spit in the air and it lands on your nose.

Six of one, half a dozen of another.

[When he wanted a kid to leave so he could be alone with Mom] Be gone, peasant!

Possession is 9/10 of the law.

“Assume” makes an ass of you and me.

[If a kid were crying about some hurt] You won’t remember this on your wedding day.

[If a kid were crying about some hurt he thought was insignificant] Do you want me to smash your fingers with a hammer so you’ll know what hurt really is?

[If a kid were misbehaving] I’m going to rip off your arm and beat you with the bloody end.

I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.

I only know of one guy who was perfect, and they crucified that son-of-a-bitch.

It’s all over but the cryin’.

[To describe something dark] It’s darker than 65 miles out in the desert on the darkest night of the year.

Who lied to you and said life was fair, kid?

What words of wisdom did your parents offer when you were young? What were the catchphrases in your family? What did you tell your own kids? Feel free to leave a comment sharing your family’s words.


About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

10 Responses »

  1. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

    Pounds and pounds of ugly fat.

    (Those two seem to contradict each other)

    She went out to deficate and the swans got her.

    • That’s pretty funny. A related Cajun saying (which both my mom and dad used) was, “You’re bahbin’s hanging.” The “bahbin” was the pouty, pushed-out lower lip that little kids do when they’re pouting. So I guess your bahbin was hanging a lot, Nolagirl.

      Thanks for reading and commenting too.

  2. Actions speak louder than words.
    What is down in the well comes up in the bucket.
    Pretty is as pretty does.
    If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
    A closed mouth gathers no foot.
    What goes around comes around.
    Love covers a multitude of sins.

    • Thanks for sharing, Cheri.

      “A closed mouth gathers no foot,” is a good one. That reminds me of my dad saying, “Open mouth, insert foot,” which he did a lot because he didn’t follow your advice. (I come from a family that talks too much, too soon.)

      Thank you for reading and sharing wisdom.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Andrea!

    “She went out to defecate and the swans got her” cracked me up. What context did your dad use this in? (I don’t know about your dad, but mine would have used a word a little more earthy than “defecate.”) Swans are known to be mean, so I guess it does make some sense.

  4. I have many of my Dad’s sayings in my head. He was a great guy and a really funny man!!

    If he didn’t think some guy had enough backbone and was weak – he would always say “I wonder what the hell is holding that guy up?”

    If he wanted you to be prepared for something – “Don’t forget to keep your stick on the ice.” We are Canadian and he loved hockey.

    And my all time favorite when I was feeling blue and sick of work politics, he would say “Don’t let the bastards get you down”.

    And if you read something or someone told you something that he thought was BS – “Don’t believe everything you hear, make up your own mind.

    I miss him,

    • Those are good ones, Lynn. Thanks for sharing.

      I like the one about keeping your stick on the ice, but it wouldn’t make any sense where I grew up. In Southern Louisiana, there’s typically no ice to put your stick on. I think the ice would melt before you could get your stick on it!

      And your dad’s last saying makes me think of something else my dad would say: “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” I believe that was my grandfather’s saying that my dad repeated.

      Thanks for reading! I appreciate your dad’s wisdom.

  5. My Dad used this one a lot to get me and my five brothers to alter our behavior:

    ‘I will stomp a mud hole in you and walk it dry.’

    I don’t think he ever had to do anything after giving us that warning, it was very descriptive.

    • Wheely, that’s right up there with “I’m going to rip your arm off and beat you with the bloody end!”

      Thanks for reading and sharing your dad’s words.

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