thCAJEMANLOver dinner the other day my husband and I were telling our teenage son about old insult sayings, to see if he could figure out what they meant. We were saddened to learn that phrases we’ve known since childhood were no longer common knowledge. Are they dying out completely? Some of the more colorful ones we asked about were:

  • She couldn’t hem a pig in a ditch – meaning she’s bowlegged.
  • He could back a buzzard off a meat truck – meaning he’s ugly.
  • She could eat an apple through a picket fence – meaning she has buck teeth.
  • He has summer teeth (some are teeth) – meaning he has bad/missing teeth.

There are probably many many more such colorful turns of phrase, not just insulting ones, that are missing from conversation now. They’ve been replaced with the likes of “Someone should punch him in the throat” and “You got pwned!” and even those are already dated. And somehow, they just don’t compare.

I think it’ll be a sad day when we’re gone and the imagery-filled insults we learned from our parents no longer exist. Do you know any others that are no longer common? Should they disappear?

– Wendy Clyde

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High school teacher. Soccer fan (Werder Bremen, yeah!). Knitter and book-binder. Devotee of mathematical puzzles. German.