Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I Cut My Finger on the Mashed Potatoes!

To be honest, I didn’t cut my finger on the mashed potatoes, but my cousin Susan did, and she graciously gave me permission to share her turn of phrase when she posted the comment a few years ago.

Turns of phrase that capture our attention might resonate for decades within our hearts. I’ll often read a sentence or quote that immediately triggers a response, one where I might be thrust through time, travel to a different world, envision the lives of characters in books, or remember a vivid conversation.

My cousin’s phrase is distinctive, and if I used it in a novel I might then explain that she really did cut her finger. She’d allowed the potatoes to dry in the pan and the crusted edge of potato sliced her finger, made it bleed. Would I go into that much detail in a book? Probably. Would I need to? It depends.

Larry Schafer wrote, “She’s learning to breathe thru her feet.” Reading that, I paused for a long moment to consider what he meant. How in the heck do you breathe through your feet? I still don’t know, yet that phrase has stayed with me, as has his name.

Then there’s one that I can’t attach a name to, though I wish I could. “She looked like a hen in a fit.” Can’t you hear the fuss, envision the flapping as a cloud of dust filters through the air?

“Regular old cough drop she is, too,” from Georgette Rougier. No further description is needed. I can see the old woman quite well, hear her querulous voice.

“His brain is as large as a pimple on a flea.” A gentleman named Sam made me laugh out loud when he said that. I don’t know if it those are his words, an old saying, or a phrase he borrowed, but I remember it to this day.

Simple words, quilted together in a multitude of patterns. Joy, agony, desire. Hope. Culmination of a story that pierces your heart.

What phrases echo and rebound within your soul?


  1. I LOVE the British phrase, "She had a face like a slapped backside." Can't you just see it? Enjoyed your post!

  2. Entertaining post. Here's a rather rude one, but it gets the point across: 'As useless as a tit on a bull."

  3. It was so quiet you could hear a church mouse piss on a cotton ball.

  4. Entertaining phrases, even the undecipherable ones. Laughed at C.B.'s phrase – my husband has long used the phrase "Useless as a tit on a rock."

  5. My favorite is, he's as small as a pimple on a flea. Great post!

    1. Yes, I like that one, too! Thanks for stopping by!