Sharing Your Childhood: Silly Phrases

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Looking for ways to love on your children? What about sharing your childhood with them? One way I try to share my childhood with my kids is by letting them in on all the cool (dorky) phrases we used to use as kids. What did you and your friends used to say all the time?

52 Ways to Share Your Childhood with Your Kids
Silly Phrases

My friends and I always had weird things we would say all the time. Often, these were made-up words, something one of us mis-spoke at one time and the others made fun of it forever after, or maybe one of us made up a new word in order to over-emphasize our meaning and it just caught on with the rest of us. Occasionally, we would come up with words for things we just didn’t know the proper term for, and from that point forward the made-up word was the proper term for it.

And some of what we said was just a sign of the times. My youngest boy (he’s three, and twin brother to the only girl in the family) reminded me of this just the other day. It’s not something I’ve intentionally taught him; in fact, it’s kind of rude… but, it’s one of those things where I couldn’t help but crack up when I heard him say it.

Dad, to the boy, “What are you doing?”

Boy, answering, “Climbing on your bed.”

Dad, trying to instruct, “But this is my bed; go back to your bed.”

Boy, dumbfounded, “But! That’s my spot!”

Dad, once he understood boy’s spot ownership, “It’s your spot???”

Boy, frustrated with Dad’s ignorance, “Duuuuuuh!!”

“Duh?” Really? When did he learn that? Do I still say it? I don’t think I still say it, but someone here must say it, and often enough that my littlest sweet hearted kiddo has learned the proper usage of it. Maybe I said it when my oldest was young and he has picked it up. Im not sure; maybe my brain isn’t wired well enough to hear it when the older kids say it, but it sure stuck out when the little guy spouted it! I’m not really sure how to go about correcting this one, except to tell him not to say it. Bill and I both cracked up laughing though, so Caleb thought he was doing a great job at being cute (again), and giggled with us. Ah well. There are worse things he could say, I suppose.

Other 80’s Phrases We Use

I did a search to see what other phrases and words are considered 80’s flashback vocabulary, and what words from those lists my husband and I still use… and most likely or even surely our kids do as well. Yep – we are sharing our childhood with our kids just by the way we talk. It’s no wonder they get funny looks out in public!

  • Awesome (though this one is uber-popular today, when speaking about onesself – and what about “uber”?)
  • Bite Me. – I say this pretty often, usually only to Bill, and as a playful way of saying, “Oh hush!” Usually it’s in response to something he is making fun of me for, whether fully true, partially true, or totally made up on his part. (Okay, usually true!)
  • “The Bomb” – I despised this one back then, but catch myself saying it occasionally, because I know people know what it means.
  • Butt ugly – Bill says this a lot. Arg.
  • Chill – or Chill pill – We are both always telling the boys to “chill out” or to “take a chill pill.” I know it’s not current PC, but it’s so much easier to say than, “Boys, please calm your nerves and sit quietly.”
  • Deep doodoo – well, that’s not exactly what was on the list, but it’s the version we threaten the kids with.
  • “Don’t have a cow.” – The boys’ response to being told to “take a chill pill.”
  • Fer Sure – sometimes fer sure, and some times fer reals. Thanks to my younger sister, we all say this ALL the time.
  • “I know you are but what am I?” – Do I need to explain this never-ending insult?
  • “Just Say No” – who knew this was a catch phrase? But yes, we say it all the time, in homage to the anti-drug campaign.
  • PSYCH! – meaning, oops not really, or… gotcha! Short for, “I psyched you out!” which is short for, “I played a psychological trick on you, and you totally fell for it.”
  • “Smooth move, ex-lax.” – Bill says it to the boys sometimes. I groan. They don’t get it….
  • Totally – this is totally also on the list. Oops.
  • Wannabe – someone who is trying to be someone they aren’t.
  • Whatever. (More specifically: What. EV. ER!) – Please tell me this one is going away. I say it, the kids say it… but it needs to die a horrible death.
  • “Yes, way!” – The argument to someone’s disbelief when they exclaim, “No way!”


wheres beef phrases

Now, I might do a whole separate post on this later in the year, but… many of our fun phrases that we say often come from commercials back in the day. Most of the time, we say them to make fun of a situation or person, comparing them to the lame commercial by bringing up the catch phrase. Sometimes it’s not about making fun, but more about pointing out how a real-life event just reminds us of the silly commercial or phrase. Just a few commercial phrases we catch ourselves saying:

“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

“Where’s the beef?”


(“New York City??!”) “Get a rope.”

New Memories

I’ve been reminded about this particular aspect of childhood, and of making memories in general this past week. You see, my kids and I do share some of the same interests, mostly in the fantasy/sci-fi movie and television show genre. We’ve been watching a certain popular sci-fi tv show via Netflix, and are having a blast using phrases from it that only other people who watch the show would understand. It’s almost like a secret language, or a really extended inside joke.

police phrases

My kids are still sheltered enough to not necessarily recognize that the phrases we use often, and have inadvertently taught them to use, may no longer be in popular culture use. They’ll get out in the real world some day, and tell someone to “take a chill pill,” and get some crazy looks! One of these days, my own kids will make fun of their parents by the silly phrases we still say that are “so yesterday.” But, it’ll be fun, because – you see – they’ll totally understand everything we’re saying. So, just… whatever. Bite me. 😉

I’m glad you’ve joined me. To find the complete list of 52 Ways to Share Your Childhood with Your Kids, check the INDEX.

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Link up your year-long series! I haven’t had much time to hop and visit you all yet, but it’s on the list for the coming week, to hit all three posts from several of you. Thank you for reading and commenting here, and thank you for joining and promoting the linkup! God bless you all!


    • dalynnrmc says

      LOL It was fun to write, and moreso with my teenage son sitting behind me on the couch, reading my blog post on his Nintendo 3Ds, and feeding me lines I forgot to mention the first time. 😉 (“Know what I mean, Vern?”)

      Thanks for taking the time to browse, read, and comment! You are much appreciated. Blessings!

  1. says


    I remember most of those sayings : ( A few you missed that we said, “dipstick”, “couch potato” or how about “gag me with a spoon”? “Where’s the Beef?” is one of my favorite.

    As for the sci-fi, I have tried watching the current Dr. Who but it is too creepy for me. I like the sci-fi part but not the “horror” like stuff. However, we too have been watching Dr. Who. Only we have been watching the classic ones since I can’t stomach the current ones : )

    Interesting post. Thanks.
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    • dalynnrmc says

      Some of these current Dr. Who episodes really… tip my meter, I guess. But MOST of them are ok and pure sci-fi. But yes, I tipped back and forth for a little while as well. I really, REALLY don’t do horror, and really REALLY am careful of anything resembling witchcraft (though I do distinguish fantasy “magic” from actual witchcraft). Still, it’s one of those things with its own vocabulary. 😉

      I think most of those sayings you listed were on the lists I read, but I either didn’t say them (gag me with a spoon? I”m sure I heard it and it’s familiar, but I don’t remember saying it, at least not anything like regularly) or figured they were borderline inappropriate (not these you said, but others). Couch potato is one I wondered about – is that not just… what a couch potato is? Is there different terminology for it these days, or was there different terminology for it before the 80s? I dunno.

      “Where’s the Beef?” is said around here regularly, just to inquire if dinner is ready yet. LOL THanks for commenting! <3

    • dalynnrmc says

      HA! And thanks for noticing that I’d left out “Get a rope!” That’s such a fun one, and a perfect example. :) Thanks for commenting!

      (This is my kiddo, yall! hehehe)