Family QuotesFrom the combined Williams/Lewis/Zentz/Middleton/Ward/Crispin/Connett families - centered around Homer and Helen Williams of Albany, Frazier, Gower and St. Joseph Missouri and Ferol and Frank Ward of Palatine New Jersey.
These sayings, verses, phrases and gestures are the sounds we grew up with - some will be common in other households but most are unique to a particular household. Some have already passed through two or three generations, the unwritten stuff of family memories.
A guestbook link is provided at the bottom of the page - I'd like to hear your own version of quotes you found here - or just what brought you to this page. For most visitors it was from using Google or Yahoo to search for a phrase that you might have used in your own family. Use the guestbook and pass along your family quote or start your own family quotes page somewhere on the web.
Thanks for stopping by.
Dick and Gay Williams
Kansas City Missouri
Latest additions are in bold
Grown up Talk
"You all knows more about my business than I knows myself." Road worker to LHW probably in the 30's. Later used by the whole family.
"Gracie isn't well." Grandma Williams (Diddy from Albany) - a mother's excuse for any cranky or misbehaving child. Still in "daily use" in the family.
"Poor people have poor ways." LHW - probably a common expression around most homes.
"There and back in one day" - Connett clan - from the time when it was horse and buggy to St Joe about 3 hours each way and you didn't go unless you had a lot to do so it was an early start and late return. Contributed by Franklin.
"If these people were as smart as you want them to be they would not be picking apples for a living" - Edgar Connett trying to teach Franklin patience with the picking crew
"Write if you find work" expression used in Franklin Gilmore's family when anyone was going on a trip. Left over from the depression when the men went out job hunting.
"Has anybody seen Pa's cows?" Quoted by Margie -- a girl holding up her hand to show off her new ring.
"A dollar three eighty." Homer Williams - answer to any money question.
"I don't have a headache now but I think I'm gonna get one." Quoted by Mom and attributed to a neighbor, Mrs. Shackleford.
"It's a new world Mr. Williamson." Jay Ellison, horse trader, to LHW 40's. Then later and often "It's a new world Mrs. Williamson" LHW to LHW (Lorin Homer to Lucretia Helen Williams)
"Life is so daily" Uncle Charlie Moore of Lebanon KS quoting one of his neighbors - frequent use in the LHW household 50s-80s.
"This place looks like the Burnums." LHW about an untidy family in Savannah early 40's. Later about our own trash piles. I'll feel really bad if any of the Burnum family sees this.
"Looks like the south end of Baldy goin' north." Supposedly Edna's doctor said this about Aunt Edna as a newborn. Terrible thing to say about a baby, eh? May have been "Bally" not "Baldy". And may have been about Johnny not Edna. Could have been both. Accounts differ.
"Alicia Cavitt's story is more fun than sci-fi has been in years." - no one has actually said this but Alicia, author of a new sci-fi book, would like for someone famous to utter these words with great sincerity so she can use the quote on the cover. If you're famous and read her manuscript please consider saying those words on the record and for attribution.
"Ain't worth raisin'." Said of Gay Ward and Joy Estes by neighbor Mr. Irva Mahew in New Jersey. 40's.
"Done more good than hurt." also "One hand washes the other" Jack Ward - lifelong
"Me man." Gay's Grandma Crispin referring to her husband
"How's the boy?" Pop Ward referring to his son, Jack Ward. The question continued lifelong - even when Jack was grown and in his 50s. Now migrated to our Grandson Riley who's still of appropriate age for the question.
"Hurry every chance you get." also - "Keep bobbin' up and down boys." Homer Williams lifelong - probably used a lot with his Highway Department crews.
"Junner's got plenty of gas." Hired hand Andy Morczon who sometimes gassed his car up from the farm tank at Homer Jr's. 60s.
"Elmer's kinda cute for a dog." - Jean Martin commenting on a Facebook picture of Elmer the Wonder Dog. July 2011.
"Jimmy was kinda cute for a kid." - Gay Willams going back in time to comment on Jimmy Kent and in snarky payback for the Elmer remark.
"He'd holler if they hung him with a new rope" Homer Williams lifelong
"More trouble than you can shake a stick at" Homer Williams lifelong
I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It's not because I like 'em
But it keeps them on my knife
From Helen Lewis - Stamper School 1910s (I found exactly one reference to this on the internet so it's "out there" just barely. Had no source or attribution but shown with a collection of harmonica songs - rjw)
"Edder" and "Hedder" - names used by sisters Edna and Helen Lewis for one another - and these continued in use lifelong
"Six drops on a brick." - LHW description of a very light rain - lifelong and very descriptive.
"If you save all your money and you save all your rocks then you'll always have tobacco in the old tobacco box." Grandad Williams (Lorin Harper of Albany) probably back to the 20's or earlier in Albany MO.
"Well, I'll swan to goodness" Aunt Edna, Marjorie Williams and many others old expression of surprise.
"Ho Hum Harry. In love and too young to marry." Helen Lewis in 1st grade Stamper School.
To bed, to bed said Sleepy Head.
No, tarry awhile said Slow
Put on the pot said Greedy Gut
We'll sup before we go
John Lewis's sing song poem to Edna and Helen Lewis , later used by Helen Williams. Dates back to 1910s at least. Anybody else ever heard it? Variations show up in collection of Mother Goose nursery rhymes.
No words, -- hold up two fingers and make the scissors sign. Helen Williams -- shorthand version of story about the woman who had to have the last word in an argument about scissors and even when going under water for the last time held up hand and made a scissors. Someone who always has to have the last word. Now we can just use the sign and that says it.
"Nervous as a whore in church." Homer Williams lifelong
"You're history." After overhearing an Ocean City NJ boardwalk shop owner fire an employee on the spot. The boss said to the employee, "After you ring that order up, you're history." Used thereafter by the Williams sisters - and maybe Donald Trump was alongside and got the idea for "You're fired" that day. Contributed by Alicia Cavitt.
"Spend your way out of debt" - "Uncle Bub" C.E. Crispin of Palatine referring to a politician's way of getting out of debt. contrib by Gail Crispin
"See a man about a dog."
Homer Williams -- I took this literally till I was about 18 years old but he never came back with the dog.
"I'll rest when I'm dead" - Mom Mom (Ferol Crispin Ward)as contributed by Alicia Cavitt
"Back to the mine, boys. There'll be no strike today." LHW with highway crews and family.
"If wishes were horses then beggars would ride." - Helen Williams - first heard by rjw in May 2008
"More rain, more rest. MNITW." LHW lifelong (you'll know it if you know it - let me know if you've heard this one - very un-PC now)
Oonerie, onerie, ickery inn, pea berry, hobble tail, wiggle tail ten. this isn't quite right -- it's longer, and rhymes better. Nonsense counting -- Homer Williams 50s' (need help on it). He probably heard it as a kid around 1910. follow up - by email this variation from Teri Kallan: "I have the full count as it was repeated down our generations: munnery, zurry, zachary, zan, tillybo, tallybo, peaberry, wiggletail, dollaway, ten". Teri's family also had Missouri roots so it's likely one of many word of mouth variations on nonsense counting done parent to kid in the 1800s and early 1900s.
"Vee Gates" really spelled "wie geht's" German for good morning. Homer Williams. He also enjoyed reciting a German poem but I can't quote it. Also often counted in German: ein, zwei, drei, vier, funf, sechs, sieben, acht, neun, zehn. He held on to more of his high school German from Albany High 1910s than most students do.
"If you went back home every time you wanted to the road would be worn out." - Gay's Grandma Crispin - often
"Pretty is as pretty does" Grandma Lewis, 1910's. Common expression
"Lulu's back in town" - Ferol Ward. A song title but also Ferol Ward's upbeat and cheerful remark when coming back to Palatine - typically after a hospital stay.
"Drive careful - you've got a precious load" - Mom Mom, Ferol Ward, in the driveway to Dick as we were packed and loaded to leave for Missouri after a summertime visit to Palatine. Late 1980s in the Toyota van era. Usually no dry eyes when we heard the "precious load" goodbye.
"Not for pleasure does he read but to improve his mind." - LHW quoting another family's comment on their bookish son studying in the Univ of MO - about 1920.
"The only one who can embarrass you is yourself." - Dick to each daughter in succession. Less true words were never spoken as embarrassment to a teen derives almost entirely from the parents.
"I buy you books and buy you books and send you to school and send you to school." - LHW on a parent's sacrifices towards education.
"You're no Joe Boy" Dick and Gay to any dog who came after beloved Joe Boy was gone. Mainly toward Sparky the Barker.
"When we're talking about biting - no biting" Gay to Elmer often after arrival in April 2006
"I've got a trade last for you" - Homer Sr. to anyone he had a compliment for. But "trade last" meant you had to have one for him first. Sometimes it was just a "TL" since we all knew what TL stood for. Lifelong I'm sure but not a phrase I've heard elsewhere.
"I was so busy I didn't have time to pee." Aunt Sarah Lang (Gay's Grandma Crispin's sister)
"Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out" Jack Ward.
"Diaw khan nah khap" Dick still speaking Thai after returning from a year in Thailand. Means "quit it now!". Also "Kha tod" for Excuse me. and other strange phrases still in use.
"The only thing you can say about my hair is 'It looks nice today' " Alicia Williams Cavitt
"The way to get things done is to do them." - memo to self from/to Dick Williams as cure for chronic procrastination. Works if you work it.
"I'm gonna get me a little switch" lots of parents to lots of kids - means you're about to get a spanking. See the one exception below.
"Takes three to keep two runnin'." - Dick speaking of old cars - always one in the shop.
"Nope, never needed one" Jack Ward answering a question about whether little Gay had ever been spanked.
"If you don't do that then you're gonna get a knife and go to the canning house." Ferol Ward to her kids.
"Biggest cuttin' of asparagus I ever had." Jack Ward braggin about his asparagus crop when little Gay was born - 5-1-41.
"Turn in, not over" Homer Williams Jr. to new drivers at the Gower and Trimble MO Ready Mix plants he managed. Contributed by Susan Haskins. He kept a bulletin board with pictures of overturned concrete trucks as another reminder.
"We are going to have fun if it kills us, so work hard at it kids!" - Homer Williams Jr at nearly any family outing or vacation. Quoted by Jean Ann Martin along with...
"Do something even if it's wrong". Homer Williams Jr.
and I'll add another one from Homer Jr -- "Saddle Up!"
"The nut doesn't fall far from the tree." Gay speaking of the whole Williams family - especially her husband.
"I've worked since I was seven and I've got a Social Security record that proves it" - Kate Williams on her early career in the Chan store when she needed a step stool to reach the cash register.
"Never argue with a fool, the bystanders can't tell which of you is which" Edgar Connett to Franklin when he was being bossy or arguing with a hired man.
"Things are never as bad as they seem at their worst nor as good as they seem at their best" -Dick Williams
"If it was easy it wouldn't be fun." Dick Williams describing driveaway work. 2001
"Get your own restaurant" - Dick Williams to the crew members of the Charlie Chan Restaurant - Metcalf South 1980s. Also "If you've got time to lean you've got time to clean" and "If you've got time to gripe you've got time to wipe" - these derived from Joe Berrigan and probably used by everyone who's worked in fast food.
"You asked to join and you're not gettin' shot at" - borrowed from Takhli Thailand days where it was used with complaining members of the Weather Detachment (that was all of us) who were safe and warm and not slogging across any rice paddies.
"Get the money!" Edna Lewis, around 1910 probably. As they were going to the storm cellar, she cried out pleadingly to get the money and take it with them. Mom reports the "money" was probably next to nothing.
"Canny Waus" -- Keith Williams for Santa Claus "Gomer" for Grandma "Coose Case" for suitcase "Sumperella" for umbrella
"I'll drive this pone myself." Homer W. Jr. to Grandma Williams. A pone was a pony. late 30's
"Carry me, I's you boy aren't I?" Dick to Homer Williams often quoted later by LHW.
"My not do know" - Alicia Williams - cute eh? Alicia gave it up but her dad is still using it 30 years later.
"I smiled." Three year old Laurel Connett with satisfaction after a lightning flash -likening the lightning to a flashbulb and remembering the ever present instruction, "smile".
"That's not good!" - Said slowly and with great seriousness by Paige Noel at age 3 upon hearing Grandma Williams tell of the coons that visit the house via the cat/dog door.
"Mom, I did good, I didn't even cry when they took your blood!" - Dalton Hackathorn to his mom Jaclyn after watching her have blood drawn at a doctor's office. Jul 2011
"I so sorry." Becky Williams
"You're not the boss of me" - every sister to her sister - started I think with Becky
"My mommy and Alboo." Alicia referring to her Mom and Dad but misnaming Dick, as Alboo. Alboo was her babysitter's son Albert Albrecht. Dick had just come home from Thailand (mid 1970) and became Alboo. The name Alboo later was given to a new pup. A black and white mixed haired dog we had from Ft. Ritchie days til late 70s.
"I see a water tower." Dick on the way to Albany when seeing the Albany tower. early 50s.
"Ole Platte river" Alicia Williams -- crossing Platte river bridge. 70's.
"Oh, no! Not again." Joe Williams -- when not stopping at Miller's Grill. 60s. also - 1200 miles away but the same thought
"Don't make no difference what side of the road it's on, Pop Pop won't stop." Roger and Randy Ward about Pop Pop passing up places to eat.
"Pop Pop, sit down, you're makin' me nervous." Chris Ward (around 3 years old) to Pop Pop at Dick and Gay's wedding
"He ain't never gonna bale your hay unless you vote Republican." Little Gay Ward to someone wanting hay baled by her dad.
"You stole my memory" - two sisters Becky and Kate I think - arguing over who remembered what from a Colorado trip.
"Princess Becky" - Becky's title around the house especially with Kate and Alicia. Derived from the Lake Waukomis News headline "Our Undoubted Princess Has Arrived" - following her birth at home Jan 7th, 1973.
"Myself was out of control" - Riley Cavitt daily reporting to mom on his day at preschool. Fall of 2004.
"Call Grandpa. Grandpa knows everything." Riley Cavitt 12/22/04
[Note - Grandpa particularly likes this one]
"Riley, Grandpa does not know everything." Alicia Cavitt 12/22/04
"Cat-kitty, where are you?" - Tori Lauren Cavitt at 23 months (AKA Tori Lori)
"Postcards? No, I collect money" - Riley at four when asked if he was collecting the postcards he gets from his truck driving grandpa.
"Mommy, how is that chicken going to live in our refrigerator?" - RWC -watching his mom put a whole chicken into the fridge.
Foods from Home -- seldom found anywhere else
Vinegar Pie -- Grandma Williams of Albany -- hard to imagine isn't it? Also Vinegar Candy in the Connett household
Sour Cream Raisin Pie - Helen Williams - still my favorite
Drunk Chicken - Gay's name for chicken, rice and wine. She wooed Lt. Williams with it in Hampton VA, 1967.
Tomato Gravy - Ferol Ward - Palatine NJ also "Egg Gravy" from the Middletons
Email me your additions - corrections - clarifications
Kind of a fun project so help things along and in my Dad's words - "Hurry every chance you get!"
Kansas City MO
A guestbook that was online was no longer supported by the vendor - here are the relevant entries from that version. A new online guestbook will be included in a later edit of this page.
William Connett Croghan - 2008-05-09 01:33:50
Was whiling away some time looking for info. on the Connett family. My grandmother was Virginia Connett.
Jen Gossert - 2007-11-29 18:07:50
This was awesome! What a great idea. You may want to check into Wikis for easier recordings of other input. Loved looking through the sayings!
Jill Fisher - 2006-08-13 21:30:22
I found your site while looking for old Palatine Postcards on google. I was lucky enough to find one on e-bay about 2 years ago and was hoping to find one with another view of my house. I live in the house that your family calls "grandaddy's house". I get a kick out of reading your "family quotes"
Dick Williams - 2005-02-04 15:56:35
I'd love to hear from you - especially what brought you to this page. Most visitors were using a search engine to look for examples of some phrase and happened to end up here. But I don't usually get anything more - was the phrase you found used in your own family? Something similar?
Love to hear comments on your own family quotes.
Thanks for stopping by
Kansas City Missouri usa
edit: July 30, 2011 rjw 1305
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