Family Dichos

Some Family Dichos

Dichos is the Spanish word that can be translated "sayings", or "slang". During my lifetime, I can remember some sayings from various family members that are interesting (at least to me).

My Great-Grandfather Nipe had 5 sons, my Grandfather Nipe had 3 sons, and two of his sons (including my father) had 3 sons. I'm sure the saying originated with my Great Grandfather, and it is usually quoted when one  of the boys is given a task and asks if one of his siblings can also be assigned to the job as well to make it go faster or easier. The response was usually, "No, one boy - a whole boy, two boys - a half a boy, three boys - no boy at all”.

Another saying that probably originated with my father’s ancestors was pronounced whenever one of us would complain of an injury from a sibling. Dad would assess the situation and often tell us, “I know it all started when he hit you back!”

Geri's Grandmother Geremia when she was caught doing something that she had criticized her husband for would often say; "Well, when  you live with them long enough, you get to be just like them!"

Once when I was courting Geri, I had Sunday dinner at her house. When dessert time came (we didn't always have dessert at my house), Geri's mom asked me if I wanted Ice Cream or Watermelon. Now I liked both, so I asked if I could have a small amount of both. Her reply surprised me, "No, I can't do that since everyone knows that Ice Cream and Watermelon together will give you Ptomaine." After I assured her it would not, she did serve it to me, but watched me eat each bite, expecting to have to call an ambulance at any time!!

I hate to pick on my Mother-in-Law, but once, after we had moved to Texas and were taking a ride, she announced from the back seat, that it was about to rain. It was a clear day with only scattered cumulus clouds and hardly looked like rain, so I asked "How do you know that?" She replied, look at the cows in the field over here they are lying down". "Everyone knows that the cows will lie down just before a storm". I asked her why the cows in the pasture on the other side of the road (who  were all standing up) hadn't gotten the same forecast.

Geri's grandmother Geremia also had a couple of other sayings she would employ situationally. For instance, when she watched a young person eating as if food would vanish tomorrow, she would say to them "I'd rather pay your board than feed you!" 


Since she had emigrated from England, she had learned from her mom that beer was a staple in one's diet. We would be able to tell when we went (as we did most Sundays) to eat there, how loquacious she would be by the number of “dead soldiers” (beer bottles) lining the top of the stove. Anyway, when she needed to use the bathroom, she would say; “Well, it's time to visit the used beer department!"  

Davdan @ 2008-2018