Coming home in the car I noticed through the window that the weather was changing. “It’s black over Bill’s mother’s” I said as I watched the black clouds rolling in indicating stormy rain was on its way. I did not realise the strange looks that occurred as I have known this saying all my life and did not realise it was not a familiar saying to everyone.
Once home I did a little research and from a BBC News article on ‘England’s oddest phrases explained https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37550178 that it could originate from Kaiser Wilhelm II the last German emperor and king of Prussia, abdicating at the end of World War One. It is an old fashioned phrase, apparently mainly said in the North of the UK but I could not really find a reason why this saying came about.
On the weather theme, after it being Black over Bill’s mothers often it will be siling down, which means it is raining very heavy and fast.
Another family saying is ‘Charlie’s dead!’ . If I came and whispered this to you would you know what I was trying to say. No I would not be trying to pass on a message that a family member or friend called Charlie had died and hopefully it would not bring the same confusion as in the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2016, when there was the hysterical confusion of the telling that ‘David’s dead’. No nothing like that!! Charlie’s dead means simply that an underskirt is showing below a hem of a dress or skirt. This saying is not widely said now due to the fact that not many people actually wear an underskirt or slip any more.
I have heard different origins for this saying but most relate to King Charles II. One when informed that the King had died the ladies flashed their petticoats in mourning and also another were the ladies dipped their petticoats in his blood.
Showing next weeks washing means a lady is flashing slightly more than is deemed respectable in company and the saying Fur coat and no knickers means a lady who looks respectable but has undesirable morals or vulgarity. Not sure who judged this!
Sweet Fanny Adams is a saying used when you do not get anything you were expecting. I was surprised to find the origin of Fanny Adams was in fact a young eight year old girl who in 1867 was murdered and dismembered. Not sure how it became to use the name of a poor murdered girl except the obvious alliteration of her name and FA meaning f*** all!!
Do you use any of the above sayings and can you think of any sayings that are popular in your own family or neighbourhood? I would love to hear them.
Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xxx
All photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of Lorna Liza