Clichés: Written by Frank Cozzi, Sr.
The first time I heard my father say: “You’re crying with a loaf of bread under your arm,” I had to look under my arms to see what he was talking about. It was a saying from the great depression era when many families couldn’t afford to buy a loaf of bread. Another of his favorites was: “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see,” meaning that there are a lot of people out there that are deceptive.
He was also big on bites “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” And sometimes you just have to “bite the bullet” or sometimes in order to avoid an argument he would advise that you “bite your tongue.”
He would also warn about fire. Often worrying about, “Burning the midnight oil” or “Burning the candle at both ends” and when it comes to customers or friends you’re unhappy with “Don’t burn bridges”. And combining 2 he would say if you’re “firing on all cylinders” you won’t be a “flash in the pan”.
There were a lot of things he said you couldn’t do too. “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Particularly when you’re buying scrap metal. Or, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” when you’re selling it. “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” And when it comes to trying harder, “you can’t get a hit if you don’t swing the bat.” When it comes to people unable to pay a debt he would say: “You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.” Speaking of turnips, if you tried to fool him he would remind you that he “didn’t just fall off a turnip truck”.
Needless to say it’s “as clear as mud” that there will be more of these clichés “coming down the pike.”