Old sayings, quotes and poems

Please can you let me know any family sayings, quotes or poems you may have and their meaning and significance to you. Here are some of mine:

‘old me ‘and and call me Charlie’ I need to work on the cockney accent

‘It aint all lavender’ I discovered this was a title to a song by Joseph Tabrar written in 1894, I can’t find all the lyrics though so if anyone knows them please let me know.

‘Oh my giddy aunt’

‘I’ll be two shakes of a lambs tail’

‘All get east aldgate out’

‘Remember you’re British’

‘I’ll ‘ave your guts for garters’

‘I’ll slap you with a wet lettuce’

‘Stone the flammin crows’

Most of these sayings come from in and around London and a few are from the music halls. There are more and I will keep adding them. I am fascinated by these sayings and have used them almost without realising. I think for me it is a connection with the past and my heritage but also a softer (in some cases) way of commenting on everyday occurences. The language used is often more poetic, a play on words and more subtle, less likely to cause embarrassment or just very funny. A pleasant contrast to the way conversations are conducted today.


Lawrence A. Bush

Two interesting quotes from www.uwic.ac.uk/icrc/issue012/articles/02.htm taken on the 24.10.10:

‘Time, place and perception are everything. I once heard a fabulous lecture by Louise Cort about how an object could radically shift meaning depending on context. In physics it has been known for a long time that the observer distorts the observed.’

When Lawrence was asked is skill and craftmanship of any value? This was his reply:

‘Yes and no. They have little value in and of themselves. Their real value is as a vehicle for expression. I have a simple definition of craftmanship – which you end up with what you intended when you started. But to be a very good, versatile craftsman is hard. Think of how much language you have to know to write a good poem, let alone one that people might want to hear more than once. Being a proficient typist doesn’t really help.’

One of the quotes from Rose Slivka’s book on Peter Voulkos says that were the pottery ends the art begins. For me I feel you need to have a very strong foundation of technical knowledge ‘craftmanship’ to be able to fulfil your creative ideas, otherwise it can just end in frustration and ceramics can be frustrating enough for the most proficient of makers.

This piece by Fiona Banner is an interesting take on a similar theme. The use of words becoming so abstracted that they are merely letters and yet these letters have the potential to form a complex language. It’s almost the reverse of what Lawrence Bush was saying about the typist without the language. The letters are almost a sort of poetry in themselves.

The Bastard Word, 2006-07
with the neon alphabet, ‘every word unmade’ i was thinking about a kind
of unmaking of language. as if you could make every word, or story imaginable,
from these 26 letters. all the potential is there, but none of the words.
the fragile wobberly letters, a byproduce of incrementally, inexpertly bending
the glass-then the electrical circuit pumping the gas through, make it like
one big, constant stutter…words about to be made or unmade. because i have
no practical experience of working with glass, the neon is kindof crappily made.
the final piece reflects the struggle to control the medium, the language,
if you like, that in turn reflects the struggle to define the meaning.
letters without words…