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“I want” never gets!
“I want” never gets!
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
There are certain phrases from my childhood which were recited almost like the 10 Commandments. Some of them were the inventions of my parents, the others were passed down from their own parents. I can hear them in my head, three decades later, in the lilting Scottish accents of my parents, and I wonder, will my children remember the phrases I probably repeat more than I realise.

My mum loved to say things like:

“’I want’ never gets”: Say please, please...

“What are you playing at?” Uh oh. I probably broke something.

Feechs!” or “pfffffs”: Both expressions of disgust, a reaction to toilet humour in particular.

Haud yer wheesht!” Be quiet.

My dad was fond of:

“All joints on the table will be CARVED”: A reminder to keep our elbows off the table.

“I’ll give you yer teeth in yer hands to play with!” A gentle reminder to stop misbehaving.

“You’re a peely-wally-plunk”:  Basically, “you’re looking pale and sickly”.

And, without fail, every time we left for a trip in the car, he’d say in German, “Raus!” meaning “out” to get us out of the house, and, upon arrival, the
French phrase “nous sommes arrivés“, or, “we have arrived”.

Right now, if you asked my kids what the most heard phrases coming out of my mouth are, they’d probably agree that I’m keen on answering “the best place in the world” when asked where we’re going on a day trip, and that they need to be on their “best-best behaviour”. Sometimes I have to be honest, and tell them we’re only going to the sixth best place in the world.

Of course, they’d probably also remember the time I pretended that a suspicious, erm, rude noise (ok, a fart) was the rare farting cockroach of Wynberg, but hopefully not.

Do you use any unusual or fun phrases with your kids? Tell us about it at and you could win a R250 voucher like Rochelle Fourie for her letter "In Real Life".


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