Dad-isms: Colloquialisms of a Kansas farm town


I loved my old man, and most of the best times of my childhood were spent with him on fishing, rock-hunting, arrowhead-hunting, and pheasant-hunting expeditions, or simply when we just loaded up in the camper and let our whims of the moment govern our path.

He was something of a prude when it came to anything sexual [except for one item you’ll see below], so I only heard a PG version of his metaphors [I didn’t hear him swear until I was 13]. But hailing from an Anabaptist heritage [Amish and Mennonite] and growing up at the dawn of the 20th Century in what was once the West’s wildest cowtown, he’d acquired decent-enough repertoire.

Here’s a sampling:

“Pardon, but I must go and shake the dew from my lily.”

“Drier than a popcorn fart.”

“Bungfodder.” [toilet paper]

“Rain’s comin’ down like a cow pissin’ on a flat rock.”

“Why, would you look at that, son!” [only uttered when the exclamation point was called for]

“Why, that thing like to tore my arms plum off!” [a fishing story constant]

“It’s colder than a witch’s tit.” [once when he dubbed a landmark “the with’s tit,” the topography involved led me to conclude that I’d probably like witches]

“Well, I’ll swan to goodness!” [general amazement]

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