What does 'holding your mouth wrong' mean

(15 Posts)
Wicker382 Tue 22-Dec-20 21:04:08

A couple of years ago our lovely neighbour was struggling with the timer on her boiler. I went over to help her but couldn't figure it out. She made a comment that 'its the way you're holding your mouth' or something like that. I didn't know what she meant and just laughed along.

Today as I was coming out of m&s a lady was struggling to get her £1 out of the trolley. I tried to help but couldn't get it out either. She said 'so it wasn't me holding my mouth wrong then'.

I've never heard the phrase before. Both women are/looked in their 70's. What does it mean? I'm welsh currently living in the Midlands.

OP’s posts: |
NoraK Tue 22-Dec-20 22:38:51

Never heard it but just had a quick look online and a few posts seem to point to a similar explanation;
"It's something oldsters (myself included) say when something needs to be "just so" in order for it to work right. If you are fighting with a particularly tight lid on a jar, and the safety button suddenly pops, you might say, "I just had to hold my mouth right!" If you fail at this, but the person you ask to help gets it right away, you might say "Ah, I guess you were holding your mouth right.""

QueenOfTheDoubleWide Tue 22-Dec-20 22:42:25

They say it up here in the North West. Usually something like I can't get something to work, get a lid off, etc but someone comes to help and it sorts easily. To take the sting out of that they might say "it was all in the way you were holding your mouth"

Graciebobcat Tue 22-Dec-20 22:44:05

Never heard of it (I'm from Manchester)

LaPoesieEstDansLaRue Tue 22-Dec-20 23:36:29

I'm from the north west and never heard of this either!

littleburn Wed 23-Dec-20 09:09:38

I've lived in the Midlands all my life and have never heard this phrase until now!

Love51 Wed 23-Dec-20 09:11:08

I grew up in the Midlands and I've never heard this! I must pay more attention!


ExclamationPerfume Wed 23-Dec-20 09:12:58

Midlands here too and never heard of it.

Beconase20 Wed 23-Dec-20 09:14:04

Maybe it’s a northern thing but we say “You’re not holding your mouth right” when trying to fix or do something like opening a jar or threading a needle for instance. You’ll often find when people concentrate on something they mouth changes, like they may stick out their tongue slightly or purse their lips or tighten their lips etc... that’s where the saying in comes in! It’s all a bit of fun.

CaptainMyCaptain Wed 23-Dec-20 09:14:34

I've never heard it, I've lived in the South West, South East and North East Midlands.

mbosnz Wed 23-Dec-20 09:17:57

It's one I've heard and used frequently, both in NZ and over here.

SilentScreenQueen Wed 23-Dec-20 09:41:19

DM was born in Manchester & often said it. I say it occasionally (Wales then North West) and it’s never occurred to me other people may not have heard this before.

OccultGnuAsWell Wed 23-Dec-20 09:49:22

One of my Mother's favourite sayings.

If I was ever struggling with something fiddly and not succeeding "you're not holding your mouth right". Usually followed by me going"gaah!" and jumping up and down on the fiddly item.

She was Welsh but lived in Yorkshire most of her life.

Darklane Wed 23-Dec-20 10:17:10

“It’s the way you hold your mouth”, common saying here in very rural north Lancashire. Usually said with a laugh when someone gets something to work after you’ve been trying for ages to no avail.

StandardPoodle Wed 23-Dec-20 18:44:50

Midlands - not something I've heard of!

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