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You daft apeth

(417 Posts)
Kasterborous Wed 30-Oct-13 08:50:24

No, not you but I heard this phrase yesterday and haven't heard it for ages. We used to say it when anyone had done something daft, but in a lighthearted way.

Another old favourite is 'crosspatch' as in 'don't be a crosspatch' when someone is being -well - cross.

Kasterborous Wed 30-Oct-13 08:52:57

Meant to add, so what are your favourite similar phrases that you don't hear much these days.

GiddyStars Wed 30-Oct-13 08:53:49

I say these to my DC. I'm in my twenties blush I think one day I just woke up and had turned into my mother...

I hope nobody comes along and says they have awful underlying connotations now!

thepurplepenguin Wed 30-Oct-13 08:54:59

I like it too, but isn't it daft ha'porth? Ie half a penny's worth...

Jacksterbear Wed 30-Oct-13 08:55:42

My great aunt used that phrase. Also, she used to call me a little rum'un (as in, funny little thing). I used to wonder, as a child, what on earth a Rumman was!

FacebookWanker Wed 30-Oct-13 08:55:46

'I'll be down on you like a ton of bricks'....perhaps it's just something that teachers say...

DanielHellHoundMcSpaniel Wed 30-Oct-13 08:57:14

My dad has taught DS1 to say "Xxxx Xxxx ain't no good, chop him up for firewood" about his baby brother which I remember my grandparents often saying to us as children and don't hear very much now. I haven't revealed the existence of the other two lines yet. (When he's dead we'll boil his head and eat him up with lava bread)

FacebookWanker Wed 30-Oct-13 09:00:53

FacebookWanker Wed 30-Oct-13 09:01:37

You're both correct

AnkaretLestrange Wed 30-Oct-13 09:02:16

Yes it's ha'porth or something. Means half a penny,

I always say wreck of the Hesperus about the state of my hair.

AnkaretLestrange Wed 30-Oct-13 09:02:39

Or the wild woman of Borneo, whoever she was.

Lurleene Wed 30-Oct-13 09:06:24

Oh I always thought it was daft dapeth blush. I feel silly now.

Mind you I always thought the saying was "your room looks like a bomsytit" til I got called out on it as an adult.

roadwalker Wed 30-Oct-13 09:07:07

I use ha'porth all the time- the kids think I'm nuts! I have just learned how to spell it
I also say- I'm not standing around like cheese at 4pence- when waiting for them
I use wild woman of Borneo to describe my or DD's hair

AnyCluffyflumpFucker Wed 30-Oct-13 09:10:47

I love 'daft apeth'! I use it on my lot. I did think an Apeth was a huge, hairy, creature, like 'big foot' grin.

DH tells DC to 'pack it in!'.
I always laugh and tell him that it's such a Dad thing to say. I have only ever heard Dads say it and I thought it was left back in the 80s!

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:11:09

Aw that brings back memories of childhood. My dad was forever calling me a daft apeth.

I also got called Madam Patty if I was being, well, a little madam. Apparently Madam Patty was a welsh opera singer. This may have been specific to my family.

Oh and a 'cotton picking nuisance'. Very old school....

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:12:04

I thought an apeth was a big foot too AnyCluffy!

Also, vexed. Vexed is a dad word too.

TrumptonVandal Wed 30-Oct-13 09:14:49

"Bomsytit" grin PMSL!

AnkaretLestrange Wed 30-Oct-13 09:15:13

Get stuffed is such a retro insult I think.

AnkaretLestrange Wed 30-Oct-13 09:16:19

Or if there is no pop in the house I tell dd to drink some cooperation pop.

Pop! That is also so old fashioned. Like bottles of panda pop which the milkman used to deliver.

Lovecat Wed 30-Oct-13 09:18:16

I used looking like the Wreck of the Hesperus last week to some twenty-somethings and they looked at me like '....what?'

In our family we used to say Wild Woman of Borneo until Jonathan Ross (I think) popularised that cheesy film Wild Women of Wongo in the mid-80's, so that's what we tend to say now smile

A local one where I grew up was 'don't stand there like one of Lewises', which was a reference to the shop dummies in the window of Lewises Department Store in Liverpool (and not, as is commonly assumed, the nekkid statue on the front of the building with the enormous willy).

One my mum thankfully no longer says is 'you jammy Arab' to describe someone lucky. I'm not sure where Arab came into it, she's Irish and grew up in the Midlands...

We also use 'mither' for bother (as in 'sorry to mither you') which isn't heard so much these days.

GemmaTeller Wed 30-Oct-13 09:18:39

'get your neb out' as in 'don't be so nosy'

'going down t' ginnel' as in ' I'm going via the back street'

'chips wibbits' as in 'chips with batter scraps'

DH is a southerner, I wind him up all the time with northern phrases grin

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:18:51

I still say 'a tin of fizzy pop'! People look at me like I should be on display somewhere...

We used to have a pop man that delivered. Our milkman was not into diversification.

GemmaTeller Wed 30-Oct-13 09:19:46

"Bomsytit" grin

AnkaretLestrange Wed 30-Oct-13 09:22:47

I love mithering, it's so northern.

I am from the west county, we call gym shoes daps, people from other parts of the country look hmm at the word and/or take the piss.

Lovecat Wed 30-Oct-13 09:23:03

We also have a family-only one that comes from my mum's childhood best friend and her habit of bringing her back a hideous ornament from their family holiday each year. "A present from Rhyl" is the phrase used to describe something utterly useless that normally you'd chuck away but manners/something else prevents you smile

KirjavaTheCorpse Wed 30-Oct-13 09:23:10


DameEdnasBridesmaid Wed 30-Oct-13 09:24:25

My mother uses almost all of the above.

Job's comforter is another one of hers.

Feeling as old 'as Methusalah'

GigiDarcy Wed 30-Oct-13 09:26:39

I am rather fond of 'it swings in roundabouts,' said it to my class once to utter incomprehension! My DM used to say 'come on you 3, form 4s' no idea where that comes from! Used to being called a daft ha'porth too. I call my class waffles, doughnuts and heffalumps!

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:30:52

Lovecat - do our families must know each other. YY to wreck of the hesparus, mithering and jammy arabs. I also got 'you're like a wandering jew' if i was drifting around aimlessly hmm

A lot of my friends never got these at home....I think because my dad was a bit older than most.

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:31:39

Ratbag! grin kirjava

I love this thread

catinboots Wed 30-Oct-13 09:32:53

I only learned quite recently on here that an 'apeth' wasn't a little ape blush

Jacksterbear Wed 30-Oct-13 09:33:23

I have never heard "jammy Arab" but used to hear "cheeky Arab" a lot.

mignonnette Wed 30-Oct-13 09:33:39

My Grand Father said 'Daft Apeth' and 'mardy'.

Loved them and miss him every time I hear these sayings.

Jacksterbear Wed 30-Oct-13 09:35:03

catinboots I always assumed an apeth was a big ape grin.

Dogonabeanbag Wed 30-Oct-13 09:39:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Reprint Wed 30-Oct-13 09:39:14

"stop standing there like piffy on a rockbun" and "I was standing there like piffy on a rockbun"

I never knew what piffy was! or why they would stand on a rockbun in the first place!!
Interestingly, I heard it from a stranger (at a party) early this year and asked if they had any idea of the origins.Nope!!

So if anyone does happen to know...... I'm standing here eagerly anticipating an answer, like piffy on the proverbial grin

vladthedisorganised Wed 30-Oct-13 09:45:17

Daft ha'porth is a favourite here too.

Other archaic phrases I seem to use more and more:
Mardy gowk
Face like a wet weekend
All fur coat and no knickers
Describing someone as 'soor-faced' - either DD in a sulk or a miserable adult.

I love the description of someone as 'a long drink of water' - fairly dull and a bit of a drip grin

AnkaretLestrange Wed 30-Oct-13 09:46:20

I only found out relatively recently that the Hesperus was a boat.

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:47:18

Reprint I presume it means the same as 'standing there like a spare part'. Have no clue what a piffy or a rockbun actually is though!

Reminds me of 'ooh you're neither use nor ornament'.

Oh and if you were blocking the idiot box (telly) or something you'd get 'you weren't born in St Helens, were you?' bellowed at you. A reference to the glass making industry there.

HaroldLloyd Wed 30-Oct-13 09:48:03

Something knocks something into a cocked hat. Love that one.

My mum rolls her eyes and says pop thinks he's as flashy as a bonne marche shirt. Which was a shop considered very swishy in her day.

Or if someone runs about a bit rolls her eyes and says ooooo he's like a whirling dervish. I had to google that a while back and I think it's a crazy Turkish dance.

HaroldLloyd Wed 30-Oct-13 09:49:45

We used to say you think your chocolate but your poo in school.

So if someone is full of themselves still say he thinks he's chocolate.

vladthedisorganised Wed 30-Oct-13 09:52:36

Ooh Dawn that's interesting: I got 'you make a better door than a window' if blocking the TV. "Were you born in a barn?" was used if you left a door open.

Standing like a spare part sounds like a polite version of 'standing like a fart in a trance' which I love!

Yamyoid Wed 30-Oct-13 09:53:25

reprint you've reminded me, my mum used to say 'you're standing there like piffy' but my memory tells me she said miffy. I think that's my childhood brain turning it into a character I knew!

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Oct-13 09:53:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stubbornstains Wed 30-Oct-13 09:54:07

Yes, my dad used to say "daft ha'porth" a lot, which I also took to mean a kind of ape grin. He also used to say "thick as a docker's sandwich" or "thick as two short planks". (He's still around by the way, but it seems he's forgotten all his London slang over the years).

Grandma used to call me "the wreck of the Hesperus" and the "Wild woman of Wonga" a lot, especially during the years I had dreads.

Another Londonism that I heard when I lived there was "Leave it for the sweep" if you drop a coin on the ground. I thought that was quite sweet.

rabbitlady Wed 30-Oct-13 09:54:33

my cousins would 'skrike'. i never did that. at home, we cried.
i know daft apeth/ha'porth/rum 'un/chop him up for firewood/ginnel/ mither.
the ex husband was frequently told by his mum 'you've a face that only a mother could love', which he felt was affectionate.
what are your soft, circular bread rolls called? ours were teacakes. rougher-bread ones were muffins, muffins were harder and flatter, chewy things good hot with butter and jam. sometimes we heard them called baps or barm cakes.

Nishky Wed 30-Oct-13 09:54:41

visited my 83 year old aunt yesterday and when talking about someone she worked with she said ' he had a bob on himself'

my children were very confused

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Oct-13 09:55:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlackStiltonBoots Wed 30-Oct-13 09:55:27

I also thought it was daft apeth (an apeth being an overgrown ape in my mind), was disappointed when I found out what it really was.

I call DC little ratbags all the time sometimes.

One that used to make me laugh was my Grandad saying he was so hungry he could eat a scabby donkey between two slabs of concrete grin.

funnyossity Wed 30-Oct-13 09:55:32

My Mum and Gran always used "wreck of the Hesperus" and when I asked what the Hesperus was they said they really didn't know but it must have been in a hell of a state!

Am liking piffy on a rockbun.

stubbornstains Wed 30-Oct-13 09:55:32

They used to call street urchins "street arabs" didn't they MrsDV ?

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:55:38

vladthedisorganised I just spat coffee over the keyboard. I MUST use 'standing like a fart in a trance'. Why is this not in common usage..? grin

Yamyoid Wed 30-Oct-13 09:56:10

Also have a vague memory of being told 'you'll get a clout [sp?] around the ear'ole'! (Never did though)

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 30-Oct-13 09:57:48

Reprint - I use 'like piffy on a rockbun' too, but I am afraid I have no idea whatsoever where the phrase comes from - I just love it. DawnoftheDee - I always assumed that a rockbun was similar to a rock cake.

My dad used to call us rapscallions, if dsis and I were being cheeky.

Dogonabeanbag - I think it is 'swings or roundabouts' too - as in 'What you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts' - I think that is the whole saying.

stubbornstains Wed 30-Oct-13 09:57:48

Oh yes, "I'll give you a thick ear!"

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:57:54

Round bready type things: barmcakes.

Special round bready type things: oven bottoms (or oven bums in our house)

Large round bready type things: stotties

Yamyoid Wed 30-Oct-13 09:58:04

Ah yes, mrsD, guts fer garters was the one I was trying to remember smile

BlackStiltonBoots Wed 30-Oct-13 09:58:46

rabbitlady my Grandma says 'skriking' for crying, not heard her say it for a while.

Teacakes here for bread rolls, or currant teacakes for the sweet kind. I felt really odd when I moved to Manchester and had to ask for a 'barm'.

WhisperMen Wed 30-Oct-13 09:58:48

my nan used to say standing there like piffy on a rockbun too! no idea of the origins though.

another one was he's like a pig in a ginnel. meaning the man was bow legged.

chebella Wed 30-Oct-13 09:58:56

Not as green as he's cabbage-looking is a favorite of mine to describe someone canny.

Great thread. My dad uses 'corporation pop' for tap water.

My (Irish) granny used to threaten us with 'there'll be whigs on the green' - I think it means some sort of legal/judicial intervention would be required... She also used to threaten us with the 'sally rod' - no idea but you can sense the undercurrent of violence ha!

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 30-Oct-13 09:59:32

I love daft apeth. My mum also says 'all round the reeking' when it has taken her sometime to get somewhere. I think the 'reeking' is in Shropshire? Most likely not spelled like that either. And if something was dirty my dad would say 'black as Newgates knocker'

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 09:59:54

'Has someone died then?' - said if you're trousers were too short (i.e. at half mast.

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Oct-13 10:00:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yamyoid Wed 30-Oct-13 10:00:24

My northern family still say barmcakes dawn
I used to have a chip barm nearly every day when at secondary school.

Mmmnotsure Wed 30-Oct-13 10:01:34

I use many of the above my poor dc

Also 'ye gods and little fishes', and looking 'like the witch of Endor' when my hair is a right mess.

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 10:01:52

I still do too Yamyoid - especially as I live in Yorkshire now (I was born and raised in Lancashire). I refuse to say 'bread cake'. It's just wrong...wink

Yamyoid Wed 30-Oct-13 10:02:02

'Creating' meaning baby making a fuss. Still said by my mum.

stardusty5 Wed 30-Oct-13 10:02:48

I love the word 'vexed'! My nana also used to call me a fly flamer as well as a daft dapeth.

A woman i work with also likes to exclaim 'shine a light!' Instead of bloody hell or similar.

We also still call the outsode bin the Ash Bin. Sure there are more

Yamyoid Wed 30-Oct-13 10:02:58

Bread cake! Not heard that before grin

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 30-Oct-13 10:04:11

oh and my dad would call us 'cloth ears' if we didn't hear what he had said

Snowflakepie Wed 30-Oct-13 10:09:53

I called DD a ratbag the other day. DH was shock for some reason. I could have used something worse IMO! We also have daps which no one else here understands.

DHs lovely grandad had many sayings, the most random was 'off we go and the colour's blue'. No idea. MIL is the master of the double entendre and has gone on record for 'going for a blow on the beach'.

I also thought of an apeth as being a large monkey. Still doesn't spoil it though!

ScooseIsLoose Wed 30-Oct-13 10:10:37

My nan used to call us tinkers if we were naughty I.e "you little tinker" or say we were bold,
My mum used to call me jelly head hmm
My aunt had a friend who used to call everyone scone head (wtf?)

BoyGirlBoy3 Wed 30-Oct-13 10:10:47

"Stop that horse playing", said by my dad.

I say "fair dos", if i want to make people laugh!

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 30-Oct-13 10:12:14

WhisperMen - I thought it was 'He couldn't stop a pig in a ginnel' - meaning he was so bowlegged that the pig would run straight through his legs.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 30-Oct-13 10:13:23

FunnysInLaJardin - I think 'all around the reekin' is actually 'all around the Wrekin' - which is a hill in the middle of Shropshire.

HaroldLloyd Wed 30-Oct-13 10:16:41

Had a face like a cat licking piss off a nettle - for catsbum face

Haven't heard that in a while.

ScarerStratton Wed 30-Oct-13 10:18:21

It's pronounced AayyyyyRab in our family. We use loads of these, I think they must have been absorbed into our vocabulary somehow, as we are neither Northern nor from the West.

Does anyone know where Mugwomp comes from?

GemmaTeller Wed 30-Oct-13 10:20:52

'were you born in a barn? ' = shut the door
'put t' wood int' hole' = shut the door

Creating / skryking / blubbing = crying

He skens like a basket of whelks = He's cross eyed
Skennyeyed = cross eyed

He couldn't stop a pig a in an alley - He's bow legged

I remember a conversation with my MIL in the east end of London a few years ago -

Me 'ooh Mary can I have one of these barm cakes please'?
MIL '?'
Me 'these barm cakes on the side'
MIL '?'
Me - thinks of another word....'these flour cakes'
MIL '? there's no cakes in the kitchen'
Me - thinks of another word.... 'these baps'
MIL 'what are you talking about?'
Me - picks pack up and shows her
MIL - 'oh you mean bread rolls'


LazyScare Wed 30-Oct-13 10:20:56

I tell DS to 'Stop wittering on' when he is muttering or saying the same thing over and over.

Not sure if my dad made it up or it is one of these things noone says any more.

'Fair dos' isn't that old fashioned is it? Say and hear that all the time although I am in a part of Britain that resides 25 years in the past

diddl Wed 30-Oct-13 10:21:50

Anyone else have "headless chicken" moments that were like being a "fart in a colander"??

kaytola Wed 30-Oct-13 10:22:24

One of my dads favourites was 'face like a kicked in snap tin'!

GigiDarcy Wed 30-Oct-13 10:22:58

Ooh, we use Mugwomp too but no idea where it's from. I am loving all the swings/roundabout variations.

HaroldLloyd Wed 30-Oct-13 10:24:39

We had mugwumps! WTF is a mugwump.

HaroldLloyd Wed 30-Oct-13 10:25:52

Wow. US republicans.

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 10:26:23

I have an uncle who still says 'Na then' instead of hello

Banono Wed 30-Oct-13 10:27:32

DH says there'll be 'big trouble'.

As in, you had better tidy up that playroom or there'll be 'big trouble'.
You better do xyz or there'll be trouble.

WTAF?!? I went from being amused when he said it to wanting to say, what are you on about?
Give them a consequence, what is trouble?

TheFallenMadonna Wed 30-Oct-13 10:28:31


TheFallenMadonna Wed 30-Oct-13 10:30:08


Our family saying is "better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish".

ILoveAFullFridge Wed 30-Oct-13 10:32:51

I know someone who says "standing around like leftover lemons'. No idea where it comes from, but I like it.

She also describes a bad hair day as "hedge-backwards".

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 30-Oct-13 10:34:48

I think 'hedge-backwards' is a shortened version of 'looking like you've been pulled through a hedge backwards'.

ILoveAFullFridge Wed 30-Oct-13 10:35:14

Dh says "You make a better door than a window" when someone gets between him and the TV. What does that mean? (I know what he means!)

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 30-Oct-13 10:39:00

We have wittering on and headless chickens.

Kids also have to tidy up/get to bed "or there'll be trouble", thought that was fairly normal though?

diddl Wed 30-Oct-13 10:40:57

"I have an uncle who still says 'Na then' instead of hello"

I'm in Germany & people here say "Na?" as a greeting!

YoureBeingAnAnyFuckerFan Wed 30-Oct-13 10:41:03

Im in NI and i say gutties or runners for trainers. I didnt know it was colloquial until i joined MN grin

My dad has lots of funny sayings.

The oddest one is 'its a kick start for a trotting banty' when referring to a vehicle with a very small engine. Like a small motorbike.

Another on is if someone farts he says "come in dungannon i know your knock" confused

DawnOfTheDee Wed 30-Oct-13 10:42:06

It means he can't see through you ILove! i.e. if you were like a window then you standing between him and the idiot box like a fart in a trance wouldn't be a problem. As it is you are opaque and therefore, more door-like grin

AnkaretLestrange Wed 30-Oct-13 10:43:20

A winder = a clout round the head.

Mind you the word clout is a bit old fashioned in itself.

'You dirty article'. That makes me laugh, I say it to dd.

GemmaTeller Wed 30-Oct-13 10:43:28

'If he fell off the co-op he'd land in the divi' = he's very lucky

YoureBeingAnAnyFuckerFan Wed 30-Oct-13 10:45:14

Stardusty my mum used to say shine a light instead of shite and sugar instead of shit. Fiddle me pink was instead of fuck. Flap was instead of flip (for flap's sake grin)

Also my uncle used to tell his dcs to stop 'gowling' i think it was a mix of gurning and howling.

HaroldLloyd Wed 30-Oct-13 10:47:21

My friends nan used to exclaim well FUCK ME PINK.

At embarrassing times!

LazyScare Wed 30-Oct-13 10:48:20

I was going to say Mugwump is from Harry Potter (and it is!)

But google says:

(mgwmp)n.1. A person who acts independently or remains neutral, especially in politics.2. often Mugwump A Republican who bolted the party in 1884, refusing to support presidential candidate James G. Blaine.

See, we dun lerned sumfin.

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