Do you ever think about some of the sayings we grew up with and “by accident” figure out the meanings? Two such times come to mind. The first was, “Hold on a cotton pickin’ minute”. A phrase uttered in complete frustration when you have exceeded the patience of an adult (at least that was true for me). I know I’ve said it a number of times with our five. It wasn’t until we were visiting with my mother-in-law, who grew cotton down south, that I figured this out. We all had an opportunity to pick cotton to our hearts content and had a homeschool lesson in the field that day. One of the children was antsy about something and kept bugging me about it when the phrase came out and the “light bulb” came on. “Hold on a cotton pickin’ minute!” Ah-ha! I get it! Picking cotton takes time because you have to avoid the sharp hulls and, thinking about the speed in which the slaves used to have to pick it, gave a whole new meaning to the phrase.
The other phrase that comes to mind is, “I just won’t stand for that anymore!”, when you’ve done the same thing wrong multiple times and they’re tired of telling you about it. I figured it out when I was filling the trough for the cows, and Hazel tried to mount Maizie (who is pregnant and not in the mood for those sort of shenanigans). First let me explain to those who are not familiar with cows…when they are coming into heat they mount each other. If one of them stands to allow the other to mount, then she is most likely in heat. If she doesn’t stand still, then she’s probably not. When Hazel started to mount Maizie, I said, “She isn’t going to stand for that.” Light bulb moment.