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18th Oct 2014

15 Things… Only Irish Mammies Say

"You wait 'til your dad comes home - mark my words."


Ah the Irish mammy: a legend in her own right and a wonder at the one-liners.

From copious cups of tea that will solve any problem to the dreaded boiled 7up, the Irish mammy can fix most things and if not, she will always have a bit of advice to help you on your way. Here are some of the gems we’ve heard down through the years.


“A letter came in the post for you, will I open it?” alreadyhave

We’ve all been there. You’re waiting on your bank statement or (God forbid) your credit card statement in the post and it’s being sent to your home address. If you’re lucky, you might get home on time to open it first, otherwise you’ll be in for a “chat” later.


“Eat that up now! Think of all the poor starving children in the world who haven’t a bite and you with a big plate in front of you!”

You are studiously pushing whatever bit of food that you don’t like around on your plate when your mother pulls this little guilt trip. It worked. Every time.


“Take off your coat or it’ll be no use to you when you go outside.”

How many times has it been absolutely freezing cold and you arrive home to no heating on and no fire set? And then your mammy makes you take off your jacket! Agony.


“The best form of contraception is just say no.”

Ah this old gem! Regardless of your age, relationship status or lack thereof, your mammy knows best when it comes to these matters apparently.


“What’s for you won’t pass you by.”

This is possibly the most comforting statement you can be told when you are stressed out. Although you take no heed of it at all when everything’s going well, the Irish mammy’s idea of “maybe it’s all for luck” is something you cling fiercely to when your life is heading down the toilet.


“Those biscuits are for the visitors!”

You come home from school starving and as you raid the presses you spot a prize of a treat nestled away behind the Cornflakes. Then, just as you are about to munch your way through the lovely bikkies, mammy’s radar kicks in and you are caught red-handed.


“It’s not off the ground she licked it.”

This is usually said with a disdainful, knowing side nod/head bob. As in, “now for you” – said in a way that hopes to convey major disapproval for something one of the neighbour’s daughters has done. You don’t mind – you’re just glad it’s not you that’s in trouble.


“Who’s ‘she’? The cat’s mother?”

Well if this statement wasn’t the bane of our lives! Just when you got into the flow of telling a really juicy story, your mother would interrupt with this if she thought you were being disrespectful and have you starting all over again.


“You’re wearing that skirt? I can see what you had for breakfast!”

Ah the teenage year (and sometimes even now) battles. You were headed for the youth club disco and all you wanted to do was show off your sun-shimmered legs. But no, mammy had to leave you with a graphic image.


“When I was your age we played with twigs. We got fruit in our Christmas stocking. And we were glad of it too.”

This little chestnut usually comes out when you’re moaning about having nothing to do (“I’m bored!”) during the school summer holidays, or when you didn’t get what you wanted (a Mr. Frosty machine) from Santa.


“I have eyes in the back of my head you know.”

Call us stupid but for years we actually really believed our mothers had eyes in the back of their heads. They ALWAYS knew when you were up to no good.


“Don’t make me count to three. One….”

Oh the dreaded words. You thought you were winning the battle with her until she decides to count to three. You hold out until two and a quarter but then you cave. Easy as.


“Oh, you’re off gallivanting again I suppose!”

Ah gallivanting…throughout our teenage years we were always gallivanting off around the place according to our mothers. But as she would say, “isn’t it well for ye!”


“Get up off that cold ground! You’ll get a kidney infection!”

This can also be similar to, “don’t sit on the radiator, you’ll get piles.” And yet, even now we still don’t sit on the cold ground, hot radiator or indeed go to bed with our hair wet.


“If you fall and break your two legs, don’t come running to me!”

Ah mammy… always so full of logic… ahem. Yes, somehow when you were out climbing trees, rolling dangerously around the estate on your sister’s rollerskates or cycling a bike (basically living on the wild side) your mother somehow managed to think that you would break your two legs and somehow be able to…run… to her. Hmmmm.