Sh!t Our Grandparents Say

“Well, for crying out loud! If yer cold go git under the african!”

I was at least 10-years-oldĀ  before I realized that a davenport is a couch.

Whenever Grandpa yelled at us to “Stay off the damn davenport!” I had mistakenly assumed, I don’t know why, that he meant the porch. Davenport sounded porch-y to me.

Far be it from me to ask why we weren’t supposed to be on the porch, I just figured it had something to do with my grandparents never using their front door except for “formal” company. The rest of the family, my grandparents included, used the side door that led directly into the family room.

I later learned that davenport meant sofa or couch but it wasn’t until just now while writing this article that I realized that Davenport is actually the brand name for a line of couches from an old furniture company. According to Wikipedia, “Davenport is the name of a series of sofas made by the now-defunct Massachusetts furniture manufacturer A. H. Davenport Company. Due to the popularity of the furniture at the time, the name “Davenport” has become a genericized trademark, like Kleenex.”

Crazy, right? So when I’m 95 (and Kleenex has, perhaps, gone out of business) and asking my great-granddaughter to get me a Kleenex she’s going to snicker behind my back before handing me a tissue?

Could be.

While davenport happens to be a legitimate word, grandparents are known for saying some crazy stuff. Especially when trying to wrap their dentures around new-fangled words. When my Gramma got her first microwave she called my dad and asked if he’d help her hook up her new “right-goat-wave”. (Say it three times in a row as fast as you can and you’ll realize how she made the error.) Gramma eventually called the “contraption” by its proper name but other words she never mastered.

It got me to wondering what crazy stuff your grandparents say, whether it’s a mangled word, the result of an accent or the dialect specific to where they were raised, grandparents be saying some crazy sh!t.

Below are some doozies shared by my Facebook friends. So give it up, what crazy stuff comes out of the mouths of your grandparents? Part 2 of Sh!t Our Grandparents Say is just around the corner!



  • Come Get Under the African! 1 of 25
    Sara Ryan's grandma might have the best mispronunciation of all-time. Sara tells me her grandma would say, "African instead of afghan (as in the blanket). Made for the best unintended double entrendres. 'I'm under the African' or 'Put the African on you.' Oh, I miss her."
    Photo Credit: blanketzz.com
  • Get Me A Big Gulch! 2 of 25
    My own grandmother (the same one who called her microwave a "rightgoatwave" would send us out of the house with a kwarter to get her a Big Gulch of Tab from a nearby 7/11.
    Photo Credit: thephoenixagents.com
  • I’ll Meet You Back at the Condom 3 of 25
    Grandmas and condoms just don't go together. And yet two of my Facebook friends say their grandma and cousin both call condos condoms. Must come from the term condominium, is all I can figure. Sounds like condom. Also, from here on out we should call all small condoms condominiums. It just feels right, doesn't it.
    Photo Credit: search forcharlestonrealestate
  • Sex and the Single Girls 4 of 25
    Strollerderby's own Meredith Carroll says her grandmother calls Jerry Seinfeld "Jerry Steinfeld" and refers to Sarah Jessica Parker's iconic HBO show as Sex and the Single Girls.
    Photo Credit: current.com
  • Let’s Go Watch Some Lesbians Perform Shakespeare 5 of 25
    Kathleen George Smith's grandma calls thespians "lesbians."
    Photo Credit: lawsonzepeda.blogspot.com
  • Grandma’s Vibrator 6 of 25
    Jordan Krause's grandma once suggested he try her vibrator. "My grandmother asked me once if i wanted to use her vibrator, said it was very relaxing ... Turned out she was referring to a handheld back massager. Seemed totally oblivious that there might be any kind of double meaning there." Ever think Grandma used the vibrator for multiple reasons, Mr. Krause? Maybe she knew exactly what she was saying...
    Photo Credit: teraputics.com
  • The Dirty Clothes Camper 7 of 25
    If you happen to spend the night at Katy England's grandma's place, make sure you throw your dirty laundry in her "dirty clothes CAMPER."
    Photo Credit: theahhamoments.wordpress.com
  • Doing the Warsh 8 of 25
    Apparently this is a dialect thing because several people mention their grandparents said warsh as in "doing the warsh" or "you better warsh up before supper."
    Photo Credit: homedesigning.com
  • Bat-trees 9 of 25
    Another common senior saying. Battrees. I wonder if, as Jerry Steinfeld once centered a whole episode around the topic, old people really do like to steal battrees.
    Photo Credit: hellogiggles.com
  • A Little Earl Will Fix That Squeak In No Time 10 of 25
    TimTudor's grandmother figured a little "earl" could fix any squeak in a jiff. He tells me that "if something squeaked you 'earled' it up."
    Photo Credit: preparednesspro.com
  • Beware of the Amtrak! 11 of 25
    Remember after 9/11 when anthrax became a big scare what with all those letters being sent to government officals? Well Allison Watson's pawpaw went on endless tirades "about them idiots sending all that Amtrak through the mail."
    Photo Credit: msnbc.com
  • Hello! My Name Is… 12 of 25
    Names must be hard for the senior set to get their mouths around because Gordon Richard has a son named William, after his grandpa. They call him Liam but grandpa can't seem to get it right, constantly calling him "Lilliam." Amber Babin has the same problem saying "For the life of my grandpa, he cannot call my son by his name correctly. Gunther is supposed to mean Hunter."
    Photo Credit: phillygaylawyer.com
  • Go Big Or Go Home 13 of 25
    Charese Phillips' grandma called going pee "going little" and going poop "going big." The bathroom leads to many hilarious grandparent anecdotes. Allison Watson's grandma couldn't get the word diarrhea right. She called it "diaREEma." Lisa Gottlieb's grandma had her own version: The diaREE. As in, "Oh, goodness! Do you have The Dia-REE?"
    Photo Credit: irmaaveplumbingandheating
  • Chester Drawers 14 of 25
    Thanks Jennifer Dedmon. Next time I check into a hotel I'm going to use the name Chester Drawers.
    Photo Credit: gildedageantiques.com
  • Tie-Ya-Know 15 of 25
    Kathleen George Smith's grandma popped a little tie-ya-know whenever she had a headache.
    Photo Credit: liverfailure.com
  • Dove-It 16 of 25
    Saffron Ghost's grandma calls it a dove-it. Apparently it's a "North Yorkshire thing."
    Photo Credit: wiseforliving.org
  • Would Sir Care For Some Prongs? 17 of 25
    Crystal Gardner's great-grandmother called prawns "prongs." They do seem rather prong-y, though, don't they?
    Photo Credit: steamykitchen.com
  • Tuckerware 18 of 25
    Steve Robertson's former mother-in-law calls it Tuckerware. I suppose that makes this photo the scene of a Tuckerware party. Hell. Tupperware was invented by Earl Tupper, who just as easily could've been a Tucker.
    Photo Credit: /ilustradoradeprincesas.wordpress.com
  • You Say Buhdayduh, I Say Potato 19 of 25
    Kristin Mulready-Stone says her grandma never did get the pronunciation for potato correct. And that's not the only thing. She says, "My grandmother born and raised in Connecticut and lived there until her dying day called potatoes 'buh-DAY-duhs.'" And all of the men in her family including her sons (my uncles, now in their 50s and 60s) pronounce "mine" as "Mayan." No idea where that comes from. "Whose new car is that outside?" "That's Mayan."
    Photo Credit: nutrition.about.com
  • Othra Windfrey! 20 of 25
    Facebook pals John and Beth tell me their grandma calls Oprah "Othra Windfrey." A second friend says her grandma calls the queen of TV Ofra. Oprah, Ofra, Othra all equally weird names.
    Photo Credit: forbes.com
  • Vanilla Envelopes 21 of 25
    Cindy Apathy's grandma uses vanilla envelopes while the rest of the world is using manila.
    Photo Credit: popwuping.com
  • The Wall Mark 22 of 25
    Katy England's grandma is full of gems. She called Walmart "The Wall Mark." John Klemack says his grandma can't get it right either. "Wal-Mart is Gual-Mar. But it's a Cuban accent, so that could explain it."
    Photo Credit: nerdbastards.com
  • Go-Forwards 23 of 25
    Amber Rook's grandma has another favorite of mine. She called flip-flops "go forwards." Where did she come up with that? I dunno, but, God, I love it.
    Photo Credit: starstyleinc.com
  • How Are Ya? 24 of 25
    Jessie Hartman's mother-in-law says "Cal-i-PHONE-ya" for California. Not to be outdone, Jennifer Faulkenberry's grandma calls Hawaii "huh-why-yah." I'm fine, and how are you?
    Photo Credit: wr.usgs.gov
  • Tampoons 25 of 25
    Laura Buck says her grandma couldn't get the pronunciation right on this one. "My grandmother referred to feminine hygiene products as "'ampoons.' Cracked us up all the time!" I totally see it. They do have a pontoon-like quality, no?
    Photo Credit: thehairpin.com

Photo credit: YouTube video of the cutest grandparents ever trying to figure out their computer.


Article Posted 6 years Ago

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