Travelling Gomezs

Geff & Jeannie's blog

A Silk Purse out of Sow’s ear?


My Dad had a large number of pithy sayings, like “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. This very effectively conveyed that you couldn’t make something good out of something that didn’t have the necessary quality. Sometimes he used to say this about people who were dressing up beyond themselves (in his opinion anyway).

Another favourite saying was “I’m talking to the engine driver not the oil rag”. This was used to keep us in our place when we spoke to him but he wasn’t addressing us at the time (and did not appreciate what we were saying).

There were many more of these. Dad has been gone nearly four years now and I feel like I am (sadly) losing these sayings of his. Here’s where you can help. Add a comment for the sayings that have been handed down to you (which you may or may not want to pass onto your offspring!). Also, add a brief explanation of what that saying meant to you.

Thank you 🙂



  1. “You weren’t born in a tent” – when one left the door open.

    “Bread and duck under the table” or “Bees knees and an Elephant’s Bridle” when we asked what was for dinner.

    Like you I wish I could remember more. I will have to ask for him to dig some of his favourites up again for my memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got “you weren’t born in a barn”. Jeannie got “cave”. Interesting the similarity over 3 continents.
      Never heard the other ones before – fascinating!


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