These are things mothers say you may have heard from your mother growing up. Here’s the deal: they might come back to haunt you. Why? Because you might find yourself using the same comments and questions with your children.
The stuff that moms say might be grouped into a few categories. Many of the questions and comments are related to your well-being, e.g., “Are you hungry?”
Other sayings relate to the reservoir of knowledge that mothers have picked up over time, e.g., “Wait an hour after eating before you swim.”
It is with good intentions when mothers speak — it’s like a mother’s love language.
Stuff Mothers Say
1.) Wear a hat.
2.) Wait until you have children of your own.
3.) Make good choices.
4.) Why aren’t you hungry?
5.) Listen to your father.
6.) I’m going to give you until the count of three.
7.) How was school?
8.) Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
9.) A little birdy told me.
10.) Say, “Thank you.”
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11.) I don’t care who started it.
12.) Because I said so, that’s why!
13.) Money doesn’t grow on trees.
14.) Starve a cold, feed a fever.
15. You’ve got a brain; use it.
16.) Where are your manners?
17.) It’s way past your bedtime.
18.) Kids need a lot of milk.
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19.) If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything.
20.) If John jumped off a cliff, would you?
21.) Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
22.) Wait until your father gets home.
23.) Don’t talk with your mouth full.
24.) Drink lots of water.
25.) Because I said so.
26.) Call me when you arrive.
27.) Don’t put that in your mouth!
Things Mothers Say With Concern
28.) I would have never talked to my parents like that.
29.) I’m not your maid.
30.) There’s a right way to do everything.
31.) Comb your hair.
32.) Don’t you use that language with me.
33.) Save your tears for when you need them.
34.) Don’t lick that.
35.) You reap what you sow.
36.) Don’t forget your lunch money.
37.) Look at me when I’m talking.
38.) How was school?
39.) Because I said so.
40.) What’s the magic word? (Please)
41.) Don’t say another word.
42.) Ask your father.
43.) I’m so mad I can’t see straight.
44.) You make a better door than a window.
45.) It’s for your own good.
46.) You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
47.) Did you brush your teeth?
48.) I can’t hear myself think.
49.) Read a good book.
50.) Enough is enough.
51.) I’m not going to tell you again.
52.) You’ll understand when you get older.
53.) Eat your vegetables.
54.) Beds aren’t made for jumping.
55.) Don’t talk to strangers.
56.) I wouldn’t trade you for the world.
57.) You won’t be happy until you break that.
58.) It will be an adventure.
59.) Don’t forget the sunscreen.
60.) Hold your horses.
61.) Were you born in a barn? Close the door.
62.) Make sure you clean it before putting on the band-aid.
63.) Don’t get smart with me.
64.) You’ll be treated like an adult when you start acting like one.
65.) Don’t put that in your mouth; you don’t know where it has been.
66.) You need to get your rest.
67.) We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
68.) One day, you’ll thank me.
69.) The fastest way to a man’s heart is through the stomach.
70.) There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing selections.
71.) Listen to your mother.
72.) No phones at the table.
73.) To have a friend, be a friend.
74.) Take your vitamins.
75.) Are you okay?
76.) It will all come out in the wash.
77.) Measure twice; cut once.
78.) It will all work out.
79.) Yes, I am the boss of you.
80.) Don’t slam the door.
81.) I’m not asking; I’m telling.
82.) Let’s go shopping.
83.) Be the bigger person.
The Language of Mothers
84.) If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.
85.) What did you eat?
86.) You can do this.
87.) It’s a hard lesson, but you may as well learn it now.
88.) When you have your own house, you can make the rules.
89.) Just because your best friend does something doesn’t mean you should.
90.) There are people in Africa starving that would love to eat this food.
91.) Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
92.) Last I checked, I’m not your cleaning lady.
93.) Over my dead body!
94.) Please pick up your socks!
95.) What part of no don’t you understand?
96.) Treat others like you’d like to be treated.
97.) Go to your room.
98.) Leave their phone number in case I need to call you.
99.) Cupcakes are not a breakfast food.
100.) When will you be home?
101.) You only have one family.
102.) You’ll always be my baby.
103.) Don’t pick at that scab – it will get infected.
104.) The cook doesn’t clean.
105.) Make sure to bring a sweater.
106.) Your closet is full of clothes you don’t wear.
107.) No TV until you clean your room.
108.) Because I said so.
109.) Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Things Our Southern Moms Say Video
110.) Homework before play.
111.) Don’t make me come in there.
112.) Do as I say, not as I do.
113.) Turn that racket down.
114.) There are many fish in the sea.
115.) Don’t sit too close to the television; it will hurt your eyes.
116.) You only have two eyes; take care of them.
117.) I said, “Close the door,” not “Slam it.”
118.) When you have kids, you’ll understand.
119.) What did you learn at school today?
120.) You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
121.) Don’t make me pull this car over.
122.) Wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.
123.) No use crying over spilled milk.
124.) Your face will freeze that way.
125.) Wait an hour after eating before you swim.
126.) You will eat it, and you will like it.
127.) I love you.
128.) Please take out the garbage.
129.) It hurts me more than it hurts you.
130.) Who do you think you’re talking to?
131.) Wipe your feet.
132.) Don’t drag in the dirt on your shoes.
133.) Don’t scratch mosquito bites; they’ll get infected.
134.) I’ll wash your mouth out with soap.
135.) When will you be back?
136.) Life isn’t fair.
137.) Study hard.
138.) If you’re too full to finish your meal, you’re too full for dessert.
139.) I’m not going to tell you again.
140.) Act your age.
Motherly Love Phrases
141.) Don’t run in the house.
142.) An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
143.) I wasn’t born yesterday.
144.) If Brenda’s mom let her jump off the Empire State Building, would you expect me to let you as well?
145.) Do you think we own the electric company – turn off those lights!
146.) Don’t go out with a wet head; you’ll catch a cold.
147.) Mind your Ps and Qs.
148.) Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
149.) Don’t start your day on an empty stomach.
150.) Let’s play the quiet game.
151.) Is that a promise or a threat?
152.) I’m not your waitress.
153.) Your room looks like a pigsty.
154.) Please use your inside voice.
155.) Shut the door – we don’t want to air condition all the outdoors.
156.) Little pitchers have big ears.
157.) There’s enough dirt in those big ears to grow potatoes.
158.) I’m not running a taxi service.
159.) I’ve never seen such filth as in your bathroom.
160.) Don’t run with a lollipop in your mouth.
Popular Mom Sayings
161.) I don’t buy snacks to feed the whole neighborhood.
162.) Because I’m your mother.
163.) You could put an eye out with that.
164.) Beds are not made for jumping on.
165.) Don’t get smart with me.
166.) What part of “No” don’t you understand?
167.) Don’t put that in your mouth.
168.) I’ll help you pack.
169.) When I was a little girl, I walked to school.
170.) Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall.
171.) I love you to the moon and back.
172.) All the vitamins are in the crust.
173.) You can do this!
174.) Always try your best.
175.) Bless your heart.
176.) I will always love you.
Lines Your Mother Uses FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about things mothers say.
The top four: 4.) “Don’t put that in your mouth; you don’t know where it’s been.” 3.) “You need to get your rest.” 2.) “How was school?” 1.) “I love you.”
The top five: 1.) “No means no.” 2.) “Don’t make me pull over this car.” 3.) “Turn that racket down.” 4.) “Take off your shoes – don’t drag dirt into the house!” 5.) “Because I’m your mother.”
Funny mom expressions include “I wasn’t born yesterday,” “You could put an eye out with that,” and “One day, you’ll thank me.”
Final Thoughts on Mother’s Phrases
So, while you might be celebrating your mom on Mother’s Day, having discussions with her about your younger days, or thinking about a mother who has passed away, these sayings will bring back memories.
As you think about many of the sayings, context is so important. Nearly all were said with the idea of making you a better person. Enjoy!
By Mike O’Halloran
Mike is an author and founder of Greeting Card Poet.
You are on our 127 Things Mothers Say page.
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