Childhood Phrases

15 Phrases You Might Have Used as a Y-Kid

Like generations before us, we had our own unique vocabulary.  The things we said shaped us to be who we are now. Take a look at my personal favorite words and phrases and see if any are yours too.

Talk to the Hand

Photo By mahalie

Photo By mahalie

Talk to the hand cause the face ain’t listening!” If you were real creative you included an “answering machine” message and beep. Perfect  for those annoying kids you never wanted to talk to, or when you were in a fight with your bff.


Photo By Zen

Photo By zen

This could be long (duuu-uuh) or it could be short (duh!). But its intention was simple– to make someone feel stupid. Who would have though that such a simple 3 letter word could mean so much?

Made You Look

Photo By ZeroOne

Hey, it’s your mom! Look free ice cream! Oh my gosh there’s an elephant in a pink tutu running straight towards us! It didn’t matter how ridiculous you got, you would do anything to make someone look just so you could say “MADE YA LOOK!” Cause if the Genie in Aladdin said it, it must be cool.

If I’m Rubber and You’re Glue…

Photo By Skwishy

Photo By Skwishy

“‘I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you.” Great come back right up there with “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” Usually only used by the goody goodies; it never mattered how clever you were, words hurt.


Photo By ahhyeah

Photo By ahhyeah

So what if this was made popular by a Budweiser commercial? If you didn’t use it you at least heard other people fail at trying. This is more of a novelty word than one used in real conversation.



Photo By Juan Noes

Photo By Juan Noes

A great word for putting someone in their place. More degrading than “stupid,” it could be used in multiple ways including: “You’re such a loser,” “Loo-Serr,” and “Who’s a loser now?” It didn’t make for that good of a comeback, but using it certainly gave you a good bit of power. If you were considered to be a loser, though, it was a tough word to get any respect from using it.



Photo From debaird

Photo From debaird

Mostly popular with the girls, using the word “like” every other word was practically a disease. Once you started there was no turning back no matter how many people laughed at you or looked at you like you were stupid. One time I tried telling a story without using this word and failed terribly. The only word worse than like is “um” (if that even counts as a word.)

My Bad


Photo By Shira Golding

Photo By Shira Golding

This was a phrase for everyone who wanted to be cool (or subconsciously gangster). While girls had “like,” boys had “my bad.”  Both still remain somewhat in our vocabulary today. This became the new “I’m sorry”/”Excuse me,” but you never heard “my good.”



Photo By funkandjazz

Photo By funkandjazz

P-H-fat. The older Y-Kids LOVED this word. Maybe it was because it was a word that sounded like a negative adjective, but really meant “awesome!” This is one word I will never understand.



Photo By Amodiovalerio Verde

Photo By Amodiovalerio Verde

The key to this word was really exaggerating the last syllable so you really got  the “r” rolling. Great word for pretending like you didn’t care about something. Another word that was popular with the girls.

Insane in the Membrane


Photo By Hyaground

Photo By Hyaground

From the hit 1993 Cypress Hill song by the same name, this phrase was great for all things crazy and out of this world. This catch phrase came after the song, because who doesn’t like quoting lyrics?

Pinky Promise…


Photo By Aimless Brooke

Photo By Aimless Brooke

Or “Pinky Swear” had ten times the agreement effect of “Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.Urban Dictionary defines this as: “An eternally binding act of hooking pinky fingers together in an attempt to seal the deal of a promise that has been made.” You always had to watch out for those kids who thought they could be clever and cross their fingers behind their backs.

Shut Up


Photo By pollas

Photo By pollas

Grown ups hated when you used this word. The only word they didn’t want to hear more was “stupid.” But how did they expect you to get people to be quiet without using a strong word? Plus it was fun saying a “bad word.” This was also a word you could use on your peers when they were being annoying or saying things about you that you didn’t want to hear.


Photo By technokitten

Photo By technokitten

This phrase will never go out of style. To be considered cool was one of the highest honors you could have as a kid. But the best part about this word was that you didn’t have to be cool to use it. When “awesome,” “great,” or “hot dog!” just wouldn’t cut it, this word was a piece of cake to dish out. There was not limit to the number of things that could be cool or be considered cool. Even when things weren’t impressive at all but you felt like you had to show some emotion you could get by with a simple, “cool.”

Pass It On



Photo By saaam

While this was more of a game than a phrase for me, it was definitely memorable. It was sort of like a game of telephone played at the lunch table. One person would come up with complete nonsense to say followed by “pass it on.” It didn’t matter if you wanted to play or not, you were obligated to continue the chain. It was similar to passing notes, except it wasn’t intended for anyone specific, and was much more annoying.

Bonus Phrase:

Loser, Loser, Double Loser…


Photo By troubled-diva

Photo By troubled-diva

The granddaddy of them all had half of these words combined: “loser, loser, double loser, as if, whatever, get the picture, like duh!” There wasn’t really a point to this except it was clever and (if no one had ever seen it before) mesmerizing. To get a refresher on the hand motions and all click here. How fast could YOU say it?

How about you? What were your favorite words or phrases to say as a kid?

10 Responsesto “Childhood Phrases”

  1. Zeromous says:

    Being 30 this year, I can pretty much say with certainty these are gen-X phrases.

    Its pretty much agreed, GenX was 1969-1979.

    Pass-it-on and I’m rubber/You’re glue for instance was firmly entrenched in my kindergarten class and any Y-ers that came after likely learned it from their older siblings.

    Duh, Cool, Shut up (I don’t like shut-up I like…), Like, Loser all firmly belong in the 70s, and were used well into the 80s by gen-xers.

    Oh and this was in Canada, where we are like, 2-3 years behind the curve, especially back then when we didn’t get US television very much. Totally.

    Totally…yes now there’s a Gen Y clueless-ism.

  2. Kaylea says:

    Hmm…someone’s a jerk, Zeromous! Just because Gen-X came up with them doesn’t mean that Gen-Y didn’t also use them excessively — they can belong to both groups. :)

    Anywho, the “Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot, Now You’ve Got Your Cootie Shot” was always a favorite of mine.

  3. Andrea G says:

    Thanks for the feedback Zeromous! You definitely have a point saying that a lot of these were from Generation X or before, but you have to admit that most of these phrases and words are probably still used by kids today. I’m not saying these were “originals,” just phrases that were my favorite as a kid!

    and if you are a fan of Cootie Shots, Kaylea, check out this hilarious video:

  4. Zeromous says:

    Hey wasn’t trying to be a jerk folks, just pointing out X rules Y drools.

    (there’s another one for you) :)

    Totally! :)

  5. BJ says:

    so yesterday I was in the park
    and we were cursing a lot because we just got in a fight with some kid
    and a little girl came up to me
    and said I cursed too much
    I was just like, “Mhm. You probably will too when you’re older.”
    she held up her finger and her thumb and said she called me that.
    I said, “You called me a loser?”
    she said “No. I went like loser, loser, double loser, as if, whatever, get the picture, duh.”
    my friends and I just looked at her for like two minutes with the most baffled look on our faces
    before we fell on the floor laughing.

  6. Helen Keegan says:

    Just spotted you’re using one of my old 80s pics for the ‘cool’ definition. I think I’m flattered.

    Enjoyed the blog post too :)

  7. Joel R says:

    I like that! The childhood of the people is even similar anywhere in the world. This proves that the essence of all human beings are alike. (Joel,from Brazil)
    “Life is the childhood of immortality.”
    Johann Goethe

  8. Anonymous says:

    I remember a game we used to play often while waiting in line and such, goes like this:

    Dot, Dot, Line, Line, Spider Crawling up your spine, Crack an egg on your head n’ let it run until your dead, tight squeeze, cool breeze, now ya got the shiveries~

    We had many little games like that. :3

  9. Tatiyanna says:

    LOL, non of these make sense. Who has a blogg?**<3

  10. Jodi says:

    Anonymous- we played a game sorta like that but it had a lot more words on it.
    you would beat slowly on someone’s back with both hands balled up in fists and sing
    “Concentrate, concentrate -people are dying babies are crying-concentrate concentrate-people are dying babies are crying-concentrate concentrate” you would stop with the slow beating and move your hand to the lyrics of the song “Stab a knife in your back let the blood run down let the bugs crawl in-stab a knife in your back let the blood run down let the bugs crawl in”-then repeat the first part and “crack an egg on your head let the yolk run down”
    the person you were doing this to was supposed to have their eyes closed the whole time and they were supposed to really “feel” it. I don’t know it was fun

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