Adages and Word Stuff

This morning I woke up thinking about my dad and some of the things he said to his kids. The one on my mind today was what he would say when, as a teenager, I dressed up to go someplace. If he thought I looked particularly nice he would say, “She looks like she just stepped out of a bandbox, but I wonder what the bandbox she just stepped out of looks like. 

This was Dad’s way of saying, “You look nice, but your room had better also look nice.

“Me” All Gussied Up

A No-No Room

I’ve often wondered where Dad came up with his expressions and have to assume he knew many things because he was so widely read. At any rate, my research provided the following information about the origin of the bandbox saying.

“The bands in question here are entirely unmusical. They were clerical bands -- the little square linen tippet worn around the neck by ministers, especially those of the Presbyterian faith. So the 'bandbox' was a box in which clergymen kept their vestments, which were invariably spotless and neatly pressed. And a person looking as if he had just stepped out of a bandbox was neat, spruce(d) and spotless." From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

Dad's use of idioms, metaphors, adages, parables, aphorisms, puns, analogies, and proverbs likely helped to boost the language score on my the college entrance examination.

I’m a forever grateful daughter!

ClipArt and Photo from MyCuteGaphics & PinToPin


  1. You were, and are, specially blessed.

    1. Secondary Roads, I am very thankful for my parents. They were not perfect, but they were great parents and I became who I am because of them.

  2. Many of Dad's sayings and much of his teaching stuck with me, though I was probably way late in processing and applying a good bit of it. :-)

    1. Vanilla, sometimes I knew that Dad knew how a saying applied to me but, because of my denseness, I didn't know. : )