“You Can Pick Your Friends…

…You can pick your nose,

But you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

-Roger Green

This is one of my father’s top-ten most popular sayings. My best friend, Lindsay, who is also a wonderfully talented writer, wants to do a book about the amazing things our fathers said… anyone have any good ones to share?

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →


  1. Susan Emley Luebbermann November 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    My father always said, “BE true to your teeth or they’ll be false to you!”


  2. My dadisms:

    It is what it is.

    my fave:
    Attitude check? and then he’d wave his thumb up and down like it was trying to decide. It would usually plummet down and then he’d say eeeeehhhhh! really loud.


  3. “Like the butcher said when he dropped the meat grinder in his lap, “It won’t be long now”. You should do pictures of dads for the book.


  4. hmmm….. my dad has the same responses to some of the most basic questions…like:

    In response to the “what are you up to?” he always replies, “About 6 feet.”

    Any time he is asked how he is, he says “Finer than a frog hair.” That one always get my eyes rolling.

    The super fun response to what he needs or wants for an upcoming birthday or Christmas gift has always been “a million dollars” followed by a boisterous laugh.


  5. Rebecca Bozzelli November 18, 2009 at 8:37 am

    “Don’t talk with you mouth full of food!”

    Dr. Bozzelli


  6. Check out the twitter account shitmydadsays. The guy now has a book and tv (or movie, can’t remember which) deal.


  7. My brother and I have talked about compiling a bunch of my dad’s sayings. He grew up on a farm in the south and is always spouting some colloquialism or other.

    Something isn’t just slippery, it’s “slicker than owl shit”.
    He is a tall skinny guy who recently acquired a pot belly so he says he “looks like a rope with a knot tied in it.”
    He was a passenger to a crazy driver and his “ass chewed a hole in the seat”.

    He has an endless supply of this type of descriptive language. When I was a kid I just though he was a silly hillbilly. Now I think he is some kind of genius.


  8. most of the things our dad said were situational in nature, meaning, they were usually some smart allecky remark about why we werent’ doing something we shoudl have known better to be doing.

    he’d peer up the stairs, knowing full well we were all in the living room, he’d yell “who’s up there” which meant the light was on and energy was being wasted.

    if we ever asked him what a word meant he never would tell us just say “go look it up.”

    and if we didn’t know where a dish went when putting them away we were told to “stand there with it on your head until you figure it out.”

    ah, dear old dads. genius men is right. love em.


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