Father’s Day: Dadisms

Fathers taught us many things. It’s part of their job.

My Dad had a few things he passed on to me while I was growing up. One of the most important lessons that rules my life, especially my work ethic, was, “If you’re not early, you’re late”.

Other lessons he passed on to me were car related:

– Always keep half a tank of gas in your car during the coldest part of winter
– To save your brakes, gear down when slowing
– Change your oil on time

Then there was one lesson that always made us kids laugh when getting together to talk of old times. I was doing something on my bicycle and was tightening a screw. Dad saw me and said, “Don’t reef on it!”. I know what he meant (don’t tighten it so hard that you strip the screw), but we have no idea where that phrase came from.

Of course, there were many lessons I learned just by watching his life:

– Always do what is right and give more than you think you can
– Protect the helpless, especially children and animals
– Love your family, even when they are not perfect
– Do your job honestly, even when they call you on Christmas day just before the turkey dinner is served when there is a snow storm and you are a snow plow driver.

Thank you, Dad. Now, in Heaven, Mom is serving you hot turkey dinners without interruption.

Would you like to share with us the lessons you learned from your father?

34 Comments on Father’s Day: Dadisms

  1. Don’t get up in the morning and taste what is left in the bottom of a bottle of beer, there might be a cigarette butt in it.

  2. My Dad frequently stated, “in good times, chickenshit matters”. He was a smart and honest man and I miss him every day.
    Only thing I might add is….. brakes are cheaper and less difficult to replace than clutches. just saying from my experience.
    Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there.
    “Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo. Orwell

  3. When you’re getting dressed, the yellow spot goes in front, the brown spot in back.

    Sorry, I’m done now.

  4. If you screwed up the old man would just look at you, shake his head and say “Bad Performance”. It would devastate you. He bitched every time we went somewhere and I drove. It was like your driving instructor beside you 24/7. Back in ’93 when he passed I went to the funeral home to pick up his ashes. I set them on the seat beside me and started back to the house. Halfway home I started laughing and thought it was the first time he didn’t complain about my driving.

  5. When we would ask, usually for something, he would say:

    “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it”.

    @ moe tom – you just made the hairs on my arms stand up. Beautiful incredible song for those unaware of it:


    Be ready if your pop is no longer around…

    ” and I miss him…the ole man…”

  6. I did not have a father growing up, raised by a single mom. It wasn’t until I was a man that I realized what I had missed out on. A few simple lessons that I have taught my son, now a man himself;

    1)The greatest gift a man can give to his children is to love their mother.
    2) Protect the weak and those that can’t protect themselves.
    3)When weighing a decision on conduct, is it something you would be proud of or ashamed of when looking backing 10 years from now?
    4)There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

  7. Any time my Dad would fix something temporarily with improvized parts he would say it was jury-rigged: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/jury-rigged
    The best “jury-rig” my Dad did was fix the exhaust pipe on the family station wagon on the way home from vacation in the rest stop parking lot. He used a steel beer can he found in the trash and two worm clamps he had in his tool box. He cut the can with his pocket knife and spliced the two pieces of pipe by wrapping the can around the butted-together ends and clamping it tight. It stayed that way for at least a year.

  8. Reminds me of my upbringing with a re-married single Mom with 3 kids.
    The movie Tinker I’ve found said it best for me and my siblings.
    ‘being a father does not mean blood’, and fortunately for our family it’s allows been that way.
    My “Step-Dad” is my only ‘Dad’.
    Happy Fathers Day to and for all,,

  9. Moe Tom, thank you. That was beautiful. Tears because I miss Dad, but also tears for the love that’s still with me.

  10. When something did not go your way, my dad would say:

    “Well, that how the cookie crumbles”


    The Courtship of Eddies Father –


    More wisdom in an opening intro than most of the GAR-BAGGGE there is now on TV and social media, put together.

    Miss you dad!

    Happy Fathers Day to father sons and daughters alike…throughout the IOTW world…

  11. Lazlo the Eldest Elder had a few:
    It’s just as easy to keep the top half of the gas tank full as the bottom half.
    Brake into the curve, accelerate out of it.
    If you think life should be fair, you’re a fool.
    Never equate beauty with goodness.
    The Job ain’t finished until the tools are put away.

  12. “Right, is right, and wrong, is nobody.”
    “A man convinced, against his will, is of the same opinion, still.”

  13. My dad taught me this little ditty: ‘The woodpecker pecked on the schoolhouse door. He pecked and he pecked till his pecker got sore.’ I taught it to my kid, whose mom was not happy!

  14. Two dadisms from my father.
    1) Keep your ears and eyes open, and your big mouth shut.
    2) Use your head for something other than a hat rack.

  15. …I visit my father in the cemetary these days. He never knew his grandson, he died the year before my son was born. I know my father is not there, but I can still hear his voice in my memories, and sometimes I believe the Spirit speaks to me in his voice when I need help with my son, so I can be comforted by the familiarity of the man who raised me, when faced with troubles that I, myself, may have posed for him.

    My time with him was too short, in my view. I was just grown enough to start to respect him and understand him, when I lost him. Still, I thank the Lord for the time I had with him, and pray that I can do half as well raising my son, that he did with me.

    Thank you Dad. I’ll see you again one day.

    -God bless, SNS.

  16. I grew up mostly without my Dad around because my mother moved us across the country when I was 10. But I always knew he was there from his phone calls and letters. His greatest gift to me was love and acceptance, and his abiding love for my mom, even though they were divorced.

  17. I left home when I was eighteen so I never knew my Dad as an adult. I had my first couple of pints with him when I went home on holiday at age 23. It was fun. My Mom was worried about me drinking?
    He was never profane. When angry or surprised he would say “cripes,” or “cripes all mighty.” or “for cripes sake.”
    A talented carpenter and artist, my Dad was denied a teaching position at a technical school because of patrician Irish politics. (Nothing has changed since the forties)
    He taught me how to use a hand saw, a chisel, a hammer, and how to
    draw, to sketch projects, etc. He told me to “measure twice and cut once.”
    Me? I cut the thing twice and it was still too short.
    Sometimes the apple falls far from the tree.

    Yes I wish I had spent more time with my Dad. “So much left unsaid.”
    “The minutes fly, and the years go by.”
    Happy Father’s day to all at IOTW>

  18. The lesson I learned from my old man is to avoid being like him as much as possible.

    We haven’t talked in almost 12 years. It was his decision, I reached out numerous times.

  19. Keep reaching, ecp. Something could change his heart and have him be more open to you.

    That said, it is a wise lesson to not repeat the harsh lessons from a parent.

    Many good men come from “I’ll never do that to my child”

    I lost mine when I was 13. He never got to see how i turned out – but he also was not there to have a wing over me during very important times in my life.

    From that, I knew I was going to have family early-on in life and always be there for them.

    I could have pursued being a millionaire, but not if it meant not being home every day and not being with my children every step of their way.

    The boys have actually thanked me for that. There was a dearth of Dads on the block. I count at least three other sons that I was there for during those years. One of them was at my baptism today. He told my pastor he was my favorite son – right in front of his friends, my sons. That was a priceless moment. lol

  20. I guess I should have listened to the advice he gave one time about beautiful women.

    Dear old Dad: “Son, never marry a beautiful woman.”

    Me: ‘Say, what? Why?’ (Mom was a looker that my friends envied, so I was confused)

    DoD: “Because a beautiful woman might leave you.”

    Me:’Aw Dad, an ugly woman might leave you too!’

    DoD: “Yeah, but who cares?”

    A wise guy, he was.

  21. My self esteem has always suffered due to some trauma from my tween years, and my dad would every single day, hug me when he first saw me and tell me that I was a daughter of eve (Narnia reference) and that I was loved…

    He also taught me how to build premade furniture to last (lots of wood glue), how to fix a bike, how to cheer my mother up if we fight (a written apology note), how to cook dinner from anything lying around if money is tight, how to treat animals, how to plaster a wall, how to just be a handy person… I am much more handy than my 4 older brothers (which is their loss because at least I spent more time with my dad).

    I miss you, dad.

  22. chuffed-beyond-words

    You had an excellent Dad.

    Sometimes the pain that comes from the good that is missing is stronger than the pain of what never was.

    Wish I could hug you now.

    You’ve learned a lot. Carrying it on and giving it to others is the best way to honor your father at this point.

  23. “If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it!”

    “Never risk more than you can afford to lose!”

    “You can’t cheat an honest man!”

    “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right”


    “If you can’t find time to do it right, how will you find time to do it over?”

    I sure do miss you “pop”…

  24. “Son, if you drop your pants and bend over the table, somebody’s gonna fuck you.”

    “Don’t fuck yourself, boy, there’s too many people out there ready to do it for ya.”

    “Can you touch the head of your penix to your asshole? Good – go fuck yourself.”

    “Pay yourself first. If you get a dollar, put a quarter, or a dime, or even a nickel away.”

    I get weepy just thinking of the wisdom passed on to me … that I tried to pass on to my sons.

    izlamo delenda est …


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