Book Quotes We Use a Lot

March 25, 2009 @ 8:31 am | Filed under:

“I have no more run in me.” That’s Good, That’s Bad by Joan M. Lexau, illustrated by Aliki

“Koala Lou, I DO love you!”Koala Lou by Mem Fox

“Bub.”—from the book of the same title by Natalie Babbit

“Never tease a weasel, not even once or twice…”

“Pish, posh, said Heironymus Bosch.”—quote and title by Nancy Willard. Also:

“‘Forever and ever, my nibble, my nosh,
Till death do us part,’ said Heironymus Bosch.”

—and readers of Scott’s blog will recognize his sometimes-tagline taken from the same much-loved book:

“Let the crickets rejoice and the mantises pray.”

Here’s some for you to guess:


“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” (A play, not a book. With our Rilla in the house, we use this one all the time.)

“The real baby doesn’t like that.”

“George Washington’s hogs, on the other hand, were a genteel and amiable sort.”

“When the bear arrived, of course, there weren’t enough macaroons to go around.”

“Where else does an old turtle crossing the road make all the difference in the world?”

This one is one of Alice’s new favorites, with good reason: “She went boneless.”

“Call in Mr. Pye!”

“Tut, tut, it looks like rain.” (A gimme.)

“We’re meant to be invisible.” (That one’s really hard. I’ll be shocked if anyone gets it. It’d be easier to guess if you could hear it spoken out loud.)

The day before my daughters’ tenth birthdays, I always sing:

“Ohhhh, (child’s name) is ten tomorrow
and then all of us are ten!
We will all be ten tomorrow,
we will all be ladies then.”

I wrote Scott at work to ask him, because I was blanking, what book our oft-used line “Of course, he was not mistaken” came from. He reminded me it’s not from a book at all. It’s from Harvey. Of course.

I’ll add more as I think of them!

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36 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Gail says:

    The only one I think I know, besides the gimmie, is the last. I know it’s a Betsy-Tacy book, I’m thinking “Go Over the Big Hill?”

  2. Hypatia says:

    “Reshpeckabiggle” reminds me — thanks for recommending Half Magic! Well worth the reading. The cat’s half-words make me giggle every time.

  3. Love2learn Mom says:

    This is SO fun, even though I don’t know any of them except the gimme.

  4. Activities Coordinator says:

    Favorite of mine when the children ask if we are going somewhere or where we are going…

    Me:”Where do you want to go?”

    Them:”I don’t know.”

    Me:”Then it does not matter.”

    Cats always have the best lines.

  5. Faith says:

    Does the one about the turtle crossing the road come from Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch????

  6. Anne says:

    “She went boneless.” One of our favorites KNUFFLE BUNNY. Along with the always popular DON’T LET THE PIGEON STAY UP LATE.

  7. mamacrow says:

    OH OF COURSE ‘She went boneless’ is from Knuffle Bunny! I can’t believe I didn’t spot that! except Knuffle Bunny is a new discovery for us 🙂 We love the pigeon ones too – Don’t let the Pigeon drive the bus is just awesome, Fluff is very good at saying ‘NO!’ to the pigeon in all the right places!

    I only got the Winnie the pooh one 🙁

    The eldest three are still on a Tintin and Asterix kick so we get quotes from those a lot – anything Captin Haddock says is usually a winner -, and recently they were reading all my old Peanuts collections from the 50s and 60s and quoting endlessly from them which was very funny!

    And we tell each other ‘good hunting’ a lot, and to any cats we meet, of course.

    And Saurus quotes from Harry Potters ENDLESSLY.

  8. Beth says:

    Reshpeckabiggle — dear old Puddleglum!

    And I love the Betsy-Tacy song too…can’t wait to sing it on the eve of my daughter’s 10th (3 summers from now…OK, I can wait, in fact…it’s going too quickly!).

    We often remind each other “Don’t forget the bacon!” Another family favorite: “there’s a lion…in the library!”

    I know we use many others. I’ll have to think about what they are! Fun!

  9. KimN says:

    I think the song about being ten is from a Betsy Tacey book

  10. AndiK says:

    Though she be but little, she is fierce. –William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew

  11. Activities Coordinator says:

    George Washington’s Cows – David Small

    I WOULD know the one about the pigs.

  12. Eileen Smithdeal says:

    Lissa, you are so fun!!!!
    I am putting some of these titles on hold at our library.Love, Eileen

  13. Hannah says:

    Well, this is small, but there is a delightful book (we have the board book form) by Mary Murphy called “How Kind!” and when someone does something noble in our house, we all say, “HOW KIND!” with great emphasis, just like in the book.

    And here I was getting all puffed up about my great score on the literary quiz at GoodReads. Your quotes have me mostly baffled! 😛

  14. Sherry Early says:

    Being careful isn’t nice; being friends is better.

  15. Tammy Lessick says:

    I can’t believe I don’t recognize any of the quotes. I am going to have to do some reading.

  16. Susan Gaissert says:

    When I was a little girl, my much-older sister would say to me, “Close your mouth, Susan. We are not a codfish.” Right now, re-reading the Betsy-Tacy high school books, we find ourselves calling things “puny.”

  17. Amy C. says:

    These are a delight! But I haven’t gotten “The real baby doesn’t like that, ” and with a 3yo and a 6mo baby in the house, I must know the source! Do tell . . .

    Around here, The Penderwicks seems to be the most quotable book of late. Not a day goes by without some girl calling a MOCS or a MOOCS (the Carney version of a MOPS or MOOPS).

  18. Melissa Wiley says:

    Being careful isn’t nice; being friends is better.

    Sherry, you’re killing me!! I KNOW I know that. It’ll come to me. Argh. LOL.

    Faith, re the turtle quote—nope, not Meanwhile Back at the Ranch (great book though). It’s from a picture book, one of our very favorites. In fact, it has probably made a “books we love” list on this blog at some point.

    Susan, Mary Poppins, yes?

    And the cat in Coraline seems to be prowling around the combox, if I’m not mistaken.

    The Puddleglum, Betsy-Tacy, Taming of the Shrew, and Knuffle Bunny guesses are all on the money. 🙂

  19. Penny in VT says:

    A Bargain for Frances 🙂

  20. Melissa Wiley says:

    THAT’S IT!!!!!!!!

    Which: How could I forget Frances??? We have about a million lines from those books, which I have loved since my own childhood.

    “She was so quiet she was the quietest thing in the room. She was so quiet her father woke with a start.”

    (or something close to that)

    And: “liked to practice on a string bean when she got the chance.”

    And all the egg lines.

  21. MelanieB says:

    the only one I got was the Pooh. We’re pretty much all Pooh all the time around here right now. It’s the mandatory nap time and night time story. We refer to it as “The Gospel of Pooh.”

    We find ourselves throwing around, “A most terribly tidy particular little mouse,” in reference to our toddler’s bouts of fastidiousness.

    And of course, “Run, run, as fast as you can,” is a perennial favorite, though not at all hard to guess.

  22. Marie Ruth says:

    “We’re meant to be invisible” is from the Martha series, right? Either the first or second book?

    One of ours is “I meant what I said and I said what I meant” (pretty well known). A new one just this week, by the same author, is “with great skillful skill and great speedy speed”.

    This is a fun game!

  23. Melissa Wiley says:

    Whoops, did I say Taming of the Shrew? I meant Midsummer Night’s Dream. I have Shrew on the brain b/c that’s what we’re doing for Shakespeare Club.

  24. Melissa Wiley says:


    ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! 🙂 🙂 🙂 That’s both my guess for your first quote and your score on the Martha quote, LOL. A reference to my guess for your first quote, I mean. 😉

    I’m impressed that you pegged the Martha. We say that one around here mainly because it’s the sentence I use to get myself back into a Scottish dialect when I need to. For some reason, that line always clicks into the burr for me.

  25. mamacrow says:

    Argh! can’t BELIEVE I missed Puddlegum as well! My brain really has gone on holiday.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that lots of our quotes are from TV shows 🙁

    ‘Hello Mr Worf, eaten any good books lately?’ for example!

    LOVE Frances, especially practicing on a string bean… and Full Of Jam. And making everything come out even!

    Roo’s ejoying Muddle Earth at the mo, which are some rather clever take off of Tolkien. His FAVE and off quoted passage is when they encounter the pink stinky hogs ‘and the SMELL!’ naturally that gets quiet a bit of usuage round here!

    ‘We are not a codfish’ has GOT to be Mary Poppins. I also tell the kids ‘this is not a beargarden!’ ‘Best foot forward’ and ‘Spit spot into bed’

    Also ‘up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire’ only I don’t know where that one is from other than my own childhood…

    Oh and ‘Gently Bently!’ Which again is from my own childhood, and I found out by chance a few years ago that it was a comidien’s catch phrase…

    Actually it’s jolly interesting to see from what a varied back ground of media our family sayings come!

  26. mamacrow says:

    ooo, I’ve thought of some more we do actually say…

    oh my stars and garters

    And I’m coming with you!

    Constant Vigilance!

    Don’t break ranks! Even if one of us is KILLED! (always gets a big laugh)

    Look Nagi! Noooooo fishes!

    Bun bun the middle one

    Take off all your clothes and have a PROPER BATH!

  27. Kate says:

    “Call in Mr. Pye!” is from Ginger Pye

  28. Beth says:

    We like to say “a bear in hot water” (especially during bathtime). We always try to say it as British-ly as possible, just like the narrator (I think it’s Stephen Fry?) on the audio book version of Paddington Bear.

    Windy days bring out “Happy WINDS-DAY!”

    Constant Vigilance is a favorite of our’s too…fun to see it here!

    Higher up and further in!

  29. Sarah N. says:

    I guessed right on the Betsy-Tacy, Knuffle Bunny, and Pooh and like Kate, I guessed that “Call in Mr Pye” is from Ginger Pye. We quote Frances around here all the time. “I am poor and hungry here eating prunes and rice” is a favorite as is “the giant wants to get me, may I have a piece of cake”. Not a book, but my husband and I are constantly quoting from Fawlty Towers. A favorite when we need to say something the girls shouldn’t hear: “Don’t mention the war. I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it.”

  30. Activities Coordinator says:

    When you have teenage sons, you get a lot of interesting quotes. A popular one in our kitchen is, “When ain’t had nothing to eat but maggoty bread for three stinkin’ days!”

    I try not to take it personally.

  31. Activities Coordinator says:

    Sorry, should have been “We” not “When.” Trying to multitask here.

  32. mamacrow says:

    Happy WINDsday – pooh of course 🙂

    Higher up and Further in – the last battle, C S Lewis.

    Feeling almost smug now I’ve managed to spot a few!

  33. Karen Edmisten says:

    I thought I’d already left a comment, but it must’ve gotten lost — my girls guessed the Martha quote, and could even name the book. 🙂 I’m beaming.

  34. AndiK says:

    I had to come back to this post because I was watching an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream last night, and of course, Helena uttered that line. And I smacked my head and thought, “I said Taming of the Shrew!” I even played Hermia in a scene in acting class…all my Shakespeare must have gotten confuzzled. “I am not yet so low but that my nails can reach unto thine eyes!!!”