Black over Bill's mother's way

Posted by R. Berg on December 26, 2004

In Reply to: Black over Bill's mother's way posted by ESC on December 26, 2004

: IT'S DARK/BLACK OVER BILL'S/WILL'S MOTHER'S WAY - This reference lists variations and various places this saying is common. But doesn't say anything definitive about its origins. ".in 1930, the erudite journal 'Notes and Queries' carried a query about this phrase in the form 'it looks pretty black over Will's Mother's'. It was described as an 'old Sussex' saying. And there was no response. Barry Day of New York, NY, recalled that 'It's a bit black over Bill's mother's' used to be said a great deal by his mother when he was growing up in Derbyshire. 'It was always said ironically,' he added. 'So I can confirm its Midlands usage.'.The Revd P.W. Gallop, Hampshire, wrote in 1994 that he had traced the saying to eleven counties and commented on its age: 'I have friends in their late eighties who as children knew it well from their parents and say that it was widely known and used. This suggests that the saying has been used at least by several generations.'. " Variations: It looks like rain.over Will's mother's way, it's a bit black over Bill's mother's, and (from Gloucestershire) it's dark over our Bill's Mum's, mind. From "Oops, Pardon Mrs Arden! An Embarrassment of Domestic Catchphrases" by Nigel Rees (Robson Books, London, 2001) Page 109-110.

Somebody got a new phrase book for Christmas.