phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Do as I say, not as I do

Posted by Lewis on November 20, 2007

In Reply to: Irony posted by R. Berg on November 14, 2007

: : : : : : : What does the this mean when someone says it to another perIronyson... Don't do anything that I wouldn't do?

: : : : : : It means "Behave yourself." The doings that the listener is to avoid are unspecified bad actions. Sometimes it's said ironically. ~rb

: : : : : Isn't it usually said ironically? Pamela

: : : : My experience with it isn't broad enough to say. It may be said without irony in old writings. ~rb

: : : No irony at all.
: : : I heard that phrase a lot growing up in the NYC area in the 50s and 60s.
: : : Most of the time it was just a way of saying "take it easy".
: : : My father amplified it a bit by saying "Don't do anything you can't take a picture of".

: : I think it's a little under-ironic to be called irony. I'd rather call it attempted humor, like the valedictory, "Be good. And if you can't be good, be careful. And if you can't be careful, name it after me."
: : SS

: When spoken to teenage girls, it didn't mean "Take it easy." It meant "Avoid delinquency," particularly the sexual kind. Do I betray my age? Yep. In those days, anything sexual by teenage girls meant ba-a-a-ad. ~rb

the usual was to use it as a very informal 'behave yourself' on leaving the house - to which the riposte is usually, "that leaves me a lot of scope"

the alternative valediction was "be good - if you can't be good, be careful - if you can't be careful, buy a pram"