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Time To Skedaddle Poem

Using Colloquial Phrases and Idioms In Poetry 

An expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its words, as in kick the bucket (meaning to die). 

A colloquialism is a word, phrase, or other form used in informal language. Such words and phrases develop and become part of the every day language. Strangely most people know exactly what they mean. The word, 'yobbo or yob' was used frequently when I was younger. The word was applied to young men considered to be poorly dressed, bad mannered and uneducated.

Certain phrases and words expressions may develop in a particular language, dialect, or style of speaking. These terms may be used in conversation and writing in a particular country, state or region yet may be unknown to people living beyond that place, who remain unfamiliar with its use. Idioms and colloquialisms are continually being invented, while others fall out of use because they may have connections to a particular point in time and people just stop using them. When I was boy, I frequently heard people saying things like:

I got donged on the noggin.
I just fell head over turkey.
I just came a cropper. 

I don't hear these expressions that much anymore. They have fallen out of use, or been replaced by other expressions.

Idioms and colloquialisms always provide fun for a poet. I wrote this poem a couple of days ago. I thoroughly enjoyed using some of those wonderful old expressions. Many of which were the phrases and terms heard so frequently during my childhood.

As I wrote my poem, I felt like I was bumping into old friends. 

Sometimes I find myself writing about serious issues.This was a giggle and hoot writing experience. The mood was relaxed and the poetry decidedly lighthearted. 

Time To Skedaddle

Don’t be a dingbat
I’ll be back, don’t you worry
Lickety split
All hurry scurry
Heavens to Betsy
Ooh la la
Don’t shilly-shally
It won’t get you far
Holy moly 
Watch me vanish 
In a puff of smoke
No time for ratbags
Protect your wicket
Stay alert
That’s the ticket!


  1. Idioms are the bane of my poor ELL students' existence. ;-)

  2. Idiomatic language is something we must actively teach into. A lot of my work in schools is with EAL (English As An Additional Language) students and I am pleased so many of the teachers I work with see it as a matter of significance to teach these curious language learners about the use of such terms. They frequently lack synonyms as well and so lots of vocabulary building is done too. Idiomatic language is what we make it. I try to use it to empower readers and writers.

  3. What fun! I can remember using several of the expressions in your poem (but not so much the ones in your explanation. We must have grown up in different parts of the world). They are like bumping into old friends!

    1. Thanks Kay. My experiences are informed by my Australian childhood.


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