I got thinking today about all the things my grandmother would say. She was… especially expressive and creative with her… sayings!

Here are just a few:

O maro te na dikhav! Mek čhinen mandje goj!

This one was one of her favourites. When the children were eating or scrounging food she’d come in the kitchen and sigh really loud and exlaim “The bread can’t be seen! Let me cut out my insides!” In other words, we had eaten all the food and she was so hungry she better just chop out her innards!

Na kamel ma…

Another potential favourite. If one of the older boys especially forgot to buy her cigarettes or do something for her, she’d pout and say “you don’t love me”. I know she was kidding, but those boys always felt so bad that they’d rush off and go get whatever it was she had wanted!

Mek peren mungri vast!

Maami would always exclaim this when she had been mending clothes, knitting, crocheting, or other dextrous work. “Let my hands fall off!” I used to giggle and wonder if they really would! I remember though, one day being in school and we had to practice handwriting and I sent the Romani part of the class into fits when I sighed and said in an old lady voice, “mek peren mungri vast!”

Sumnakaj angla tute, o rup pala tute!

This literally means “Gold is in front of you, silver is behind you!” She would often say it to my aunt when she was feeling down. I think of it as a really nice thing to say to someone and have tried to express it in English to close friends, but it just doesn’t translate well!

I’ll post another one of these soon~