Can You Finish These Childhood Phrases?


By: Susan McDonald

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

"Missed me, missed me, now you gotta QUIZ me!" While we're sure that's not the actual childhood expression, it will work for now! From kissing in a tree to closing your dessert hole, how many of these childhood expressions can you finish?

When it comes to adulthood, the idioms and expressions you often use sound more sophisticated than those of a child. You'll often hear expressions like "cost an arm and a leg" for something that is overly expensive. For something (or someone) who looks good, you'd use the expression "look like a million bucks." These expressions sound great for adults, but the ones for children are obviously a bit more ... childish. 

These childhood expressions are often for childish things. If you're trying to tease someone, there's one for that! If you want a different way to tell someone to "shut up," there's one for that too! Maybe you're trying to make a bully leave you alone. There's an expression for this too! Just how many of them can you finish?

If your bully is glue, what material do you have to be for their insults to bounce off of you and stick to them? As for the old saying, what was she selling by the seashore?

Can you remember all of these? We spy with our little ... nose an expert at these expressions. While that doesn't sound right, we're sure you know the right answer! Can you prove it? Let's find out!

I know you are, but _______ am I?

"I know you are, but what am I?" is a phrase used when someone calls you a name. For example, if someone calls you a dork, the response indicated that the other person is, in fact, the dork.


Sitting in a _______ K I S S I N G.

This expression is used to tease two people about having a crush on each other, so they are sitting in a tree and kissing. Awwww.


Step on a crack and you'll _______ your mother's back.

Remember walking down the sidewalk and trying to avoid stepping on the cracks? It was more fun if you pretended that stepping on one would break your mother's back.


Missed me, missed me, now you've got to _______ me.

This expression is often used in games like tag. If your opponent tries to tag you and misses, he or she has to kiss you. Yuck!


If you keep making that _______, it will freeze like that.

This is a classic used by parents who are tired of their children making faces at each other. Warning you that your face would freeze in that expression has stopped many a sibling battle.


Two wrongs don't make _______.

This age-old admonition is used to warn people about compounding on their mistakes. Adding one misdeed to another one won't make the first one right again.


Ask a stupid _______, get a stupid answer.

This goes against the idea that there are no stupid questions. At one time or another, someone probably told you that if you ask a stupid question, you'll get a stupid answer, so don't complain about it.


I like coffee, I like tea, I want Julie to _______ with me.

This is a classic jump rope rhyme. It is used when the rope is being swung by two people and a third is jumping. The jumper says the rhyme to invite another particular person to join in.


Deader than a _______ nail.

"Deader than a door nail" is an expression most often heard in the South. It is an assurance that someone or something is most certainly, irretrievably dead.


Liar, liar, _______ on fire.

"Liar, liar, pants on fire" is a frequent childhood taunt used to call someone out for lying. Sometimes even adults use it when they think someone is not telling the truth.


Eenie, meenie, minie, _______.

"Eenie, meenie, minie, moe" is the first line of a classic counting rhyme used to determine, for example, who goes first in a game. Do you remember all the ways to add to the rhyme to ensure a good outcome for yourself?


Cross my _______ and hope to die.

Is there any better way to ensure your friend that you'll keep a secret? It's even more sincere if you solemnly make a cross sign across your heart.


Finders keepers, _______ weepers.

This is a way of saying, "Too bad, it's mine now." Even if the object in question previously belonged to your friend, it was worth a try to convince the other party that it was their fault for losing it in the first place. Mom didn't always agree.


Last one there is a rotten _______.

This expression always adds some extra incentive to a foot race. After all, who wants to be a rotten egg?


Close the barn door before the _______ gets out.

Need to tell your buddy that his fly is open? Tell him to close the barn door before the horse gets out. He'll get the message.


I double _______ dare you.

Everyone who has seen the movie "A Christmas Story" knows this expression, whether they've used it personally or not. A dare is one thing, a double dare is more serious, but a double dog dare? You can't back down from that!


Sticks and stones may break my bones, but _______ will never hurt me.

There are a few versions of this axiom, but the most common is probably "words will never hurt me." You might have substituted "words" with "names" to ensure that a childish case of name-calling was falling on deaf ears.


One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, _______.

This is the first line of a common rhyme. It is often used to teach small children to count.


She sells _______ by the seashore.

Most children have used the"She sells seashells by the seashore" rhyme, commonly called a tongue-twister. It uses repetition of the same sound, making it difficult to say quickly.


Make like a _______ and beat it.

"Make like a drum and beat it" is a common childhood expression used to tell someone to go away. It uses the dual use of the word "beat," which is what one does to a drum and also a slang expression for leaving.


Shut your _______ hole.

"Shut your pie hole" means . . . well, to shut up. In other words, "Please close the orifice through which you eat pie."


I spy with my little _______.

"I spy with my little eye" is a great game for keeping children occupied during a car trip. One person plays the spy and the others must guess the object the spy has seen.


A little _______ told me.

"A little bird told me" is a common way for letting someone know that you can't tell them where you heard something. Your mother probably used the expression on you when she'd learned something from another parent and didn't want to rat them out. Clever!


One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the _______ nest.

This is part of an old children's folk rhyme that is often used for counting people out of a game. It was also the inspiration for the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."


That's for me to _______ and for you to find out.

This is another version of "I know something you don't know." As children, we used it to tell our friends that we had the upper hand on a particular subject and they had some learning to do.


One, two, _______ my shoe.

"One, two, buckle my shoe" is the first line of a counting game for children. You can tell how old it is by the fact that shoes rarely come with buckles anymore.


Rubber baby _______ bumpers.

"Rubber baby buggy bumpers" is a tongue twister often used by children. The "buggy" refers to a stroller or pram.


What's my name? _______. Ask me again and I'll tell you the same.

Who knows what "puddin' tame" (sometimes spelled puddintane) really means? It doesn't matter though. It's just a phrase children use to say, "It's none of your business."


I'm _______ and you're glue.

"I'm rubber and you're glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you." When you were a kid, there were times when this was the perfect comeback when someone called you a name.


Blue shoe, blue shoe, how _______ are you?

Blue shoe is a popular counting rhyme for games like jump rope. After saying "How old are you?" the jumper begins counting and the highest number reached before you miss (the rope) is said to be your age.


You can't carry a _______ in a bucket.

"You can't carry a tune in a bucket" is a way of saying, "You can't sing, dude."


_______ Buggy.

Punch Buggy is a car game in which the first person to spot a Volkswagen Beetle (also called a Bug) and say, "Punch buggy!" gets to hit the other person on the arm. Yes, it could get out of hand.


Monkey, monkey, _______ of beer. How many monkeys are there here?

"Monkey, monkey, bottle of beer" is a counting game often used by children. Like several others of its kind, it's handy for keeping track of the number of times you can jump a rope without missing.


Rich man, poor man, _______ man, thief.

"Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief" is a line from an old English nursery rhyme sometimes used to tell fortunes. In the most common American version, the next line is "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief."


Were you born in a _______?

You might remember your mother asking you this question a time or two. "Were you born in a barn?" could have meant "Why did you leave the door open" or "Why are you not using good manners?"


Explore More Quizzes

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on