“Back At You”


In the car we were all swapping retorts that we had learned at some point. I was most amused to learn that some that I learned sixty years ago were still in use among kids. Our joint list included:

  • “I know you are but what am I?”
  • “It takes one to know one.”
  • “So funny I forgot to laugh so I think I will now…Hardee har har”
  • “A skunk smells its own stink first.”

What I enjoyed most was that none of these were particularly cruel, malicious or shaming. Rather they turned the insult back on the one giving it. I welcome any mild examples to add to our very short list. But these have clearly stood the test of time.


21 thoughts on ““Back At You”

  1. Of those, I only know ‘it takes one to know one’. The rest are new to me. I presume they are very ‘American’. (Much like ‘That Sucks’, which is never heard in conversation here)
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. The second was is familiar to me but I haven’t heard the others.
    “Sticks & stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!”
    is one we used to use here in Australia. Of course this isn’t true but as kids we didn’t realize this!


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