Family · Food

“Shut Your Pie Hole!”

The other day my “sweet” daughters were sitting in the kitchen (I don’t remember exactly what they were supposed to be doing in there). Presley started singing a Martin Garrix song in a baby voice. Don’t ask me which Martin Garrix song because I have no idea. I’m lucky to even know that Martin Garrix is a singer. Don’t make me actually learn what he sings. Obviously if it was anything that I considered to be “good” music, I would know the song title. Maybe. Anyway it wasn’t the song as much as the horrendous baby voice that Presley was using that was SO ANNOYING. I was thinking of saying something when her younger sister turned to her and told her, “Shut your pie hole!” I almost burst out laughing. I hadn’t heard that saying in ages, but apparently it’s making the rounds of the elementary school set. (Such language, oh my). Presley abruptly quit singing (thank goodness) and stared at Peyton, apparently stunned that her sister would speak to her that way. They both laughed and immediately moved on to other topics of conversation (and ways to irritate me) and the moment was forgotten. Until today, when I was trying to think of a topic to write about, the incident occurred to me. I began to wonder how old the saying “Shut your pie hole” actually was and where it originated. It seemed to me that it was an old saying when I was a kid. How did it get started? Does it in fact refer to the hole in which you place pie in order to eat it? Does it date back to the origins of actual pie? I did some research and it turns out I was wrong. It’s not a particularly old saying unless you’re saying that I am old. While the origins aren’t particularly clear, the phrase “Shut your pie hole” didn’t actually turn up in print until the early to mid 1980’s. So it is a phrase as young (or old) as “totally tubular” or “gnarly” or “cool beans”, born in the 1980’s, more than a decade after I was born. No one is really sure why it popped up then but they seem to believe it is derived from British slang originating around World War II, “Shut your cake hole”. While no one (that I could find) knows why they called someone’s mouth a “cake hole” or why Americans would change the term to “pie hole” (except Americans like pie), they all agree that the phrase means: “shut your mouth”. Maybe, originally, it was supposed to be derogatory in some way but today it seems to be comedic more than anything. Anyway, I got a good laugh when I first heard the words tumble from my 8-year-old’s mouth and again today when I found out that what I thought was an archaic saying turned out to be ripped straight from my formative years. Maybe I am getting old.



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