We grew up in a different time than kids are growing up nowadays. One word from our mother would shut us up for hours…
It took some creative thinking from her side, but one way or another, her words always got the job done.
Here are the things our mother used to scare us with to make us obey when we were younger.
Jekk tonfohli f’ghajnejja, jibqghu miftuhin
“If you blow in my eyes, they’ll stay open forever”
Jekk tirremetti, tieklu bl-imgharfa
“If you throw up, you’ll have to eat it with a spoon” … mama’s nasty with this one.
Jekk taqa’ nkompli ntik
“If you fall, I’ll keep hitting you”
The Maltese classic that has made all of us tremble in our pants at one point or another.
X’ha jaghmillek missierek xhin nghidlu
“Your dad is going to be very angry when I tell him”
Just in case you weren’t scared of her … she tricked you into being scared of your dad.
Gejja s-soru ghalik bil-vann u tiehdok l-istitut
“The nun is coming for you and taking you to the children’s home.”
And if she wanted to step it up a notch, she’d actually drive you to the nearest children’s home just to show you that you won’t mess with her.
Immur ingib ic-cinturin?
“Should I go get the belt?”
Not that she’d actually ever use it on us, but just imagining how it would feel would shut us up for hours.
Jekk tigdeb jidhirlek salib ahmar fuq mohhok
“If you lie, a red cross will show up on your head.”
Now my mother was particularly fond of this one, always catching me telling little lies, so this was just the perfect way to trick me into indirectly telling her I was telling a fib.
Jekk tkompli twerzaq jigi l-babaw u jikollok ilsienek
“If you keep on screaming, the monster will come and eat your tongue”
Way to scare the screaming away.
Gej ir-ragel bl-ixkora jigbor it-tfal pastazi
“A man with a sack will come and collect the naughty children”
Meaning that whenever we saw a man with a sack, we instantly thought he was coming for us.
Can’t believe we fell for this stuff.
No words … just a look
And then there were the mothers who didn’t need to say a word. One look would send shivers down our spines and make us behave for the unforeseeable future.