So that’s how!!

My son was trying to unscrew something and got a little mixed up with what way he was supposed to go. The littlest guy piped up “lefty loosey rightey tightey.” I asked him where he learned that – he said he has known it forever. But it works! And this cute phrase is something that will always remind him which way to turn a spanner or a screwdriver. I still get confused. Wish I had learned this as a child.

What other cute but helpful sayings did you learn as a child, or have your children learned?

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  1. HaSafran says:

    Now you just need to teach him what a spanner is…

  2. Raizy says:

    My younger daughter always leaves her reading glasses laying around where they could get broken. So I remind her to keep them in the eyeglass case by saying “if they’re not on your face, they’re in the case”.
    And I taught one of my preschool students to stop whining about not being first in line by having her repeat “whichever spot in line I get, I will not be upset”.
    As long as it rhymes, it’s easy to remember.

  3. Baila says:

    I also learned that as a kid, but I learned it the other way–”righty tighty, lefty loosey”. And even though they’re teens, I still have to occasionally tell ‘em, “you get what you get and you don’t get upset”.

    • Mrs. S. says:

      you get what you get and you don’t get upset.
      The Hebrew equivalent – and a mainstay of Israeli gannanot everywhere – is: “mah she’yotzeh, ani merutzeh.” (Literally: “whatever comes out, I’m satisfied.”)

  4. Rachel says:

    I am a fan of “never assume, because it makes an A** of U and ME (all the letters of assume!).

    Also if you an “L” with both your hands (using index and thumb) the one that’s really an “L” that is your left hand! My son uses it all the time!

    • sheldan says:

      I think I heard about the “assume” phrase when I was working for a small company. However, I read somewhere that Tony Randall used that line in The Odd Couple…

  5. batya from NJ says:

    the only phrases that are coming to mind now are: “finders keepers losers weepers” & “no trade backsies” although i doubt these were the phrases you were looking for-LOL ;)!!!

  6. Dovid says:

    Very cute! I just learned that if you kame two “l”s with your hand the L is for left

  7. G6 says:

    You bring back memories…
    My father z”l always said “Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey”, but he also taught me another great way to remember that which works even better in some situations.
    Make a “thumbs up” sign with your right hand (other four fingers curled…). When your thumb is pointing in the direction you want the item to go, you need to turn in the direction the four fingers are “turning” (hope that makes sense when written out… it’s amazingly simple.

  8. TRS says:

    When I was in 7th grade, my teacher taught us a poem for the quadratic equation that I used straight through calculus in college: from the square of b, take 4ac, root extract, b subtract, all over 2a. (You have to remember the +- at the beginning.)

    • sheldan says:

      As a math instructor in a community college, that’s one I could use…

      But what’s really impressive is that you learned the quadratic formula in 7th grade. Years ago, most students took Algebra I in ninth grade, and some of us took it in eighth. I know that the quadratic formula was nowhere in the Algebra I book…

    • le7 says:

      TRS – you’re so full of it! You never went to college and you never took calculus! I took calc!

      And did you really learn the quadratic equation… ever?

  9. Somewhat yeshivish says:


    The yeshivish version of the assumption rule is that the Gemara talks about leaving something in the road that someone might trip on:

    “ASUM is a public hazard, as”
    Avno Sakino UMasao, is a bor birshut harabim.

    “One’s stone, knife, or pack are like digging a pit in a public thoroughfare.”

  10. I use righty tighty lefty loosey all the time…especially recently since we’ve been putting together a bunch of new furniture :) the other one I remember is “leaves of three, let it be” for poison ivy and poison oak (both have their respective poison leaves in groups of 3)

  11. Z! says:

    Let’s see; “30 days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31, except February alone. Which has but 28 days clear and 29 in each leap year.”

  12. sheldan says:

    About the “lefty loosie, righty tightie” phrase…I first heard that in a commercial featuring, of all people, Drew Carey…

  13. fille says:

    Remember pi:
    que j’aime à faire apprendre un nombre utile aux sages
    (number of letters in word = figure)

    I think there is a sentence like this in English too, but I don’t now it.

    The order of the planets:
    Mein Vater erklärt mir jeden Sonntag unsere neuen Pläne
    (First letter = First letter of planet)
    Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptun, (Pluto, not a planet any more)

    • Koosh says:

      Very sweet way to remember pi!
      However, I think most people know the German sentence in a slightly different version:
      Mein Vater erklärt mir jeden Sonntag unsere neun Planeten.
      (He explains the “nine planets”, not “new plans”). Maybe your sentence is the updated version, since Pluto is not a planet anymore and therefore only eight planets are left?

    • pi says:

      English version:

      “How I wish I could calculate pi”
      not as long as the French tho.

  14. Z! says:

    Roy G. Biv- for the colors of the rainbow
    Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.

  15. fille says:

    Le périmètre d’un cercle est de deux pi-erres, mettez-vous ça dans votre caillou.

  16. Z! says:

    To remember the order of the directions on a compas
    N ever
    E at
    S hredded
    W heat

  17. Frayda says:

    When setting a table – the knives and spoons go on the right because knife, spoon, and right have 5 letters and the forks go on the left because fork and left have 4 letters

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