My father spoke five languages before he learned English. Armenian at home, French in school, Arabic in the market, Turkish for swearing, and Spanish for the hell of it I guess. When he came to the States he only knew a few words but over time he mastered the language in his one way. He never really understood certain American colloquialisms and sayings; often he just made up his own expressions. I blame him for my low SAT scores on the verbal section. He'd say things like, "Six dozen one half the other" and "Feathers of birds flock." His favorite saying was completely made up, "It's your peanut butter sandwich." He would use this expression in situations when he overtly abdicated any responsibility for the actions one was about to undertake. "Dad, mom said I can't watch TV until I finish my homework but I want to watch this show and I promise I'll finish it after it's over?" Since mom dished out the punishments with a blue hairbrush he'd say, "It's your peanut butter sandwich."
The other day I see an email from my wife to our cabinet designer (we are remodeling our house). In the email she is firmly telling the designer to get her act together and she uses the expression, "It's your peanut butter sandwich". I totally get it but our contactor is befuddled and calls to understand what does this mean –"Why are you talking about sandwiches?"
My father passed away 10 years ago but his sayings live on.