This ain’t your family member’s thing

I know of the phrase This ain’t your [family member]’s X, but I’m not sure where it came from and who the family member should be. Your grandma? Your daddy? Your granddaddy? I decided to do a quick Duck Duck Go search on some of these that sounded natural. Take what you will from the search results.

“this ain’t your daddy’s”

this ain’t your daddy’s big band

this ain’t your daddy’s Eagles

this ain’t your daddy’s !Q

these ain’t your daddy’s “This ain’t your daddy’s” jokes

“this ain’t your mama’s”

this ain’t your mama’s peach pie recipe

this ain’t your mama (church)’s church

this ain’t your mama’s recipe

“this ain’t your grandma’s”

this ain’t your grandma’s artwork

this ain’t your grandma’s ‘dick’

this ain’t your grandma’s teddy bear

this ain’t your grandma’s postum

this ain’t your grandma’s soap anymore – or is it?

this ain’t your grandma’s bingo

this ain’t your grandma’s SETI

“this ain’t your grandpa’s”

this ain’t your grandpa’s AR-15

this ain’t your grandpa’s DHEA

this ain’t your grandpa’s ceramic bong

this ain’t your grandpa’s laptop

this ain’t your grandpa’s AKIDO

this ain’t your grandpa’s sex toy

If anyone knows where this phrase comes from, please leave a comment below. The OED has an example of it from 2000 under the entry for hot-rodding (“This ain’t your granddad’s classic car book.”), but it must be older than that. COHA has hits for “this ain’t your”, but none followed by a word for a family member. Google Ngrams is no help (surprise!). Each of my searches used a parent or grandparent, so I guess the family member referred to has to be one that is necessarily older in order for the phrase to sound natural. But I bet variations could be used depending on what the “thing” is – “This ain’t your kid’s cartoon” could be used for animated shows and movies that are aimed strictly at adults, such as Big Mouth and Sausage Party. But what sounds natural to you?

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Author: Joe McVeigh

I'm a linguist who researches email marketing. I also teach at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. I write about language and linguistics on my blog, ...And Read All Over, and I write about language and marketing on my other blog, Email and Linguistics.

2 thoughts on “This ain’t your family member’s thing”

  1. I’m commenting to follow, to check my memory. I think I remember first hearing this a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before dvrs, when I actually watched commercials, in a car commercial – Oldsmobile? I want to see if anyone else remembers this, and can figure out when.

    1. That sounds plausible. “This ain’t your X’s Oldsmobile” sounds like a car commercial. I wouldn’t be surprised if the phrase goes back to the early days of TV advertising, like it’s some Ur-sales pitch.

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