Old saying. But maybe not a good one

My dad used to say all the time if I couldn’t make a decision : “When in doubt, punt”.

Can you explain. I know punting is kicking a football but I don’t know what the circumstances are when one chooses to punt.

I actually don’t think it means anything. Maybe it means if you are backed up against the wall, do what always works.

I think it means when a certain situation has unlikely outcomes, you would do something safe giving you more assurance for you to have a better outcome.

“When I’m in doubt about the lesser of two evils, I go for the evil I haven’t tried yet…” dorothy parker

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Yes, my Dad used to say that, too!

As a schizophrenic, my mind doesn’t do some things as easily as it used to do before I became schizophrenic. I do have problems with slang and parables and so forth in ways I did not have before I became schizophrenic.

For years, I would visit this psychiatrist or that psychiatrist who wanted to know how “ill” i was, and as a diagnostic tool, he would ask me something like, "What does it mean when someone says, ‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.’ "

Currently, I find search engines on the www often help me with stuff I don’t understand. For example, I looked this one up on Google, and I found the following:

When in doubt, punt
Postby Archived Topic » Sun Nov 14, 2004 3:39 pm
John Heisman (1869 - 1936) American Football (Gridiron) Coach describing the situation where a fourth down is about to occur and there is doubt as to whether the first down can be achieved without turning the ball over to the opposing teams offense at an undesirable position on the field.

Generally applies to all situations where an the optimal outcome is unlikely and the safe course of action involves the application of a certain amount of luck in addition to skill.

Good wishes,


Good answer Jayster. My dad had a million of these.

How about, 'It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick", I always heard this one growing up. I also always got threatened with a kick in the ‘labanza’, which me and my sisters knew was a kick in the ass, but I never heard anyone else say that word in my life.

Yeah, I remember the doctors asking me that.Or asking me to count backward from a hundred by sevens. Or name the last 5 presidents I always passed these tests with flying colors.

When I was 25, I was working as a landscaper. It was clear to me that a younger man on the crew was mentally ill, although very bright, so I asked him that parable. Which is to say, I asked him the meaning of, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. I got to my mind a very weird response. So I asked him, “Why does a rolling stone gather moss.” I received another answer that fascinated me.


It’s not a short answer however I think it explains the idea.

I use “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” a lot. It’s like someone shouldn’t be throwing stones (accusations or judgments) at someone’s brick house when their house is made of glass and could not withstand so many hits. Or because their house is made of glass then their faults are very clear to see so again they should not be throwing accusations or judgments at other people.

Within the last year a saying that I have been saying a lot is “The proof is in the pudding.” Not sure exactly what the origins are but I translate it as: Talk is cheap. If you say that you can do something then do it. You can tell me all you want that you can make a pudding however I will not believe it until I see you make a pudding :smile:

I actually find these sayings very fascinating and like to look up where they come from.

The phrase “Pulling the wool over your eyes.” which is usually used when someone is trying to steal from you or con you came from England when robbers would pull your wool hat down over your eyes so that you could not see them when they robbed you.

I have an Uncle who says that all the time. :smiley: I like that one.

His other favorite one was; “That guy has diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain”