When I was a kid, if there was a food/drink/activity that I didn't enjoy, my dad would always bust out with "It will put hair on your chest," to try to convince me to do it. Of course, he was joking, but when you're seven years old, you're gullible, so I was convinced that certain things would indeed put hair on my chest. I devoured boxes of Wheaties because of my naivety and my dad's sense of humor. 

Here's my short list of things that I was convinced would put hair on my chest as a kid:

  • Black coffee
  • Wheaties
  • Spinach
  • Horseradish Sauce
  • Pozole (I hated this stuff as a kid, but learned to love it)
  • Liver
  • Mowing the lawn

What's on your list?

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Yukon Jack (still cant stand it, unless it's christmas eve)

Tabasco (I think it's my blood type now)

Black coffee

Cornmeal Mush (Like yellow grits with milk and sugar)



I remember having a male teacher all through my years in elementary school that used that phrase on me every time I complained about having to do something I didn't want to do, such as learning to type.  I could site more examples, but I'd be showing myself for the old man I am every way but physically.  When my teacher would tell me that, I'd always think that as an 8-year-old or however old I was, I didn't need chest hair and that I'd have it when I got older.  Sure enough.....  :)

I like that one over the hair , I would always question the old man as to why did mum eat it then .

My family has always used this phrase to describe anything spicy. Or strong alcohol.

Holding my breath for over a minute


Arm wrestling

Pillow fights

Real Fights

Catching grasshoppers, frogs, tadpoles, lizards, crawfish

Going into dark drainage tunnels

Climbing trees

Getting stitches

Playing Butts-up

Ball tag

Tackle football (no pads)

Knocking on people's doors and then running away

Sleeping outside in my fart sack 

Exploring the neighborhood

Exploring the woods by neighborhood

Starting fires

Raising hell

Winning bike races

Winning foot races




Bad construction projects (we built a club house)




That'll do the trick. 

My dad had no chest hair, so that term was never used, nor any other term encouraging us to grow into men, as I recall.

I've used it on my daughters, though, to their horror.

Burned toast.

Love that phrase!


As a kid - usually when it came to ingesting anything I thought was nasty, yucky, or too green.  I typically use it for spicy foods and high gravity beverages.  Always fun to use it on the girls/ladies.

My parents used that expression all the time, for anything I didn't like to eat, e.g., liver, brocoli (love brocoli now), other things that have slipped my mind.   What's interesting and maybe more important is that in using that expression they were conveying the message that hair on one's chest was a good thing and something to aspire to (genetics notwithstanding), and indirectly that it was a symbol of masculinity and something to be proud of.  Unlike today where guys shave, trim, and wax off chest hair.  

"It will put hair on your chest" or, "It will make a man out of you". I've used both and a friend of a friend (that I can't meet, deceased),"come here let me fart on you, at least you'll smell like a man."

We used to use that phrase in reference to Mom's cooking.  Over time it morphed into : "That'll put hair on your tongue."


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