Sat, Oct

Wise Words and Witty Expressions




Being raised “old school” in a traditional Irish-Catholic household with a no-nonsense mother and a traditional, old-fashioned father, Renee’ Gatz had a lifetime of hearing their various expressions—profound, funny, and even sarcastic. Without realizing it, these expressions stayed with her and came back to her at the appropriate moments in her life to help her laugh, understand, or survive.

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In her early growing years, Gatz did not appreciate the power of the expressions her parents spoke but, as she grew was amazed at how these expressions would come back to her to provide clarity, understanding, or a laugh at just the right moment.

When you are young and your parents trot out some lame expression designed to teach you a life lesson, such as “if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all” or “you can do anything you put your mind to,” you likely roll your eyes and chalk up their “lameness” to the fact that they are old and out of touch. When you grow up and experience a little bit of life, you suddenly realize that maybe those expressions really do have meaning and are helpful to remember when navigating life’s big and little ups and downs.

“Wise Words & Witty Expressions” is not a book you simply read and then put down; you keep it handy to refer to when life presents you with its inevitable challenges, both good and bad, when you need a laugh or are simply looking for some snappy repartee. Gatz has been told by her readers that her book has found a prominent place on their coffee table, office desk and even in their bathroom.

Learn more about “Wise Words & Witty Expressions at where you can also order the book, which is available in hard copy, paperback and via ebook. “Wise Words & Witty Expressions” is also available on Amazon by clicking here.

“Wise Words & Witty Expressions” represents the expressions Gatz heard growing up. She would love to hear from you and learn the wise words and witty expressions you remember to help you navigate your way through life’s ups and downs.

Maybe your expressions represent the geographic region of the United States you live in or maybe they reflect of your ancestry. Please leave Gatz a comment on her blog site and tell her your favorite expression.

Gatz would love to collect enough expressions from her readers to write a second edition of “Wise Words & Witty Expressions.” Perhaps you will even see your expression in her next book!


Renee’ Gatz was born and raised in New Jersey, the oldest of three girls and had always been taken by the strength of character and conviction that her parents displayed.  They navigated through life by holding true to their core beliefs.  Those beliefs were most often exhibited by their example but were also exhibited in the expressions they used to keep life in perspective, to remind them of what was important, and to laugh at foolishness so as not to take life too seriously.

In her early growing years, Gatz did not appreciate the power of the expressions her parents spoke but, as she grew was amazed at how these expressions would come back to her to provide clarity, understanding, or a laugh at just the right moment.

Many of the expressions she learned growing up were passed on to her through her mother who learned them from her mother.  Gatz’s grandmother was a woman of strength and good humor who immigrated alone at the age of 18 to the United States from Ireland in the steerage section of a ship that landed in Ellis Island.

Gatz’s late father was a man of few words who relied more on the power of his actions to express himself. Nonetheless, he is credited with teaching Gatz some important life lessons through the use of expression and some sarcastic repartee as well.

Gatz was motivated to share these expressions based on the positive response she would receive when she would mention one in conversation, the surprise that an expression she had heard her entire life was new to someone, and her natural desire to communicate those great thoughts with others.

Renee’ Gatz earned her BS in business management from St. Peter’s College.  She has held a variety of marketing and communications positions in the financial services industry for over fifteen years.  She has always enjoyed writing and was inspired to share the wisdom she learned from her parents in her first book, “Wise Words & Witty Expressions.”  Gatz lives in New Jersey today, not far from her childhood home.



Like many children, Reneé  Gatz and her sisters often responded to their parents’ advice with rolling eyes. It wasn’t until years later that Gatz found herself repeating the familiar verbal expressions of her youth to friends, who suggested that she write them down. Realizing the impact her parents’ maxims had on her, Gatz has compiled their sayings into Wise Words & Witty Expressions. She combines well-known adages with humorous retorts that will remind readers of their own family expressions and provide new ones to return to and live by. The author largely credits her Irish Catholic mother, who learned many of her oft-used expressions from  her own mother, an Irish immigrant who came to the U.S. alone at the age of 18.

With its cover photo of the Irish coast, the book is a nod to Irish wisdom and humor: one of Gatz’s favorite sayings is “The Irish have a way of telling you to go to hell so that you look forward to the trip,” meaning “No need to be nasty. If you are creative enough, you can shake off an annoying person.” With sections devoted to motherhood, love, life’s challenges, and sarcasm, readers will carry wisdom and wit through all of life’s situations.              

   – Aliah O’Neill   Irish America


Renee Gatz grew up in what she describes as an “old-school, traditional Irish-Catholic household, with a no-nonsense mother and a traditional old-fashioned father.” She was the oldest of three daughters.

Her parents often used expressions “that could teach me a lesson, remind me what was important, or provide insight into a situation or person. Naturally, as a child, I was not yet wise enough to appreciate the value of what was being said to me.”

Now grown, she found herself using those very phrases, the ones that would cause her to roll her eyes as a teenager.

In the introduction, Gatz writes, “My purpose in writing this book was to share with others the wealth of good common sense that my parents’ expressions provided me with.”

Gatz groups these into chapters, each with its own introduction, then lists each, with individual explanations in italics.

— Patricia Turner Kavanaugh  Sunday Star Ledger