If anyone should have a medal for craziest shit ever bestowed upon children, Maltese parents would definitely take the medal. All the medals.
We used to hear all kinds of crazy things to make us do stuff we didn’t want to, instilling fear in us and scarring our tiny childbrains.
Sadly, when you’re young, you tend to believe everything your parents say, and here’s a list of all the crazy things we believed when we were kids.
1. “Għandek salib iswed fuq moħħok”
You’ve got a black cross on your forehead
Whenever our parents caught us telling a lie, this would be their go-to solution. They would insist that a cross just appeared on our forehead which, let’s be frank, used to freak us out.
You cannot deny running in front of the mirror in one giant sprint, hoping you won’t spot the dreaded black cross on your forehead.
2. “Meta toqgħod imqareb tweġġa lill Ġesu’”
Misbehaving hurts Jesus
There was no escaping the good old Catholic guilt, even when we were kids.
This was a stunt our parents used to pull whenever we were getting out of control.
Jesus was our bro, so it felt bad for us to be inflicting pain on him for no reason at all.
3. “Oqgħod kwiet għax tiġi għalik il-Belliegħa”
Be good or the Belliegħa will come for you
This scary motherfucker lives in wells and if you hate feet, it’ll freak you out.
The Belliegħa does not come for you as a whole. It just extends its toe-covered foot from a random well and snatches you away with it. Thanks ma.
4. “Titwerriċx quddiem il-fann għax tibqa hekk għall dejjem!”
Don’t cross your eyes in front of a fan or you’ll look like that forever
This old classic was oftentimes heard by all those kids who loved to cross their eyes. It was also repeated to those who loved to pull funny faces.
Another version of this stated that if you pulled a face on a windy day, you’re doomed to look like a Japanese demon mask for your whole life. “Tgħaddi żiffa, tibqa hekk!” Tragic.
5. “Jekk tiekol il-karrotti tara aktar”
Carrots will give you superb vision
This blatant lie was forced upon all those children who did not like their vegetables at all.
Another version of this deceitful fabrication was that if you eat string beans you will grow taller.
And this is why we have trust issues. Or slightly orangey skin.
6. “Jekk tiekol mill borma ma tiżżewiġx”
You’ll never get married if you eat out of pots
Some of us did this vindictively.
Now that we’ve grown older, we do realise that the Madre did not want us to pot-snack out of annoyance, however it still makes us wonder to this day.
7. “Jekk tilgħab bill kuruna tar-rużarju ssirlek serp”
Your rosary beads they will turn into a snake if you stay playing with them
This was just proper BS. We tried this over and over again, but we never got the cool pet snake we always wished for.
Mostly told to children who did not pay attention during the rosary, this could be heard in ultra-religious families. Fine, ma.
8. “Jikbirlek imnieħrek meta tigdeb”
Your nose will grow longer when you lie
Watching Pinocchio made us well aware that not only our parents knew this, but everyone else too.
This was legit one of the scariest things we were ever told. Have you ever seen at what rate Pinocchio’s nose grew? Fine, we’re no wooden puppet, but it would’ve still been catastrophic.
9. “Għalaq il-purtieri għax itik tal-qamar”
Sleeping in the moonlight will drive you insane
This was a super confusing one we mostly heard from grandma.
We never really knew what “tal-qamar” meant until we understood it’s literally turning loony.
It was a bit of a perplexing thing to believe since we never really saw anyone being inflicted by this allegedly terrible affliction when we were young, but it was still pretty scarring.
10. “Iġġerrieħx għax tagħma”
Masturbating will make you blind
This one was reserved for those boys who could just never stop tugging at their snakes.
When all else failed, it was the best solution dad come up with.
11. “Illegali tħalli id-dawl ta’ ġol-karrozza mixgħul”
It’s illegal to leave the light on inside the car
This is a crazy but fairly understandable one. Leaving the lights on in your parent’s car is the most annoying thing you can do, ever.
Some parents were pushed to tell this lie in order to keep you from draining their car battery away.
12. “Toħroġx fid-dlamm għax jieħdok il-Babaw”
Don’t go out late at night or you’ll be abducted by the Babaw
This guy was the meanest night creature ever. The Babaw is a creepy Maltese folk monster/ghost/shady creature. We have no idea what it looks like, but that’s what makes it so scary.
To be fair, this was a bit justified. Any parent would be horrified if their small children was out in the dark and alone. Maybe the Babaw was an excuse to stop us from getting into danger like being abducted or hit by cars.
13. “Pokemón cards tas-satanisti”
Pokemón cards are satanic
This was one of the most absurd lies ever told.
Parents were probably fed up of spending money on those stupid trading cards, and their solution was to tell us the most unbelievable lie in the universe ever.
Also, if you rip the card up, a demon comes out. Sure ma.