Cultural phrases can be like fashion, a delicate blend between comfortable and desirable.

Some don’t stay around long enough. For instance, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” expired a little too soon. I would like to know more about that, sit down with the uncle originally related to the monkey, determine how it impacted his well-being and became a manifestation for unforeseen developments.

On the other hand, some expressions overstay their welcome, like the term “step up.” Every time someone has to “step up,” yours truly has an urge to throw up. For me, the expression raises too many questions.

What if someone doesn’t step up? What if they prefer to do whatever it is they must do from a sitting position, or from the step they currently occupy? If they do “step up,” is that the end of it? Is there anything else to accomplish after they climb one more stair? Or is that it, just the stepping motion?

Lots of other colloquialisms have come and gone, for better or worse. Safe to say those of us who drive compact sedans were happy to see “keep on truckin’” fade. “Gag me with a spoon” seemed particularly graphic and unpleasant. Older readers may remember the expression “you bet your sweet bippy,” then do their best to forget it again.

In deference to my wife, “stone cold fox” will remain on the active list.

Sports are a breeding place for catch phrases and the most popular expression being used in these NHL playoffs seems to be “at the end of the day.” It’s the American Express card of hockey rinks, accepted everywhere. Coaches, players, team executives, Zamboni drivers ... no one leaves home without it.

For the uninitiated, it’s not unlike the “yada yada yada” phrase from Seinfeld. It can be applied to every situation, segue into anything.

You know how conversations go. You start to ramble, your memory lapses, you get distracted. Your train of thought goes left when it should have made a right. The brakes are out, you’re headed down a steep embankment, about to go off the conversational cliff when ... the expression pulls it all together.

At the end of the day, it sounds like you knew where you were going all along.

As best can be discerned, the terminology has its roots in Canadian farms, created by overall-clad fathers, employed to wake sleeping sons at 5 a.m. Former Blues player Kelly Chase, who grew up on a farm in Porcupine Plain, Sask., offers corroborating testimony.

Ask Chase what it was like growing up in that environment, and he will tell you:

“At the end of the day, if you don’t get kicked while you’re milking in the morning, you ain’t pulling on the nipples hard enough.”

Makes sense. The NHL landscape is crowded with Canadian farm boys and the vernacular reflects as much. But you don’t have to be a Canadian to get sucked in. Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is from Greenwich, Conn.

Ron Howard lives in Greenwich. For cripes sake, Opie Taylor is as American as it gets. But Shattenkirk acknowledges he has been infected by frequent phraseology, despite himself.