Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Family Words

Guda Guda Guda

I once read somewhere the lament of an avid blog-reader. They hated it when they had gone to a blog only to find the most recent post an apology for not having posted in a while.  So, I won't apologize.  I'll only acknowledge the fact that I have been not very bloggy lately and that I intend to get back on the blog wagon forthwith. 

With that acknowledgment, I will also mention that I missed out on the entire end-of-year holiday season and winter all together. So, this post is to sort of make up for that.  Thinking of that time of year (recently and not so recent past) one immediately thinks of family.  Good or bad, a holiday means family.  I won't be filling this space with my family's charming Christmas-past stories.  Frankly, I don't have that many so I'll save it for next year when it's timely.

Instead, I want to bring up a curious family phenomenon that I realized most of us share, but few of us discuss: the made-up family word. In your immediate and sometimes extended family you will have a family word or two or more.  Sometimes they are made up by the children and adopted by the parents because they are cute. Sometimes it is your crazy aunt who can't think of what a thing is called so she makes up a term that everyone picks up. Sometimes it is a mystery and everyone just uses that word and knows it's meaning.  Those can be the most embarrassing in later life. If you were raised with the word and no one told you it was just a made-up word and you put it in your term paper or use it in front of the wrong crowd...cringe.

In my family we had a few:

Twirkles: n. [twur-kuhls]  any of various implements consisting of two arms hinged, pivoted,or otherwise fastened together, for seizing, holding, or lifting something.  Known by the rest of the English speaking world as 'tongs'.  

Flinkers: n. [fling-kers]  a light that flashes intermittently, especially one that serves as a traffic signal. Known to the rest of the English speaking world as 'blinkers' or 'turn signals'. (I admit responsibility for this one.)

Guda Guda Guda: n. [goo-duh goo-duh goo-duh] water. Specifically, the water that comes out of the tap in a waterfall fashion.  It also helps to move your fingers in a wiggly way when pronouncing this word so as to further emphasize that particular water. Note: this word has nothing to do with cheese.  (This was a baby-brother word that the family adopted.)

Foocockery: n. [foo-kok-uh-ree] a stupid act or notion. What kind of foocockery have you pulled this time? (This one is mine as well.  I heard Amy Winehouse sing a similar, more r-rated word years later and wondered if she had spied on me. I guess we'll never know.) 

There were others and, I'm sure, a few I don't remember.   Oh, there is also a phrase:

Stepped on a frog: v. past-tense [stept-awn-ey-frawg] 1. flatus expelled through the anus. 2. Farted. (This came from my sis-in-law. Bless her heart.) This one led to many variations: froggie-butt, froggie-boy, etc. It's a way to be crude in public without being crude in public. 

So tell me, do you have any family words?  Are they as embarrassing as mine?  Care to share? 
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