Friday, November 28, 2008

Family lexicons

All families have them. Ours is sprinkled with made-up words from when the kids were small, and phrases of mysterious origin. Here are a few of my favorites:

Creamo: whipped cream. This refers to real whipped cream and not Cool-Whip, which should always be called Cool-Whip, obviously. (Does anybody want creamo on their pie?)

Stander: any stool or other object called into service as a makeshift stool. If you stand on the kitchen table to remove a splatter of spaghetti sauce from the ceiling, the kitchen table is your stander. (I can't reach that without a stander.)

Fuzzy pigs: dogs and cats. Left over from a childhood spent on and about hog farms filled to capacity with pigs and fuzzy pigs. (Has anybody fed the fuzzy pigs?)

A suzy: the act of walking in front of someone repeatedly, the way our calico cat Suzy used to do. (If you keep that suzy up, I'm going to trip over you.)

Rebel scum: teenagers. (Quiet, rebel scum!)

Blank's on the roof: means someone or something is near death/ruin/failure. (At the moment, my washer's on the roof.)

Darth: the black refrigerator in the kitchen, as distinct from the white refrigerator in the family room. (Darth has no beer!)

Booze, rump, pie, bacon: terms of endearment. (Move over, bacon.)

The big room: a large bonus room my husband added to our house around the time Youngest Kid was born, and which now serves as a combination office, art room, television theater, and playroom. For a long time we called it The Woom, but we got over that.

Home Despot: Home Depot. It rules us.

YD reminds me in the comments to include caticated: the state of being trapped in a comfortable chair by the cat in your lap. (I can't get the phone. I'm caticated.)

DiL left me a phone message yesterday, reminding me of another biggie - minie: a favorite blanket. (Your minie's in the dryer.)

Family lexicons are funny, uniquely descriptive, and intimate in the way they keep memories alive long after they might otherwise have faded. They're like mini-family-histories. Here are a few of the families whose lexicons I'd really like to hear about: the Obamas, the (Ted) Kennedys, the Schwartzeneggers, the (Jon) Stewarts, the Cheneys, the Scalias, the Olbermans, the Moyers. Really, don't you just wonder if any of them ever say stuff like, "Booze, I think Darth's on the roof?"


--Blue Girl said...

In our house, we can have entire conversations that are nothing but Simpson's quotes...

McMama said...

Hee. We do that, too, but our quotes come from Futurama and Star Wars, with a sprinkling of old Schwarzenegger pix thrown in. It's not a tumah...

Jul said...


You forgot one.

Caticated- the state of having a cat on one's lap, thus leaving one immobilized.