Family Words

“I have a fuzzy in my coffee,” I spoke to a couple of my coworkers.
“A what?”
“A fuzzy…you know, a thingy,” I tried to explain.
“Something floating in your coffee?”
“Yeah, exactly. How would you describe that?”
“I’d just say there’s something floating in my coffee.”

This exchange didn’t surprise me in the least, because I had long been made fun of for the use of my family word “Flicker”, meaning the remote control. My coworker was sympathetic to this complaint, as she had grown up hearing the refridgerator called the “icebox”. Go get a pop out of the icebox, will ya?

Family words are perhaps most distinctive when describing bodily functions or body parts. My family was fairly scientific, and when not scientific at least simple and non-graphic, mercifully so, in my opinion. Growing up with three brothers is hard enough without having to add disgusting words to the mix. Fart, burp, pee, and poop were the old standards and all sensitive body parts were simply grouped under “private parts”. I used to cringe when I went over other kids’ houses who would use words like “tinkle”, as if it made it seem like a special process or something. I’m hugely in favor of keeping it factual.

What about you all? Have any family-specific words?

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4 Responses

  1. One of my little siblings used to say, “nurse me! nurse me!” but pronounced it “nermee, nermee” leading to adoption of the popular vocabulary of “nermees” for mammary glands…

    • hahaha i love it! this is exactly why children shouldn’t be taught how to speak until after they’re done breastfeeding šŸ˜›

  2. I didn’t have any family words for body parts or functions, I mean it is what it is.

    Buuut, when I was growing up, i thought I was really special because I thought I had two middle names. I seriously had a strong belief that my name was “Alex Zander James Bahus.” I would brag to the kids at school and make fun of them because they only had one middle name. I think my parents felt sorry for me so they just encouraged me to think that way. Then one day I got my report card that said “Alexander James Bahus” on it, and I was like, “what the hell?!? That’s not my name!”

    Then my parents had to break the bad news and crush my world. From that day forth I only had one middle name just like everyone else in school. Though I think I’m going to give my (eventual) kid two middle names, just because!

  3. Matthew, nermee is now part of my vocabulary.

    Cathy, I’m totally with you on weird family words. I have a lot of them, especially from my mom.

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