Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Creative Language and Re-definitions

Ever think about how you learned to communicate?  Ever tried to comprehend how you acquired all the nifty little words in your vocabulary that helps you speak your mind?  Most of the time we acquire an understanding of new words through the context of conversation and reading.  Sometimes, we learn the new words by turning to a trusted source, like a dictionary or a person we trust knows the answer.  Kids learn language the same way, but they make one fatal mistake that most adults don't.  They trust people-- especially their parents-- too much when it comes to acquiring language.

It has come to my attention that my family uses quite a few words and phrases differently than the rest of the world.  I knew before now that, at my house, we tend to use language in creative ways sometimes to get desired results.  The part that wasn't obvious to me was that not everybody seems to do this-- at least not to the extent that we do.  We have our own little vocabulary list of redefined words.  Some of these words were redefined by the girls accidentally or improperly inferred through context.  Others have been redefined by my husband and me in an effort to deceive our children, for whatever reason we felt made the lie justifiable.  Sometimes we just don't know how a word entered our vocabulary, but there it is.  Either way, it is sometimes necessary to have a glossary of these words handy when hanging with my peeps to truly understand all the nuances of conversation.  *If you are weak of heart or stomach, or find offense easily, please stop reading now-- potty humor ahead.   Consider yourself warned. :D

Potty Language:

1.  pee pee (v.)- to urinate, or go #1, in the potty.  ex.  "Princess, did you pee pee?"
2.  piss (v.)- to urinate, or go #1, in the floor or your pants.  ex.  "No, Mommy.  I had to piss-- it's in the kitchen floor."

Lovely-- I am sure somehow this differentiation is all my fault.  (Just so you know, these two words developed separate meanings during the 14 months I spent potty training my darlings.  14 MONTHS!!!  Enough said.)

3.  hilarious (adj.)-  something that is so funny it causes one to piss his or her pants.  ex. Tickling Princess is often hilarious.   The use of the word has now morphed and is often used as a warning.  "Go use the potty before this situation becomes hilarious."

4.  giggle drops (n.)-  the first sign that something is about to be hilarious, usually followed by a mad dash to the restroom and later by assurances that the situation did not become hilarious.  (We are usually aware of a situation's hilarity long before we get these assurances.)

5.  funk nugget (n.)-  our word for #2.  ex.  The dog left a funk nugget behind the table.  (The origin of this lovely phrase is unknown.)

Wow, we have a lot of potty re-definitions and creative language.

Food Re-definitions:

6.  cowboy ketchup (n.)--  Princess's name for Texas Pete, can be plain or mixed with regular ketchup and applied to anything dippable.

7.  meat garnish (n.)--  aka hotdog chili.  Birdie would not eat chili for several reasons.  At first, she didn't want to put anything on a "hot" dog that sounded like it was cold.  Then, when she realized chili was spelled like the spicy vegetable, she wouldn't eat it because it was too hot to eat (in her mind) and now the cold-sounding name was stupid.  In light of these aversions, I outright lied to her.  Thus, meat garnish was born, and she LOVES it.

8.  huckleberries (n.)--  at my house, these berries are not actually huckleberries, but rather purplish looking blueberries.  (Princess does not think she likes blueberries.  Conveniently, these wonderful "huckleberries" come packaged with blueberries, so both Birdie and Princess merrily eat berries to their heart's content.)

Sounds Like Real Potty Language:  

9.  f-bomb (n.)--  a naughty, four-letter word beginning with "f" that is inappropriate to say at school.  ex.  "Mom, a boy in my class dropped the f-bomb in class today and the teacher heard him!"  True story Birdie told me.  I was appalled.  I asked what the teacher did.  She told me that the boy was asked not to do that ever again.  That's all?!  Hmmm...  What is the f-bomb Birdie?  You won't get in trouble if you tell me.  "F-A-R-T!!  Gross!"  Nice.

10.  dammit (adj.)--  a word used to describe something you are not happy with.  ex.  Birdie:  I hate having to pick up my dammit toys.  (Again, I get credit for teaching my lovely this word, even if she used it incorrectly.  I have to say, having a parrot in the house has really helped me clean up my potty mouth.)

11.  ass (n.)--  a donkey.  Yes, I realize this is not redefined so much as revived, thanks to Shrek.  But OMG, the looks I used to get in public from strangers when Birdie would talk to me about her imaginary pet ass.  ex.  Can you PLEASE take me and my ass to the bathroom!!  It really needs to go!  What the?!  What would you think if you heard that coming out of a 3 year-old in very plain English?  That's what I thought, too-- and the rest of the free world.

Other Random Re-definitions and Word Inventions:

12.  ABC store (n.)--  Adult Beverage Center store. Do you really need this one used in a sentence?

13.  camping panties (n.)--  disposable underwear worn while camping if the public restroom is too far away from the campsite to walk to in the middle of the night.  My husband and I concocted this bs when he decided to take the girls camping for a 2-night trip by himself, and couldn't figure out how to handle midnight potty problems.  Birdie was suspicious that "camping panties" were in fact diapers, but Princess wanted to go camping so badly that she would have believed anything and didn't care.  (Now camping panties are a colossal joke between my sister and I, and get thrown into everyday conversation.)

I am sure this list is incomplete, but it contains many of our fun/freaky/interesting re-definitions.  Kids say the darnedest things sometimes... and so do their parents.


  1. Omg, I'm cracking up reading this!!! I'd say it's hilarious, but I'm afraid you might get the wrong impression of me...

  2. @Becca, I'm belly laughing reading this. Chris, this is absolutely hysterical!!!

  3. Baaahaahaa...we used to try and tell Ri that any flecks in his food were "seasonings" to make it taste better. Now he just insists on all his food with NO seasonings! Oish.