An Incomplete Household Lexicon

A chapter in The Glamour of Grammar talks about compiling a personal or family lexicon. I found this idea so intriguing that I decided to share mine with you all. I don’t think this list is comprehensive, but I think it includes the ones we use most frequently.

Cornfuser: a computer. Most likely evolved from “confuser”.

FLEA: acronym for Feline Literacy Elimination Alliance–an organization to which all cats belong. FLEA is dedicated to the prevention of reading in humans. Their primary tactics are sitting on any and all reading material, or if that is not possible, nudging the offending item with their noses and/or rubbing it with their mouths and whiskers. When a cat comes between me and my book, the hubster says “Hello, I will be your FLEA representative today.”

Fletch: junk food. I’m not really sure where this came from, as the hubster was already using it when we got together, but somehow it just feels right. Further, to “fletch out” is to eat a lot of junk food instead of a proper meal.

K.O.L.: Kitty On Lap. Used as an excuse not to get up, and especially to persuade someone else to get something for you. “I can’t check the fire, I’ve got KOL.” It is sometimes used in conjunction with “sensuous” (see below). We didn’t invent K.O.L.: we adopted it. I wish I could remember from whence it came.

Oregonanic: a fusion of “Oregon” and “Organic”, used to indicate food which is grown or produced in Oregon and is probably low in chemical inputs, whether or not it is certified organic.

Sensuous: Yes, “sensuous” is a word in its own right, but in our house it’s usually used as a way of saying “since you is” or “since you was”–with the assumption that the phrase would be followed by “up”.  So “Baby, could you get me some water? Sensuous?” would be translated as “Baby could you get me some water since you’re (since-you-was) up?” Typically a faux southern accent is employed in the delivery of this phrase.

Squishy, The: Our word for our Love Sac, because it is squishy indeed. (And because there is something unclean about the name “Love Sac”.)

Squog: our cat Bridget, who we decided long ago was really half squirrel, half dog, or a Squog. These days she is rarely called “Bridget”; it is always “the squog”. Or occasionally, “The fuzzinator”.

Teafill: a tea refill

So what about you? How does your household contribute to the growth and evolution of the English language?

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9 thoughts on “An Incomplete Household Lexicon

  1. Love these. Who wouldn’t?

    I’ll have to think on this, as I make up new words daily. My poor kids have the biggest vocabulary of useless syllables in the region. Oh well, at least it helps with inferring the meaning of an unfamiliar word. They have lots o’ practice on that with me around!

    1. Cat, I think you are doing your children a favor, by setting a fine example of how to play with language! As well as sharpening their inference skills.

  2. Hmmm let’s see:

    Snuggly – when one is in the mood for a snuggle. “I’m feelin’ snuggly.” Can also refer to a body pillow. “Have a snuggly instead.”

    Warmies – often when one person is cold they’ll ask. “Do you have warmies?” If so, then they snuggle up to warm person, causing great angst when cold skin is placed into contact with toasty warm skin.

    Bad Tummy – used whenever someone has an upset stomach, the runs etc.

    Mischief – taken from the British comedy “Are You Being Served?” Mr. Humpheries – “I’ve done myself a mischief.” Meaning to hurt oneself accidentally. (mostly me)

    Owie bag – first aid kit expanded to include ankle braces, knee braces, wrist braces, ace bandages, a sling, and a cane. Also includes a puppy first aid kit and epi pen.

    Vapors (morning/evening) When hubster goes through sneezing and nose blowing fits, it’s due to the vapors, mostly morning. “I was up at 5 am due to those dastardly morning vapors.”

    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. I know there are more, but the vapors are getting to me… LOL!

  3. Mustgos : The leftovers in the back of the fridge that should be eaten right away before they are too far gone. So they “must go”.
    “We’re having mustgos for dinner!”

    Dunlop : Used when describing an extremely obese person’s physique. As in “His stomach dun lopped over his belt.” Said with a fake southern accent. Why, yes, we are going to hell.

    Getting pigeoned : Used when referring to getting “spooned” while cuddling in bed. “Do you want to get pigeoned?” Probably because my husband has an unhealthy obsession with pigeons, and once read an article on the proper way to hold a pigeon, and decided to hold me that way.

    Nominated : The act of being nommed upon. (see LOL Cat for nomming reference). My daughter will take her beloved guinea pig, and snuggle her, and pretend to nom her, saying “You’ve been nominated!”

  4. Some of ours:

    taking one for the team: when one of us climbs into bed with ice cold body parts (usually derriere) and the person already in bed who is nice and toasty allows cold butt to be placed against nice warm skin in order to warm it up faster. The warm person is taking one for the team. (Usually involves high pitched screaming from warm person, and that warm person is usually my husband–who knew his voice could get to such an octave?) This term can be used other ways, too, but this is the most common usage in our house.

    grill: my little girl used to say “grill” instead of girl when she was younger. It stuck. Willow is a really good grill.

    fluffleuppagus/snuffleupagus/fuzzhead/fuzzywuzzy: all nicknames for our German shepherd dog, Dante

    peppenoni: pepperoni. This is how my son, back when he was little, used to say it. It stuck.

    burp juice: soda pop or sparkling water. Anything, really, that makes for good belching.

    surfboards: a certain feminine hygiene product 😉

    misogynist: what my daughter called herself when she was giving me a massage. “Mom, I’m a good misogynist, aren’t I?” The term has stuck. Well, at least with hubby and me. I made sure to explain to her what a misogynist was so she wouldn’t accidentally say something like that around other people. But at home, I’ll say something to my husband when we are alone like: “Honey, could you be a good misogynist and take a whack at knot I’ve got near my shoulder blade?”

    snackie crackies with raisin pits: my dad came up with this one. No idea where. But it’s snacks–doesn’t matter the kind.

    There are others, but that’s all I can think of at the moment.

    1. Your dad must have been in radio. “Snackie Crackies with raisin pits” was a phony product on a Stan Freberg comedy recording made to promote radio advertising. May favorite line: “OK, radio stretches the imagination. But can’t television stretch the imagination, too? – Up to 21 inches, yes.”

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