Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's about as crazy as Esperanto

I believe that every family has a language. And I don't mean something deep, like a sub-level to every conversation, through which run undercurrents of resentment and latent rage. I literally mean a language, like pig Latin. At the very least, every family has a vocabulary. 

Inspired by one of emlocke's recent posts, in which she describes what her mother means when she says, "Love your guts," I made a list of the strange vocabulary we use around here. In no particular order:

zap: n. A shoe, but specifically, a sandal or flip-flop worn around the house. Origin: A bastardization of the Vietnamese word for sandal, spelled "dep" but pronounced "zap." Usage: "Have you seen my zaps?"

sleepy: n. A state of being inclined toward sleep. Origin: My husband. Usage: "I lost my sleepy, so I got up and blogged."

first awake: n. The block of time (usually spanning 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) when boy has arisen in the morning but preceding his first nap of the day. Origin: Self-explanatory. Usage: "I'm too tired to shower tonight. Will you watch boy during first awake so I can shower then?"

ai bao (pronounced "EYE bah-oh"): [Incomplete phrase, therefore not any particular part of speech] Roughly translates to, "Who told you to ..." and therefore needs an object to complete the phrase. Origin: Vietnamese. Usage: "Bumped your head pretty hard, huh? Ai bao crawl under the coffee table and then try to sit up?"

fluppus: n. The tag sewn into the back of the neckline of shirts, indicating size and manufacturer. Origin: My mother's neighbors growing up coined this phrase. Usage: "Hold on, your fluppus is showing -- let me tuck it in."

churdle (rhymes with "turtle"): n. An adorable baby, usually one with pleasingly plump proportions or one who has just made a face or noise that is appealing or at least amusing. Origin: My husband. Usage: "Did you see boy just wrinkle his nose at you?! He's SUCH a churdle."

weegle (pronounced "WEE-juhl"): n. An adorable baby, but one who seems to be kind of a rascal in the making. Usually used after the baby in question has made a cute squinchy face. Origin: My sister- and brother-in-law created this one. Usage: "Ooooh, I'm gonna pinch those chubby cheeks, you weegle!"

fartle: n. The tiny smear of baby poo in a diaper that was thought to contain a much more impressive amount of poo (though a fartle can also surprise the changer, who did not suspect the appearance of any solid matter at all). Origin: A play on the word, "fart." Usage: "Let's change your diap -- whoops, pass me the wipes, there's a fartle here." (Editor's note: In other families of our acquaintance, the usage of the words "shart" and "shartlette" have also been identified to mean the same thing. These words have their basic origin in a movie called "Along Came Polly" starring Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller and Philip Seymour Hoffman, in which the Hoffman character must leave a social gathering because he has "sharted" in his shorts -- thought he was going to fart but passed more substance instead. The fact that I am explaining this baffles me to no end.)

choss (rhymes with "gross" but pronounced more quickly): n. A silent fart. Origin: Persian. Usage: "Dude, did you just choss? I didn't hear anything but it's killing me, dude. What did you eat? Are you alright? MAN."

gooze (rhymes with "ooze"): n. An audible fart. Origin: Persian. Usage: "Don't even blame that gooze on me. I heard you cut that one." (Editor's note: I live with two boys. Is there any wonder our personal family vocabulary places so much emphasis on the products of one's excretory system?)


Bill Chapman said...

There's nothing crazy about Esperanto! Take a look at

All the best!

emlocke said...

I just love this post. I'm so honored to have inspired it! "Every family has a language." That's so true. What a wonderful way to think of it.