Did you know that just one item of clothes is called a “cloe”? Or that the word “mongo” is actually a question meaning “Hey Dad, Where did Mom go? I need her help!” At least that’s what it means in MY family! As the oldest of 7 children in my family, ranging in age from 21 to 4 years old, we have come up with some pretty interesting words, or jargon, we use to communicate about everyday issues. I discovered that my family has a special way of talking to each other when I noticed myself adjusting how I spoke to my friends after getting home from visiting my parents or getting off a call with my siblings. Words I would commonly use in my family had no meaning or humor to the “outside world”. As I was thinking about this phenomenon, I realized that this creation of special words probably happens in many families.
One common example that may apply in your home is names for a baby pacifier. BabyCenter.com did their research and found 160 names families use for a pacifier! WOW! You can view all of the names here, and here are a few of my favorites:
#18- blue ging
In my family we would call it something different for every child: P, passy, binky, etc.
Family jargon, just like an inside joke, happens when we feel closely bonded to each other. Having a special language and understanding among the members of your family strengthens your relationships and helps you all feel understood and accepted by each other. So next time you ask the baby where the “noo-noo” is (#86 on the list of pacifier names), you can know that you are really saying “I love you” in a very special way!
Here are some examples I found on this website of fun family jargon:
- Applaudience: An audience that has come to applaud; specifically, those composed of parents and grandparents at children's piano and dance recitals.
- BarrisLand: The place one goes when embarrassed, such as under a pillow or behind one's hands.
- Dofer: Something that isn't perfect but will "do for" now. (And fanow, by the way, refers to "anything put away temporarily.")
- Game 6: A synonym for "disaster"--a reference to the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, lost by the Boston Red Sox after being just one pitch away from victory.
- Menu-itis: Having so many choices that you take forever to make up your mind.
- Missmas Cards: Cards that you send after receiving Christmas cards from people to whom you had no intention of sending cards--and which will surely arrive at their destination after Christmas.
- Kaboof: The area under the stairs (the crawlspace).
- Foofie or Too Foofie: It can be a dress that has too much lace or too many frills, but it can also be a flower with a lot of small petals. It can be used to describe someone's hair when they’re having a bad hair day. It’s usually used to say that something is not quite to your taste.
What are your most cherished or funniest family words?