the blasts, the fallout, the sickness and the diar[y]hoea

I’ll Take Your Word For It

I was reading this and it got me to thinking about words and their meanings and how they are distinctive to us, our family and friends and our geography.

In my house there are an awful lot of words thrown around in the heat of the moment, fierce words cast at each other like weapons. Trinity and Littleboy mainly use slang names for genitalia (of both sexes) available to them in an effort to win their fights.

I have long since stopped listening in any real depth since they only use the usual:

  • Fanny
  • Twat
  • Cunt
  • Knob
  • Dick
  • Prick

Hearing them just now though, hearing the words they use made me wonder when it changed from the small words we taught them as children like “willy” and “front bum” (not very inventive I grant you) to the more angry adult words.

I much prefer the peculiarity of the invented family words. The odd, weird terms perhaps just used in your own homes. The idea that we can create them is a great one. If only they could get a wider audience they may get in the dictionary! That’d be cool.

One such invented word, “twunt” features in my blog. I got it from Little Red Boat but I think was originally coined by Zoe. It’s obviously a contraction of two common words and is still an adult type but downplays the more disapproved of “cunt”. It’s a funny word for me.

We use them for all sorts of things, “Number Two” is a classic example. In our house we were a little more inventive for lavatory usage and used the euphemisms “Winnie” for a poo and “Snoopy” for a wee. Why “Winnie” is obvious I think but a “Snoopy”? Well if you know your Peanuts then you’ll know Snoopy is shortstop in Charlie Brown’s baseball team. This still makes me laugh.

Also the idea that we can have favourite words, that a word can be more preferred due to how it sounds or where we first heard it is a fascinating thing. It seems that a word can have some aesthetic quality; an artistic content beyond it’s simple function of describing something. Words are more than language.

So what I want to know are any of your words. Favourites or family terms for things.

I read on The Little Nut Tree about exactly this kind of thing and want to find more quirks of language. Things to amuse and wonder at rather than the more quotidian (one of my favourites) insulting turns of phrase we are subjected too.

Other words I love:

verisimilitude, chivalry, indefatigable, endeavour (maybe I have a thing for ‘v’? Hmm) πŸ˜•

So come on let me know. It’s time to share! I’ll take your word for it!


2 Responses to “I’ll Take Your Word For It”

  1. I can’t believe you’ve just come right out and used the c word on your blog!! 😯

    I teach my girls to say bum, poo and wee – a far cry from the toots (poo) and tinkle (wee) that I was taught when I was a little wee thing .. ha! πŸ™‚

    I think my mum was afraid that we would offend my Irish Grandmother if we came out with the word poo in polite company.. quite why toots was better I don’t know. It’s not like they wouldn’t know what we were talking about.

    The only other thing that comes to mind is when the midwife delivering my second daughter, sympathised with me because of all the medical staff in the room looking up my ‘flue’ πŸ˜†

    Made us laugh anyway πŸ™‚

  2. Thats exactly the thing; why do we come up with them when we all know what they mean? Still the number of different words we can come up with is amazing to me. “Toots” is funny and “flue” is a new one on me.

    Good stuff’ πŸ™‚

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