Sunday, January 31, 2010

Does every family have their own special words?

When we were still in the UK I did a list of things to be done and forgot to type a space between the To and the Do - 'What's a todo (to rhyme with Frodo)'? Mr FF asked me. Since then of course that is what we have called it.

When planning something involving a journey Mr FF likes to add 'wiggle room' - you know, those extra vital hours that are needed to make the difference between cutting it fine and sailing along in a leisurely fashion (although we both have a hatred of being late everywhere and consequently prefer to be the first ones).

When I was a child my mother tried to encourage me to be self-possessed and confident - which she abbreviated to SPC. Even now I sometimes tell myself to be SPC.

Do you and yours have their special phrases? Care to share them with me?


Steve said...

A lot of ours come from the kids - on a car journey we pointed out a windmill to Tom. He pronounced it "mim-mill" and it stuck.

LadyFi said...

Oh, I love your words!

When we are going to do something secret, that we don't want others to know, we say we're going to 'coconut'.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Oh yes, let me see ... when we first started dating in high school, the only chance we really had to talk on the phone would be late at night after my parents had gone to bed. And I was exhausted, so I tended to start falling asleep in the middle of sentences but would keep talking! One of the phrases that came out of this was striped-up paisley. We have no idea what popped that into my subconscious as I was drifting off, but we used the phrase during our eight-year long-distance relationship to characterize it. It may not look typical to other people, but it reaches across crazy circumstances. That's striped-up paisley love.

Jennysmith said...

Hilary hiccups was a regular one when the kids were babies. Does baby stuff count?

Good post, sweetie xx

Lulu LaBonne said...

Dignity Darling Dignity - that was our watchword

Kathy said...

Vanni is with Mr FF with the wiggle room. I cannot think of any words right now that we use but I am sure we must have some lol. Kathy.

bermudabluez said...

I love your words too!! The only one I can think of at the moment would be...if one of us can't talk...we are "in a cornfield"...does that count??

French Fancy said...

Steve - of course now the few times I see one I am going to call it 'mimm-mill'. that will get Mr FF's attention.

Ladyfi - that does sound novel and I will always think of you now when I spot a coconut in the shops.

ContemTroub - that is one of the cutest things I have ever heard. Yes, this was just the sort of thing I was hoping for

Jen - I say things like this to the dogs - baby substitutes? Never?

Lulu - your DDD reminds me of my mum's SPC

Kathy - I wonder if 'wiggle room' is a common one? Mr FF told me the phrase 'sweaty betties' years ago when I began commuting and would complain about the Friday mob on the Hampshire- bound train from Waterloo. We both thought it an original phrase of his and then began hearing it everywhere. Sometimes one just picks up things and doesn't realise they are not original.

bb - yes, that counts just perfectly

I'm loving all these. I remembered yesterday that an old friend would sometimes do a hug of her child and husband and call it a 'three-way cuddle'. Her child always called it a 'seaweed cuddle' and Mr FF and I sometimes use it when we hug another person (usually his mum, don't get any funny ideas)

Delana said... secret words.They're a confirmation of intimacy...warm and wonderful. When my sister and I were small we would pretend we were french and babble on in our made-up french language. To say kiss (as in good-bye) we would say Ma-foo. I am now living in France and though I'm learning the real language....the entire family including my mother and children....all sign off the telephone with Ma-foo.

French Fancy said...

Delana - hello and welcome to the blog. I love the sound of 'ma-foo'; some words just sound so right, as right as proper words.

Off to your place right now...

Carol said...

I'm afraid we've adopted some Thai expressions.....we say Nit Noy when we want to say a little bit , Mau (rhymes with Pow) when tipsy, Mai Dai (Dai rhymes with Pie) for cannot and Non La Fan Dee which means sweet dreams.

Chris also refers to me as Donut (because he says I have a hole where my brain should be) and refers to my wee eccentricities (as I like to call them) as Donut moments!!

I'm sure we must have others but I can't think of any at the moment...

C x

PS. Delana - I love Ma-foo!!

Mark Emerson Sanderson said...

I like saying riticky-sing-piece. There is no story behind this.

Anonymous said...

We have a million of 'em but can't think of one at the moment..just came to say Hi.

Oh, Bulabula is our word for bath, comes from an Dutch friend, so we are going for a bulabula.
If we have not had some for a long time we say, we haven't had it since Matehuala-comes from driving in Mexico with a long distance between drinks and Saz moaned that she hadn't had a drink since Metehuala.

the fly in the web said...

My mother's mother used to put the pudding on the table with the warning
'Windmill Pudding'.
Which was to say that if it went all the way round we would all get some.
So now, when there are guests and whatever I've served up in in short supply, the warning of
'Windmill pudding' is given to family.

Ayak said...

Mr A and I have so many I can't remember them all. Mostly they are due to his confusion with the English language, and even though I've corrected them, they've stuck and I use them too. Eg if he is in town and looking around, he says he's "rounding". He calls toes feet fingers. Recently I phoned him in Istanbul and he sounded a bit out of breath and when I asked him what was up..he said he was "dumbling" turned out he was using some dumb-bells.

willow said...

"Smells like cherries". Don't ask.

Susie Vereker said...

When I'm going anywhere I usually have an LMP (last minute panic). Maybe because I've failed to fit everything into an LSB (light shoulder bag, as recommended)etc etc.
Nit-noi, that's a good one, Carol. All our Thai phrases and French ones have faded out of use.
But when I meet a new baby I revert to ridiculous words, too embarrassing to write about. That's the thing about family jokes, some are very silly and can't be aired for fear you'll think we're nuts.

Molly Potter said...

Hi FF - might have!
Mostly from adaptations of the things kids said when they were little...

we say 'two ones' instead of two.
We say sukermarket.
Cracked Blood is chicken pox
Mazza een - magazine

Then fully made up
Clup - for when a sock hasn't gone on properly - the 'clup' is the bit that needs adjusting
Scratchets - the bit behind the knee - which happens to be very ticklish
Nittles - pet name for our family nits that visit us quite often
Huggle - a snuggly hug
Jenny Taylor (sorry Jen) - gentalia

We play around with names too...
Our daughter's teacher became known as Lazy breakfast (Mrs Lacey-Edwards)
I always insisted on calling a hardware store Burridges...when it was called Burrells ?

They're the ones that come to mind...there's probably a tonne more

I love yours...

Molly Potter said...

Oh mormal for normal...oh they are just going to keep I'll stop there

the fly in the web said...

Oh, and our friend Pig Ziya...because we were talking about something being a real pig's ear and he thought we meant him....his wife eventually enlightened him, and now when he rings up he anounces
'Pig Ziya here'.

Anonymous said...

At a newspaper at which I worked we had a little front page sidebar called 'Today' which highlighted the lead stories in the issue. Eventually, in reference, when a reporter was commissioned to write the Today column, it eventually was referred to as Toady and the items became toadies.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

This is off-topic, but...
Thank you so much for making it to my site! I feel as if I've semi-known you for months through your comments on ASD's blog...he's such a darling...and I love the friendship you two have. Anyway, it was lovely seeing your comments pop up today and I must set aside some time to pore over your blog which looks both dangerously fascinating. :)

Dottie said...

Coming from Northern Ireland, our family language was mostly made up of such things, with only a very little English to string them together. One we still use is AWD, as in "he's a bit AWD". If you say "odd" with a Norn Iron accent, you get awd, but that is too rude to say out loud, so you just spell it - A W D!

Dottie said...

Oh and we had one like mim-mill, which was "ment mikker" for cement mixer, lol

Angie Muresan said...

We don't have special words in English, only in Romanian. But we do have nicknames. Our son Tristan is Tin-Tin and our daughter Isabella is Bellabu.

NorthWestLondonGirlInTheCountry said...

We tend to use yiddish words in our house, you will have to forgive the spelling. Some choice words are:

Chutzpah - cheeky
Fercrimpt - bedraggled and manky
Meeskite - woman with sour face
Shlep - a drag to do ie. carrying or going somewhere
Schlock - a person who looks a mess

I could go on, but won't. Very glad to have found your blog ..

Carol said...

There is an award over at mine for you :-)

C x

Reasons said...

My son used to call his older sister Cake Tin. Her name is Caitlin.x

French Fancy said...

Carol - The cheek of Chris! (said in a nice way). Not much of a donut hole with all that MA knowledge you are pouring into it.

I loved the Thai words.

Hiya Mark - I found that quite hard to say actually.

Hello Moannie - you never need a reason to pop by but I did love both words.

tfitw - oh I did like that. Often when I am cooking for people coming over and Mr FF is wanting to sample in the kitchen before the serving is done - well I say boring stuff like 'DON'T'. Windmill pudding is much more subtle - I might have to pinch this

Ayak - feet fingers is superb and everyone would know what he meant. In fact all his errors are charming and deserve to be proper words.

willow - oo er, is it on the 'naughty' side?

Susie- I love LMP - I might have to use it - and I would never think anything to soppy to be put on my blog comment section. There is no limit to soppiness on here

Molly - I knew yours would be unusual - actually everyone's on here is pretty unusual.

We say 'huggles' as well. I love 'two ones' - in fact I might use some from now on

tfitw - Love it! When I first arrived here in France and would say Madame first name second name on the phone to people, some people thought both bits were my surname (as in Mme French Fancy instead of Mme. Fancy). It has now stuck with a lot of people and causes no end of merriment - these Bretons! They've got to laugh at something I guess (sorry local population).

Ian - that is perfect - a bit like my todo really. Something that just stuck by mistake

Lisa - and everything you said right back at you. I want to find out if your husband was involved in any of Pink Floyd's recordings when you were both in London.

I've got to sidebar your blog, I really have.

As for ASD - he is an absolute star

Dottie - hello and welcome to the blog. I love AWD - might have to pinch it (goodness, when Mr FF next returns from Paris he will find me talking in code - better than in tongues I guess)

Angie - aw, that is so sweet - especially as we are big Tin-Tin fans in this house. Their nick names are as lovely as them.

NWLondongirl - my, your name looks interesting, especially as my old stamping ground was Hampstead. You left out 'schmeerel' - one of my favourite words

Carol - oooo - on my way - well after I do a walk in the rain to give me the little lift I need.

Reasons - and what did she call him? Is it repeatable?

Eleonora said...

Family lexicon is genius. We have a name, and the name is Covelli. Whenever we talk about someone and that someone is approaching us from behind, the code name is Covelli. If we can't talk in that moment because others are listening, the word uttered is Covelli. "How was the party friday?"..."Covelli!" –and you know to shut up and not mention the party.

Now as far as chestnut flour, are you sure you can't find farine de châtaignes? It's quite common in France. Otherwise you can order some from Dowd & Rogers

Lola xx

the fly in the web said...

Award for you over at mine...could be the same as Carol' don't have to do anything about it, it is just to say how much I appreciate your blog.

cheshire wife said...

We don't seem to have any odd words. When my mother was stuck for words she used to refer to things as a 'doodar'. We usually knew what she was talking about, even if she didn't.

the fly in the web said...

Oh, Clayhanger...I like Arnold Bennett.
I read all his five towns stuff when I was a teenager. There's an omelette named after him too, but for the life of me I can't now remember what was in it.
And that reminds me of another saying...this time from Pig Ziya...
'Are you a man or an omelette?'
A wonderful question to pose, coming from his translation from the french 'are you a man or only half of one?'
I always think it would make a wonderful book title.

French Fancy said...

Lola - I've been caught out a few times talking about things I should not have been - within earshot of people so 'Covelli' would be good for me. Mind you, as I get older I am busy turning into my mother and telling people more or less to their face what I once used to complain about behind their proverbial backs.

Re the flour - I will do a search next week. Thanks for the info.

tfitw - it is just lovely to be thought of and I will blog about it very soon. Thank you sweetie

CW - I use 'dooda' sometimes.

tfitw - (I love popping in and out of the comment box as well) - that omelette is phrase is superb.

As for Mr Bennett - this is the only one of his I've not read. He is very good, isn't he.

Phil Lowe said...

Lovely post FF. I expect I will think of loads more during today but 'getting me worms muxed ip' was one for getting my words mixed up and my ex and I used to call each other meewse after the British Gas advert with the dog cat and mouse all cuddling up in front of the fire and the little mouse makes the meewse sound.

French Fancy said...

Phil ' 'worms muxed' is lovely. I used to say 'melomadratic' when I was young (pretentious youngster? Me?) and even now - on the rare occasions I have to use such a word out here - I still have trouble remembering the right order.

good to see you back

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Our children say: "toggler" for toddler and "oken" for open. Little boy says I will do it for "meisellfff" which is hard to reproduce here but is gorgeous. I will have to film him whilst he says it. Definitely it's those moments which you want to bottle up and savour forever.

SPC - sums you FF. I can tell (as a mum) what a great job your parents did with you. It shines through. :)

French Fancy said...

Children's funny words are so lovely - I know people used to moan about the Michael Barrymore prog with the things that kids said - I thought it was great.

Thanks for the kind words, C. You are lovely.

typejunky said...

our children all had a different phonetic variant for elephant, "satsant" was the first one "latlit" was teh second, we do tend to still use these words now and again, We also have something called "a Rhiannonism" so named after my deeply thoughtful but slightly daffy eldest who would cause us much mirth by thinking very hard about something for a while an then saying something alarmingly daft, it's always made us all laugh.

French Fancy said...

Hello typejunky- do you get many latlits where you are? It is strangely satisfying to say.