What is Your Family’s Secret Language?

Elvish housekeeping instructions (via http://derhobbit-film.de/)

Family units are like their own sub-cultures, and in many cases we have our own languages – or at least jargons – where we use words or phrases, either real or made-up, to mean things they don’t for other people, on an even deeper level than just the regional differences that give us variations like “soda,” “pop,” and “coke.” For example, in our family, we have the following special words:

patookie” – leftover from when our boys were little, this is a substitute for “butt”
perambulation” – we use this, instead of “walk,” so our dogs won’t freak out with excitement
bacca” – for grandpa, again from our boys’ childhoods when they mashed up one grandfather who loves trains, and Star Wars, into “Choo Choo Bacca”
magical thingie” – instead of “treat,” again so the dogs don’t go nuts when it’s time for their snack

So, what are the words or phrases in your family’s secret language?

About Ken Denmead

Ken is a husband and father from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he works as civil engineer. He also wrote the NYT bestselling GeekDad series of project books for parents and kids to share.

About Ken Denmead

Ken is a husband and father from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he works as civil engineer. He also wrote the NYT bestselling GeekDad series of project books for parents and kids to share.

3 thoughts on “What is Your Family’s Secret Language?

  1. My oldest has a “secret language” term: Chicken.

    The origin of this is from, of all places, a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode where Goofy asks Mickey “Guess What?” When Mickey asks “What?”, Goofy answers “Chicken Butt!” My oldest thought this was hilarious and started going around exclaiming Chicken Butt! Of course, we let him know, in no uncertain terms, that this was unacceptable…. So he shortened it to Chicken! Now, we all know what he means, but he’s not technically saying anything bad so he gets away with it.

    The loophole is strong with this one.

  2. Total ditto on the “chicken” story!

    “Ootcha” or “ootchie” (“oo” pronounced as in “foot”) – equivalent to (cute) fussiness in infants. Now used to annoy our 9 and 6 year olds when they get “fussy” :)

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