Thursday, 19 April 2007

Family lingo: your tribe's invented words

I was thinking today (after having returned from a holiday with 17 members of my immediate family) about all the words, phrases and sayings that are peculiar to my tribe. Every family has its own lexicon; a miscellany of invented or borrowed words that everyone in the clan understands, but that are completely mystifying to outsiders. Here is a short list of some of ours (the word first, in bold, then the definition). Please post your own family lexicon!

snifter-face: ugly hungover look; read more
pakkinellika (pronounced puck-i-nell-ica) or pak: All the assorted bits and pieces you are packing for a trip, or schlepping along with you on a trip. I think this may have Norwegian origins, and that the word came via my Norwegian grandmother.
tit-tot seat: the elbow-rest that folds down on the back seat of a car. Kids in my family always fought (and still fight) to get the tit-tot seat
doench (pronounced doo-oonch): A crocodile clip that pins back your hair, or a scrunchie designed for the same purpose
hall..eeeu! A general, all-purpose greeting
crocodile clampers: kitchen utensil or braai tool: tongs with toothed spoon-bowls and a spring mechanism
zapper: the remote control thing that opens your gate
puss-flaps: sounds terrible, but these are the flapped pockets you get on handbags, backpacks and coats
cheers, big ears: how you say good-bye, in person or in an email
braai-meister: the person who gets to braai the meat
budgie-smugglers: tight Speedos worn by men. The term is imported from Australia.
smook: bug-spray
weak thin legs: what you get after a long period of extensive jorling, or illness, or stress. Taken from an advert for a lost dog, stolen off a noticeboard many years ago, copied and sent out as a Christmas card. The missing dog was called Bunchie, and was described as having 'weak thin legs'.
fluff: a fart (also baff and niffer)
drive-by shooting: taking photographs surreptitously
buffet-bot: the consequences of having eaten too much at the buffet the night before
toils: toilet
P.L.U.s (pronounced Pee-El-Yews): People Like Us.
elephant bogroll: paper kitchen towels
V-H bot: any woman with receding or disappearing buttocks. Named after the initials of an actual person.
cat-meat: what hangs out of the sides of a pair of shorts worn by a man who is sitting with his legs open, and who isn't wearing underpants
undercarriage: a generic word for the nether regions
visky: whiskey
Who diefed? ( pronounced 'Hoo-deefed'): From Afrikaans. Means "Who stole? ". Used by anyone in my family who can't find something. For example, "Who diefed my razor?"; "Who diefed all the viskey?"


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1 comment:

Tracey said...

Zag (pronounced 'zaj'): exaggerate. Can also be used as a noun ('don't be such a zag'). This was a word created by me when I was in high school 25 years ago and I get a kick out of hearing my own teenage kids use it today. They think it's a real word.