Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Lexicon of Childhood

Here's an ongoing dictionary of the great expressions kids come up with. No particular order, not very long, and depends on whatever they come up with.

nastarola (adj.) generically, mildy nasty.

lasterday (n.) similar to yesterday, but specifically referring to the day of an event. (e.g., "Lasterday, when we went to the zoo, we got cotton candy." Thus, not the immediately preceding day, but the probably recent day when the zoo was last visited.)

the first beginning (n.) As adults, we think of a book beginning on the first page of the story or text, perhaps on the title page. But "the first beginning" is the first page of the book, literally — perhaps a flyleaf or an endpaper.

baby in a bird's nest (n.) A Christmas tree ornament of the infant Jesus in a cradle of straw.

Jesus Crisis (expletive) Corruption of Jesus Christ.

damage (expletive) Corruption of "damn it"

baby Zeus (proper name) Greek American child's answer to "Do you know what Christmas is about?"

"Fix the law." Anything that is broken can be fixed. So in response to "They broke the law," the response might be "Can you fix it?"

chocolate (adj.) Anything that tastes about as good as a thing can taste. Vanilla soy milk is 'chocolate'; Peach smoothie is 'chocolate'.

ganges (n.) Corruption of "gadgets," of the kind that Batman frequently uses.

stupidhead (n.) Means exactly what it sounds like. "Head" can be appended to many derogatory adjectives to produce an unflattering noun.

babyhead (n.) Much the same meaning as "stupidhead". Often said by an older sibling.

na-nana-poo-poo (?) Usually precedes "you can't catch me!" Meaning obscure.

ballgum (n.) Corruption of "gumball".

Elmo Juice (proper name) More generally N juice, where N is the commercial pop-figure used to get kids to buy the product, in this case juice.

Hot tub powers (n.) The special category of superpowers acquired after a first childhood experience of a hot tub.

"If you shoot the moon, it will make fireworks."

Clark Klent (proper name, Tue. April 7, 2009) Alterego or alternative identity of Superman.

The Clue (proper name, Sat. June 13, 2009) Confusion of the name "Riddler" from Batman.

Turning wheel (n.) a doorknob

more to come . . .

1 comment:

Bob said...

Has Bob Herbert ever been to Germany? Great place to visit. Seems to be a great place to live (except for the weather).

I think they got rid of their oligarchy (or we got rid of it for them). Maybe we can get rid of ours.