Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Family Jargon on "Between You and Me"

By Jennifer Poenix

This Saturday, on "Between You and Me," the topic is family jargon. You know, those things that people in your family say that only make sense to your family.

For instance, if you put on a sweater at my house to keep warm, we call it a hal-fra-roo-fra coat. It comes from a Christmas song that my husband listened to a lot as a child. The kid in the song is singing about what he might buy his mother. We still can't figure out exactly what he says, but it has something to do with a real fur coat.

Would you ever tell anybody to "go outside and get the stink blown off?" Well, we say it my family, and it doesn't mean that you stink. It just means you've been cooped up inside for too long. It's something my great-grandmother would say. Maybe her mother said it too. And her mother.

It's comforting knowing that the things we say live on, even if they are strange. My son, age 3, is already picking up on this. One day, I said "Crash, bang, boom," as I was digging through a cupboard to grab a pot in the back. He laughed at the phrase, and I told him it was something his grandma said whenever she made a lot of noise in the kitchen. Now he'll tell me, "Crash, bang, boom, Grandma Wendy says."

What kinds of things are said in your family? Is it something a child said once long ago, and it just stuck? Do you have a phrase that has lasted generations? We want to hear your stories this Saturday on "Between You and Me," from 10am-noon. If you're unable to call in during the show, you may use our Talkback line: 218-999-9876, or email

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