Social Question

bobbinhood's avatar

Do you have any family names for things?

Asked by bobbinhood (5896points) November 30th, 2010

When I was little, I couldn’t say “granddad”, so I called him “grindad”, and it just kind of stuck. Likewise, I have a great uncle who always called potato wedges “dirty taters”. A couple generations later, the entire family still calls them dirty taters, even though I’ve never heard the term from anyone else.

What about you? Do you have any names for things that are unique to your family? What are they? How did you get them?

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38 Answers

Ivy's avatar

We have a folding foot stool that we’ve had for years and use often. It’s been called ‘stooly’ for as long as I can remember.

flutherother's avatar

French toast we called Mrs McCrutchie. I have no idea why.

zenvelo's avatar

the drawer that everyone seems to have where all the things that have no place to be end up (stamps, odd pencils, post-its, random keys, extra thumbtacks, loose batteries, etc.) has always been called the Fibber McGee drawer in my family, after the old radio show.

West's avatar

Our entire family calls balloons ‘roons’ because my great-grandmother could never say it right . It just kind of stuck .

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Everybody should have an Uncle Bastard! I do;)

Ivy's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Wow. I had an Uncle Straw, short for Strawther, and I thought that was the worst I’d heard, ‘til now:)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Ivy -His brother is Uncle Smelly.
I almost forgot Aunt Bitchy XD

snowberry's avatar

We have quite a few. Schammich for sandwich, Prench Toes for french toast, Grink for drink, Gumbrella for umbrella, Bapes for grapes,Shrash for trash, Pish for fish, Baffroom for bathroom. And the list goes on. Everyone’s grown, but the kids (or even my husband or I) will sometimes pop a word or two into every day conversation just to keep things interesting. However, it never goes past the front door.

snowberry's avatar

Oh, and my mother, who graduated class valedictorian from high school told of how she used to learn to spell. She’d look at the word, and pronounce it the way she thought it would sound if you pronounced every letter. She came up with “ske-doo-lee” for schedule, and “dee-bone-er” for debonair. She thought this made it easier to remember the correct spelling. Well it worked too well. One evening a few years later she tried to use two of her words in a conversation with her date. She said he never asked her out again.

We use her words around the house too.

bobbinhood's avatar

These are all amazing answers!

@snowberry Your second answer made me laugh out loud. I used to do that with a few words as a child. I also made up little chants for the spellings of some words, and it took me until the end of high school to be able to spell them without the chants.

@lucillelucillelucille What are Uncle Bastard, Uncle Smelly, and Aunt Bitchy? ...or do I not want to know?

@Ivy So, I definitely just looked up “strawther” thinking it was a real word, but it’s not. Was Strawther actually a name?

Kayak8's avatar

My niece couldn’t say bathing suit, so we all called it a baby soup for years.

tedibear's avatar

I have a niece who used to call marshmallows “smashbellers.” That one stuck for years. Her daughter used “liftalator” for elevator. Which is kind of a cross between the British word “lift” and the U.S. term of “elevator.” I still say liftalator. I’m sure there are others that I’m not remembering. Great question!

Ivy's avatar

@bobbinhood Yes, his name was Strawther John. But most of my family was and is American Southern, and that explains it. We have a Junior, a Bubba, and a lot of initials for names in our family. My grandfather’s first name was Casual, and was called ‘Caz’. I think it’s one of the coolest names, and fit him perfectly.

muppetish's avatar

At first, I thought I did not have an answer to this question… but we do and it’s an extremely silly reference. One day, my younger brother asked me whether I had a stapler. He had looked all over the room for it, and asking me where it was located was a last resort. I turned to the side of my desk and pretended that I did have the stapler, but turned around and handed him a pair of scissors. To this day, we call the stapler “scissors” and scissors “stapler”, much to the confusion of visitors.

So it’s not a new or interesting name, but it’s ours.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@bobbinhood -They’re beloved relatives ;)

snowberry's avatar

Oh, and another one from my mom: Swave instead of suave. She was a treasure.

Supacase's avatar

We say “supacase” instead of “suitcase” because that is what our daughter called it. I was so sad when she learned to say “suitcase” – but my husband and I still say it.

We also say “pot-chew-pour-ee” instead of “potpourri” because that is how my grandmother said it the first time she saw it.

Another great one from Grandma! Every so often she will say a little swear word. She was really focused on not saying anything bad when she first met my soon-to-be-husband, so when she started to say “Saddam” (which she pronounces “Suh-damn) she blurted out “Sadang!” We say that now instead of swearing.

chyna's avatar

We call the end of bread the bumper.

MaekoPoisoning's avatar

When I was a wee lass, before I could speak very well, every time someone would say loving endearments I would reply with the sound “mmm!” and give everyone hugs. The entire family still does this even today. I guess that isn’t really a word for something… but it just about sums up a feeling. ^.^

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I’m not sure how it really started, but every so often we’ll say something like “I’m gonna womp you!”, like a playful threat. Before my dad does anything dangerous, my mom will say “You’d better not hurt yourself or I’ll womp you!”

casheroo's avatar

My mother is called RooRoo instead of grandma. She would call my son “casheroo” and he was little and kept repeating “rooroo” to only her. So, it stuck.
We call farts “toots”, bath time is “tubby time”. lol.

wundayatta's avatar

Nutmeg is Edna, I think because my son didn’t hear it right at first. Of course, it gets a bit confusing because Eggnog is also Edna. Sometimes you have to put Edna into the Edna!

We also have a letter knife called Hobie, Hobie, Ho. Don’t ask.

Cruiser's avatar

Mr. Happy!

Is the name of our Painted Turtle I found in the middle of our street and my then 7 yr old called him that because he was sure it was happy to not otherwise be flat as a pancake. ;)

chyna's avatar

@Cruiser My ex used the name Mr. Happy for something else. Hmm..

Cruiser's avatar

@chyna Recliner? Beer Mug?? Motorcycle?? Guitar?? Paycheck??

chyna's avatar

@Cruiser I’ll never tell. :-)

Jude's avatar

Shoob and Catie – taking a shit.

Mr. Must (our old cabin up North)

footy – foot rubs

My brother’s friend’s name is Steve Wright – we call him Wrightoff

my old grade school music teacher’s name was Mr. Lobsinger. We called him Mr. Knobswinger. ;-)

Nikki’s gay uncle has a male roommate who is just a friend, but, is scary (weird and opinionated), we call him The Basement Monster and Nikki’s brother is the middle child, but, is 25 going on 18. We call him Princess.

ucme's avatar

Similar to @lucillelucillelucille I have an Auntie Climax an Auntie Dote & an Auntie Social..we don’t see her much. I also have an Uncle Fester & by fortunate coincidence an Uncle Buck. Who would believe it eh? :¬)

bobbinhood's avatar

I love all the stories behinde these answers! Family is such a special part of life. :)

@wundayatta You can’t say something like that, and then tell us not to ask. I mean, really?

@Kayak8 How many strange looks have you gotten for that one? I can just imagine the horrified expressions…

@Cruiser Letting a child name a pet is always dangerous business. But then, anyone who’s been around children should already know that, so it’s all good. I was four or five the first time I named a pet, and I gave it the same name as myself. My parents tried to talk me out of it, but I would have none of it. My story’s not nearly as good as yours; it’s official.

Jude's avatar

I love where my lurve score is at. :)

wundayatta's avatar

@bobbinhood Ok. Twist my arm. Actually the only reason I said that was because I didn’t have time then.

Someone gave me a letter opener that was green and had some kind of made up animal carved on the end you hold. There were multi-colored spots painted on the animal. It looked a little like an armadillo, I think—or an anklyosaur.

My daughter was pretty young—maybe two or three, and to entertain her one night, I made Hobie dance around, singing this song with nonsense words:

Hobie hobie ho,
Hobie hobie ho,
Hobie hobie hobie hobie
Hobie hobie ho.

She loved it and would ask for it over and over. Ever since, it’s been known as Hobie Hobie Ho (Hobie for short). Once he got lost for a while, and we were all kind of upset, but eventually he showed up, with a few more nicks on his paint, kind of like a cat that returns after a long absence with a number of fight scars.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I find it interesting how so many of these family words are people’s usernames.

zenvelo's avatar

my girlfriend (and now I) calls dogs “fluffs” and young children “littles”.

bobbinhood's avatar

@wundayatta I like that story. I’m glad you had time to share. :)

Eclipse's avatar

Some members of my ex-step family calls egg-nog, crunchy milk.

chyna's avatar

@Eclipse I think milk is called that when it’s been in the fridge too long.

Eclipse's avatar

@chyna I agree, but that’s what they call it. I think it came about when one of the really young members took a drink and said, “This taste like crunchy milk.” But sometimes trying to understand a child is like trying to understand someone with autism.

snowberry's avatar

Oh, and one of my favorites is Purple Dibungi. Anytime someone’s sick, I say, It’s Purple Dibungi!” Then I go on to describe it. You see, there’s the kind with the green spots, and the kind with the pink spots, but the green spots are much worse.

Doing this has become a recreational pass time for our family, because people so often take us seriously. My nursing student daughter delights in trotting this out and diagnosing an illness with it. She says it’s really awesome to try it on another nursing student. They are so naive!

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