What’s The Word In Your House?


WhatThe other day I was catching up on emails when I overheard my husband utter the word “robot.” For most people, that would be an unusual occurrence but not for me. You see, my husband works with robots for a living. No. I don’t mean people who are emotionless LIKE a robot. I mean real robots that do stuff for customers that I don’t fully understand. Add my husband’s occupation to the fact that he, thankfully, is able to work from home and BAM! You see why overhearing “robot” isn’t unusual for me.

That got me to thinking. What other words or phrases do you hear in my home that you might not hear in others? We have a few made-up words that are infamous under our roof and several phrases that have come from childhood stories and the twisted tongues of toddlers. Given the fact that our children are teens and tweens you might think it’s time we move on and get a new joke but you’d be wrong. These weird words and awkward phrases are like our family flag. They represent us and what makes us unique. They don’t make sense to many other people. In fact, they probably make us sound rather odd but those oddities are what I love about our family. They make us us.

There was a time that I thought our family should be what other families looked like to me-“ideal” would be the best word I suppose. I fooled myself into thinking that my perception was their reality. Every time I measured my family reality against my perception of theirs, I came up short. I spent more time looking at what my family wasn’t instead of what it was-funny, smart, odd, and a little on the quirky side. Over time I began to realize that my perception was just a small part of their reality and, sometimes, it was just plain wrong! (Yes. I just admitted to everyone reading this that I am wrong from time to time. Don’t tell my kids! They can’t handle the truth.) I was judging other families by their “company manners” and mine by our “behind the scenes reality.” Totally unfair.

I’m a slow learner I guess but I’m starting to understand that the things that make us different from others are what make us closer to becoming the people and the family that God designed us to be. Just like Scripture says, “If a foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,’ it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.” (1 Corinthians 12:15) Just because I say, “We’re not like the Smiths,” doesn’t mean that we aren’t what we’re supposed to be. If this “foot” focuses on NOT being a “hand” it will miss out on all of the great things that “feet” can do.

I guess hearing “robot” in my house is like a reminder that we’re feet in the Body of Christ and that’s what we’re supposed to be. So, I’m curious. What words do you hear in your house that you might not hear in other houses? What about your family helps you remember that you’re family is “foot”, or “hand”, or “head” and that’s the way it should be? (Keep it clean people! This is Catholic Mom, after all.)

Copyright 2014 Laura Nelson


About Author

Laura B. Nelson is a Catholic wife and mother of three children. She is also a Catholic blogger, author, speaker, teacher and life-long student of the Catholic faith. Laura likes to be busy but she most enjoys spending time with her husband and three children at their home in Grapevine, TX. Visit her blogs at Green for God and Suburban Sainthood.


  1. I’m glad our family isn’t the only ones who make up strange words. My husband and his brother did this and to this day, 30some years later, they STILL use their “language” and we’ve passed many of their words onto our kids.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this – “…I’m starting to understand that the things that make us different from others are what make us closer to becoming the people and the family that God designed us to be.”

    Thanks for this, Laura!

    • Glad you liked it Erika! My Mom used to make up nicknames for us that weren’t actual words. My brother was Oops-a-loop-salom-salom. God bless him! 🙂

  2. Erin McCole-Cupp on

    This was sweet! Our word right now is “swug.” My older kids share a sweater with a picture of a pug dog on it. Sweater. Pug. Swug. It makes sense. We also “channel” the voices of our pets, which is totally weird but totally hilarious.

    • Great word! It actually makes sense. Our big word these days is squamish (skwah-MISH) it has no meaning whatsoever. It’s just fun to say.

      Our dog has a whole secret life that we narrate from time to time. The stories usually involve stealing our food or protecting our backyard from evil birds.

  3. Erin McCole-Cupp on

    Oh, and they also got their own matching pairs of pajamas with a pug on the shirt. You guessed it: “pugjamas.”

  4. The hubs and I call our baby “Noggin” and we call our dog “The Nose”. We’ll also repeat phrases like “The Nose, knows”.

    • First of all, I like your reference to “the hubs”. Might borrow that one…
      Love “Noggin” as a nickname and “The Nose” sounds like a mobster’s name!

      We used to call our babies “Tiny-B” (among other things)before they were born for “tiny baby.” It actually refers to an old Saturday Night Live skit with Tiny Elvis. Weird but funny. Kind of like us!

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