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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Every Family Has Its Made-Up Words - What Are Yours?


I'm sure you have them too. Maybe they were based on a slip of the tongue that someone never lived down. Maybe they started out in the mouth of a child and then took on a life of their own.  Whichever it was, I've known plenty of families that had their own unique vocabulary.

In my ex-husband's family, the word was "Sabone." They were Philly-area Italian, and the word “Jabrone” was an active part of their vocabulary. It's a derogatory term meant for someone who's a general pain in the ass.  As a child, one of my in-laws mispronounced it as "Sabone," and it stuck.

It became not only a nickname for him, but completely supplanted Jabrone in their vocabulary. If you did something stupid in front of the group, if you were irritating everybody, you were a Sabone.

In my house, the word is “Hickleburp.” As in the sound you make when you hiccup really hard and it comes out like more of a burp. A combination of a hiccup and a burp is a Hickleburp. I got it from my mother, and carried it down. Eventually, maybe hundreds of years in the future, it will become part of the American lexicon. This is my contribution to humanity.
So that's our word. What's yours? And how did it come to be? 

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