“A yittle or a yot?” Clarification. A favorite quote from one of my nephews, whose relationship with the letter L is somewhat tenuous. (To him, I am Aunt YaYa.) This question is a very useful way to address matters of scale.
Cosmic particles. Noun. Remember back when something coincidental would happen and people would hum the ‘Twilight Zone’ music? The phrase ‘cosmic particles’, when uttered with wide eyes and a knowing nod, conveys the same consciousness of fate’s twists without anyone having to fake half-sing in public.
Fross. Adjective. When something is really gross, it's fross. Courtesy of my nephew Caden-4yrs, who employs a cavalier approach to certain consonants. Example: If you go outside and accidentally step in dog poop, your shoes will be fross.
Herfing. State of being. Word to describe the feeling you get after eating food that you know is bad for you (like Doritos or in
Hoh-kay. Pronouncement, laced with sarcasm. A form of agreement that implies complete disagreement. The more ‘ho-ho-hos’ you include before the ‘-kay’, the more obvious it becomes you don’t agree. For example, Person A says “Gee, I don’t think the American presidential election lasts long enough. Blink and you’ll miss it.” Person B says “Ho-ho-ho-kay” and walks off, shaking her head.
Hork. Verb. To throw up a big ol’ hairball, usually in the middle of the night. A form of onomatopoeia.
Hormotional. Adjective. Favorite new word from Ugly Betty, used to describe the crazy and wildly varying mood swings sometimes attributed to an overabundance of hormones. Note - Men, use this sparingly. It could get you in trouble. Example: Alternately raving, sobbing, and giggling, she displayed a textbook case of hormotional behavior.
Hotpants. Nickname, gender-neutral. ‘Hotpants’ is what I call you when our paths cross and it becomes instantly clear that you are in your 20s, and are convinced that you will always look like that, that you were born knowing more than all the rest of us, and that the rest of us should feel truly fortunate that you chose to condescend so kindly in our direction. One day, Hotpants, you too will be 35. Just remember that.
Hot-umn. Contraction = hot + autumn. First day of fall here in Dallas, high of 90°F. Definitely hot-umn.
Huh. Noncommittal commentary. Usually uttered as a stand-alone comment devoid of gestures or facial expressions. Surface meaning: I’m listening to what you’re saying. Actual meaning: I totally disagree with you but am not about to get into it. Example: Person A says, “I think OJ Simpson is just misunderstood.” Person B says, “Huh.”
Sensuous. Contraction = since + you + wuz. “Sensuous up, could you get me a drink?” Courtesy of my friend Nooch, who collects Southern contractions the way some people collect Himmel figurines.
Stampede mode. Noun. That feeling you sometimes get that makes it seem like if you don’t get up and run around really fast right now you just might explode. Admittedly, I don’t feel like this very often, but I used to, and my cats seem to feel it every night around 10 pm. Also known as ‘the rip-snorts’ or ‘the evening crazies.’
Through the looking glass. Descriptive phrase. Courtesy of Lewis Carroll, used to describe that feeling you get when something totally bizarre seems to have happened but no one else seems to have noticed.
W :0 W. Commentary + sign language. This one involves using your hands, and was learned from a few weird girls I met at summer camp during my high school years. (Note level of maturity of the source of this gesture, and use accordingly.) Make ‘W’s’ with both hands (you know, backward '3's), hold them up on either side of your head and say “Wow” in a melodramatic fashion, using your head – or the big O of your mouth – to be the middle of the word. This reaction is usually only prompted by something truly amazing.