Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Capron Phrase Dictionary

In our family, as in most families with young kids, not every word is English. Or any other language known outside these walls. We speak Capron.

When Mihiretu says, "Memba? Yestiday?" he means "Remember when we did this before?" Yesterday could mean two months ago or fifteen minutes.

As in "Mihiretu, when's the last time you went pee?"

"At school. Yestiday."

When Lana says "egg nah" she's talking about egg nog. As in "I love Christmas so much because we get to have egg nah!"

"Attendant" is Lana for "tenant". As in, after meeting a woman who had come to see the apartment in the lower half of our house, "I like her. Is she going to be our new attendant?" Which immediately conjures images of this rather retiring fifty-something cat-lady bringing us breakfast in bed on a tray and fanning us while we eat it.

Lana and even sometimes Mae say "aten" for "eaten". As in "I aten that broccoli before and I DIDN'T LIKE IT!" To which Mihiretu might respond, "Yestiday?" Ben then reliably trots out a modified version of my old joke - "I can't eat another bite. I'm all aten out."

"Kiffer" as reported here in past posts is Mihiretu for "Clifford". As in "Kiffer da Big Wed Dog".

"Mama, I wan dog. Like Kiffer. BIG like Kiffer. I wan dog NOW! I wan ten."

"Sorry" is "solly" in Mihiretu. Whenever he says it - and it's fairly rare, though always welcome - I imagine an elderly Russian rabbi, good old Solly, his warm, twinkly eyes peeking from under his black fur hat, ready to provide the wisdom of the ages.

When Mihiretu says "Mama ass me", he means "Mama told me". It insinuates that the other parent once said it was okay to do what he is now being forbidden to do. As in "No, Mihiretu, you can't sit on the counter." "But Daddy ass me." Or "No, Mihiretu, we are not having chocolate for breakfast." "But Mama ass me." Sometimes Mama wants to ass him, but she refrains.

Ben has his own lingo, derived from years of cycling, language that I, after ten years of marriage, I use myself. "Off the back" means not leading, falling behind - the rider that can't keep the pace and falls off the back of the peloton. It also means, more metaphorically, someone who's not leading, who's not forward thinking. I'm currently off the back on the laundry.

To "hammer", in bike terms, comes from hammering on the pedals, applying all your force and effort to go as fast as possible. You can also BE a hammer, one who is extremely competent and at the top of their field. Ben and I are hammers at remodeling stinky houses and making them cute. Sometimes I find myself using this particular term in strange contexts. Like lifting a completed halloween costume from the sewing machine at a stitch-and-bitch session with my girlfriends and saying, "I totally hammered on that zebra outfit!" Blank stares.

If you are "shelled", you've ridden so hard that you have no energy left. We're not sure of the derivation. It could be from the military - you've been shelled by bombs. Or, and this is the way I picture it, you've given all you've got to give, all that's inside, and what's left is an empty shell. At any rate, at the end of virtually every day, Ben and I are shelled.

We have our own language, our own culture, our own little microclimate. And in this terrarium, we are blooming some unusual orchids. Orchids that march out into the world requesting egg nah, saying solly when they trespass upon others, trying really hard to not fall off the back. They're hammers, all of them.

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