“That was an airblast,” declared my almost three year old nephew very seriously as he sat on the potty seat, while I kept him company. I asked if poops were coming, but he said, “No, just another airblast.” I sat with him a bit longer, trying not to laugh at the new term he has just used.
An airblast?! What is that?! In our house, we would refer to it as a toot, or more endearingly, a toot-ski. Special thanks to Daddy O. for coining that term and explaining the difference between burp and toot to our then 2.5 year old! (Read more about the funny things my kids say in Talking with a Toddler and a Preschooler and in Choose your Words Carefully).
In another home, fart is not used, but instead is the f-word. This mom shared that her son’s elementary school teacher called her, saying that he used the f-word in circle time. Unfazed, the mom explained THEIR definition of the f-word in their home.
It’s crazy! With one word alone – fart, or flatulence, goes by so many other terms! This leads me to believe that every family has its own vernacular and special way of communicating. As parents we have to decide what we will or won’t say in the hopes that our children will refrain from picking up the bad words. However, when children go out into the wider world – for example another home or school – these family terms can easily be misunderstood or simply humorous.
All this airblast, toot, and fart (or f-word) talk reminded me of the New York Times quiz that went around via social media, “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk.” They clearly pegged me for a Wisconsin resident, or Sconnie as some call us. Our use of the term “bubbler” instead of drinking fountain is a dead giveaway of our origin. I though my time in Pittsburgh, where I heard “yinz,” “katty korner,” and “stillers” (oh you mean STEELERS), would have some affect, but apparently you can’t take the Wisconsin accent out of the girl so easily.
Did you take the quiz too? What terms are a dead give-away on where you’re from? Does your family have some phrases that you have invented?