Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Five Favourites: "family" words

I'm pretty sure every family has them - you know, those words that only you understand. I thought I'd share a few of ours for this week's Five Favourites...  

1. Knuf. This one came about when Ze Husband and I were first together, when a lot of our communications happened via MSN messenger (he was in France, I was in Scotland, these things happen). For some reason, the shortcut for an emoticon with two people hugging was (knuf) - and so a hug came to be called a "knuf". (We have since discovered that it's actually an abbreviation of the Durch word for "hug", which is "knuffel").

2. Budum. This one is derived from the French word "bonhomme", meaning man, guy, etc. Our son gets called "petit bonhomme" a lot, and Mx's version of this was "tibudum", which rapidly evolved into "budum". We use "budum" wherever "bonhomme" might be used in French - so "budums lego" are lego minifigs, "budum de neige" is a snowman... you get the picture.

3. Quickquick. Mx's earliest word for running - fairly self-explanatory, really. Cf. quickquick shoes (trainers/sneakers), quickquick clothes (running things), etc.

4. Tad. A coin. This one comes from my brother. For some reason, its meaning has narrowed over time, and tad is now only used to refer to money for the offertory collection at church.

5.Snorfle. To snore. Ze Husband genuinely thought this was the correct English word for quite a long time. We like it, so it stuck. There are a few more words of this type.

Family words really are fascinating things - they seem to play a part in creating and maintaining special bonds between brothers and sisters, supporting the collective memory, etc. Kendra at Catholic All Year has a great post on family culture - for me, words can be a really big part of that (but then I would say that, being a translator and all). I'd be delighted to hear about some of your own "family" words, what they mean and where they come from!

Linking up with The Big White Farmhouse for Five Favourites - thanks again to Ashley for hosting.

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