06 March 2014

Invented Words

Years ago, I was trying to say either "For real?" or "Really?" in response to some news, but somehow, the phrase came out "For really?" Which sounds ridiculous.

That probably would have been the end of the matter, except I happened to have this slip of the tongue while on camera; my dad was taking a family video.

To this day, most of the people in my family still use the phrase "For really?" instead of the more normal "For real?" or "Really?", simply because of my misstep. Maybe all of the strangers who hear us simply think that we are crazy.


Another unusually formed word we use is the word meaning to describe the action of looking at someone with an angry face.

It all started when my little brother said, (15 years ago), "Rachel, the cat is meaning at us!"

Our cat was indeed staring at us with a fixed and rather unfriendly glare, and ever since then, every member of our family (and quite a few outsiders, too) have come to know and to use the word meaning in everyday conversation. I use it with Angel in response to some of his pranks.

"I'm meaning at you." is one of the most succinct ways of telling someone, "It's obvious by the look on my face that I am not pleased with your current behavior, so it would go well with you if you were to stop."

Meaning. For really?

Has your family developed any unusual phrases or words that have come into common use over the years, but which might confuse someone who sticks to dictionary English?


  1. I know Iz and I do, because I comment on how it's weird, but I can't think of any right now!

  2. When my husband first came to Canada he didn't really speak English and had a very strong French accent.

    One day he told me, "I'm really angry." At that time he did have quite the temper so I thought, "Oh great, now what did I do?"

    I said, "What? I didn't do anything! How can you possibly be angry?!"

    He said it again and then added, "I need to eat something."

    It sounded like angry but in fact he was saying hungry. LOL

    For a long time I would angry stood in for hungry.


  3. Oh my goodness yes, my husband and I have a ton of made-up words. Also in his family, everything ends with a y sound, so everything gets nicknamed to fit into that. For really is so cute, though. That should definitely be in more people's vocabularies!

  4. Being from Texas, I say "fixing" and "figure" a lot. For example, "I'm fixin' to go to the store" or "I figure this will take a long time to do".

    I didn't realize until speaking with non-Texans these words are very strange. My family has used them my whole life!

  5. Hahaha - I can so relate to this. I've got foreign parents, so you can only imagine the phrases that have been adapted for my family.

  6. Hahahah.......Can't remember if my family had some phrases, though.

  7. That sounds like something I would do! One day we went to the movie theater to see a really loud, really flashy movie, and after we left I wanted to say that my eyeballs and eardrums hurt from the assault of light and noise. Instead it came out, "My earballs hurt." I have no idea how that happens to me but it does, constantly!!

  8. Hahahahaha! My family says some weird stuff, but the only thing I can think of off the top of my head is when I was a kid and I asked a question, then my mom asked "why" and I said "I just wanted to wonder." It's stuck ever since. :)

  9. We have a lot of Dominican sayings that's about it none invented but we tend to flair things out. I don't recall anything off hte top of my head, nothing that's stuck anyway. :) Yours is cute though haha Have a great one Rachel! -Iva

  10. My husband and I make up words too (he's ESL, like one of the other commenters - I wonder if that plays into it at all in some way?). The one I most forget about with other people is that we say "pie" instead of "pee" (It's less awkward than announcing you have to pee, until you say it in front of other people and then you have to explain why you just announced you have to pie - and then it's very awkward!)

  11. Most of ours are more nicknames than made up words. Like "little oink oink" is Loo.

  12. not so much made up words as weird existing phrases we encounter that became inside jokes!

  13. You know what....I've actually heard of "For Really" before!

  14. I started saying, "Why come?" instead of "Why" or "How come?" in college. I dunno why. My husband says it all the time now! Totally rubbed off on him.

  15. Lol! My family has some odd phrases, too, and we all have funny nicknames :)

  16. Funny how things seem to stick :) At home, saying you're going to the "nachtbar" generally means one is going to the bathroom, not to the neighbour. It's all thanks to my brother's feverish and confused moment when we were small and visiting family, and he wandered out the flat to the neighbour. Fortunately, somebody saw him before he waltzed in and used their bathroom.

  17. I mash together words all the time like "puge" when I couldn't decide between "pretty big" and "huge."
    I am not fortunate enough to have a family that picks up and uses my weird mash-ups, so I'm just weird all by myself...