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And there will forever be lellow instead of yellow from my five year old grandson. It's now in our family lexicon.

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I just sent my family a group text to see what coined terms they can remember from our childhood. I might have to report back. 😉

Since my mom is Japanese and English is her second language, we’ve faced entertaining communication mishaps over the years! There are a handful of English words we’d always mispronounced because we heard her say them and no one had corrected us till much later in life. My brother thought a calculator was a “carcurator” until he asked his friend in high school if he could borrow one. 🙊

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Oh! And I fully expected to see a bear wearing braces as I know them—with metal in its teeth! 🦷

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

"Godfrey can help you" 😂😂

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OMG! My whole family line is filled with malajustedpropolisms!

My dad built a “footstool” out of a three tiered circular stack of empty beer cans in the center of upholstered burlap and cotton batting and it was dubbed his “Poofy” for putting up his feet when watching the nightly news on our black n white TV. And to use your malaprop—“Godfrey help us” if any one of us kids uttered a peep during that time!

And then I was reminded of 45 years ago, after visiting an area in Richmond VA. My then husband was telling my five year old son all about the “Civil War” and what had happened on the grounds there where we’d just left. When he’d finished the story, my son asked, “Well then, when was the “Gold War”?

As always, thank you for my Saturday morning El-O-El’s!

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Feb 17·edited Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

-- Rebecca, your writing is light and fluid. A great Saturday read. Xo.

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Oh, gosh, Rebecca. I'm honored that you've featured Chicken Scratch so prominently in this essay. Thank you, sincerely, for that. The Godfrey can / God freakin' story lives on (hat tip, Stephanie)!

I'm grinning broadly at your examples and am prompted to recall many from my family's history. Among my favorites:

The time my younger daughter plopped herself down on my feet, which, coincidentally, were resting on a hassock (our term for a fabric-covered footstool that does not have storage). She got a funny look on her face, wriggled her little body around a bit, then said, "Mom...your feet...are in...my vicinity." 🤔 😬 🤣

And the time an acquaintance described someone who was in poor health after a motorcycle accident, saying, "The guy was totally emancipated!"

🤔 😬 🤣

I'm interested to learn, as a result of your post, that Bald and Bear are used interchangeably in the title of that Mussorgsky's piece. I learned only the former!

So much fun here. I just can't stop smiling. Let's propose an International Malapropologism Day!

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

A fun read and great word play!

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

So charming, Rebecca! As a linguist, I loved your topic of malapropologisms, and most especially those originating in a child's speech. What were 'elements' at your home, were called elfa-nuts in ours. I remember going through the colorful picture books of animals quizzing my little boy on animal names. I hadn't thought of that in so long. And, as a toddler, his favorite dinner ( being Italian) was basketti. Thank you for a lovely morning's read.

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

This was such a delightful newsletter!! I thank you heartily for mentioning my work within it but that aside- I totally love the word play!!!!! 💚💚💚💚

When I was a kid I asked a very uptight person in church why they sang about the "constipated cross-eyed bear" and boy was I in deep trouble... 😁🤣🤣

And thank you again!!!

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

When I was little, I received Christmas presents from "Sandy Claus."

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

On bemoaning the fact that a box of chocolates which had been opened was now empty, my friend remarked that she couldn’t stop herself eating them all as eating chocolate was compulsory (compulsive)!

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

We call footstools hassocks if they are upholstered. Ottoman seems “new-fangled” to me.

I’m fond of inventing my own words and my partner used to tease me about them by demanding to know if they were in the dictionary. On one occasion he ostentatiously used a very silly neologism to lure me into asking about the dictionary, at which point he told me to go look-- he had written his word on a post-it note and stuck it to the appropriate page!

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

Was just discussing neologisms with my students this week! So I especially love this!

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Feb 17Liked by Rebecca Holden

I remember hopsital in lieu of hospital, and gillies for gullies. I’m sure there were countless others. Every family has its own language. A lovely read. Thanks so much.

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Love malapropologisms. Hehe. They do make for great comedy. When my daughter was 7 and had swollen glands she told the doctor her "glances" hurt. 🥰

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