Words or phrases we grow up with are very interesting. Each family has their own references to people, places or events. It is like the air we breathe – it is all around us and we don’t really pay attention to it. We don’t realize that others don’t have a clue what we are taking about.
Some of our phrase are related to the area we live in. These descriptors fall into our language without our thinking about it. I often use the phrase “down the road” – that works well if you live on a country road but I live in a big city with streets and I never lived in the country although my Grandparents did.
We have a variety of names for our parents or grandparents. They might be mom, mother, pop, dad, papa, grandpa, grandma, nana, – the list goes on. Each family has a culture that helps to develop this language.
Do you have a yard or a garden? Do you walk by the creek or a stream?
There are the phrases like “shape up or ship out”, “Like it of Lump it”, “Don’t burn your bridges before you come to them”.
I am guess there are thousands of these – I don’t know where most of them came from but I grew up listening to many of them. I know I have used some with my children. I am curious what phrase they laugh at that I still use.
There are names for parts of the house – my family farm had two areas that were called the Summer kitchen. Now I get a summer kitchen is/was a kitchen outside a bit aways from the house. It was a place that was cooler to cook in the heat of the summer. Often found in southern farm homes. But my family lived in Iowa – not extremely hot and very cold in the winter. There were two places called the summer kitchen in this farm house. One a small attic room off a second floor bedroom. No way were you going to cook in this hot small attic. The other was a shed just off the kitchen and it might have been a place you could cook but again it was small, not much for windows and a small door. It is hot as hell in that shed in the summer. Who would be cooking in there? Why do we call these places the summer kitchen?
So now I am left wondering where do this phrases come from, who started them – are they connected to a community or to a family culture. I am on the hunt to find out where some of our family phrases have come from and what or where was the real summer kitchen.
Do you have a family language? Are there phrases you use that make people look at you a bit odd and wonder what you are referring to? Please share!