Family Lexicon

My running log of words and expressions that our family has contributed to the English Language

Art contributed by author-illustrator, Jane Whelen Banks.  Click here to learn more about Banks, and her Loveable Liam series.

Appleccino (n.)  When we got a juicer, my son re-branded fresh-squeezed apple juice with a frothy top.  Starbucks, take note — we got there first!  

Attickle Attackle (n.) Sleeping in on Saturday morning is for wimps.

Brattitude (n.) With the teen years ’round the corner, I suspect this word is our future!.

Catchronise (n.) Catching someone in the act of being patronising, e.g., my son catchronised my daughter using a patronising tone.

Change of Screen (n.)  What happens when I yank my iPad away from kids, and they go load up a DVD.

ddhug-copy-2 Double-Decker Hug (n.)  When toddler and big bro both hug Dad at once.  (Variant: Triple decker hug, when Mum joins in).

Extramation Mark (n.) My high-octane son’s punctuation mark of choice.

Fri-did. (v., colloquial)  Shorthand for ‘did it on Friday’. e.g., ‘Don’t worry about taking the rubbish out this weekend. I Fri-did it.’  Likewise, Mondid, Tuesdid, etc. Present tense:  Fri-do, e.g., ‘If you Fri-do your homework, you’ll have more time to play on the weekend.’

Grizzerable.(adj.) A teething week word. See also, Poolympics.

He-liocentrism (n.) The son-centered universe we inhabit during school holidays. (variation: she-liocentrism.  My toddler daughter’s conviction that everyone in our family loves playing the match-a-cupcake boardgame as much as she does.)

Huggle. (n. & v.) When a hug meets a cuddle.

HummusApian. (n.) A primate with a fondness for Middle Eastern dips.  Contributed by my son, age 9.



I-dea. (abstract n.)  My idea. “My I-dea is to go to the cinema and your You-dea is to go for a swim.  Let’s do both!”

Incr-edible. (adj.) Mummy’s chocolate cupcakes with decorate-it-yourself frosting, hundreds and thousands and gold stars. Unless she forgets the sugar, in which case, delete the “cr”.

Kid-tastrophe. (n. adj: kid-tastrophic) The reason dinner was two hours late again (okay, always).

Kiss-chievous.  (adj.)  Kissably mischievous or Mischievously kissable.  The reason our toddler gets away with murder.

Lead-her-ship. (n.): The art of getting three kids off to school on time with ballet kit, show-and-tell prop, and science project respectively, and remembering to sign up for Bonfire and Christmas Bazaar duty on your way out.

Leo Lie-In. (n.)  When Daddy (the king of the beasts) sleeps in past 8 on Sunday.  Contributed by DD (age 3).

Licking up (v.) Why do the washing up, after baking, when you could do this instead? Particularly effective for chocolate batter residues. (“You put the cupcakes in the oven, Mummy, and I’ll do the licking up!”)

Malingering. (v.. fem.) When a mother-in-law outstays her welcome. (Masculine form: pa-lingering).

Maritalepathy. (n.) When a wife can guess her husband’s Microsoft Account password, thereby pre-empting the need.  to bother him at work.

Massacre-pedicure. (n.)  When I clip the kids’ toe- and fingernails after Sunday baths, I quip that I’m giving them manicure-pedicures.  “More like a massacre-pedicure,” my son quips back. He’s not a big fan.

Micro-mommaging. (v.) A habit I’m trying to break, as I learn to step away and let my kids assume more independence.

Momelette. (n) An egg dish on the fly. Make mine with mushrooms and a side of toast.

Mom-nesia. (n.) I used to know what this word means, but I forgot.

Momnipotence. (n.) Superhuman ability to repair broken biscuits.

Momniscience. (n.) And to insta-locate errant Thomas the Tank Engine puzzle pieces and Lego camper van accessories.

. (n.) Psychological disorder where your toddler devours the ice cream and chocolate sauce from the poire belle Helene while you nibble at the pear, and instead of complaining, you snap a photo of her adorable choco-grin.

Parmes-on/Parmes-off. (n.) Two pasta options, depending on whether or not you have a taste for Italian cheese. My son likes pasta with parmes-on, and my daughter prefers hers with parmes-off.

Poolympics. (n.) During teething week, my daughter wins a gold.

Reservate. (v.) How my 6 y.o. daughter books a table in a restaurant.

Scranwich. (n.) Scrunched up sandwich – My toddler’s special du jour.  Other variants:  Jamwich. (n.) PB&J, but skip the PB and double the J; Granwich. (n.)  A sandwich produced by Nanna; and GranJamwich. (n.) A hybrid of the prior two. Jamie Oliver has nothing on this.


SNOP. (acronym) Stands for –  ‘Sincerely Number One Priority’. Contributed by my daughter, age 7.  Equivalent to ‘I’m on it,’ or, ‘Consider it done.’  What she’d like me to say when she asks for a double fudge sundae with silver sprinkles.

Somethink. (n.) A tickle-icious new idea. e.g., ‘I just had a somethink!!’ (Inspired by my son’s mis-spelling of ‘something’.)

Somnorexia. (n.) Routinely performing the family/job juggling act on less sleep than you had during your law school finals.

Smokarettes. (n.)  Noxious, addictive carcinogens.  I don’t think my daughter knows exactly what they are, but she’s pretty sure they’re bad.

Tickle-icious. (adj.) My giggly toddler on a sunny Saturday morning.

Timetable Tetris. (n.)  A game my husband and  I play when our precarious week-day childcare arrangements fall through. (Guest contribution from dad).momorexia

Van-Isla milk. (n.)  A cup of milk with a teaspoon of vanilla paste stirred in, accessorised with a pink straw. My daughter, Isla’s fav.

Watch-and-do. (n.) A skill you have to watch modelled before you jump in and give it a go – i..e, an exercise in impulse control.  E.g, “Cracking an egg is a watch-and-do.” (Otherwise you watch the egg slither to the floor and do a major cleanup.)

Writer-in-resistence. (n.) My son trying to dodge putting pen to paper.  When he’s particularly terse, writer-in-reticence also applies.

Did you enjoy these illutrations?  Click here to learn more about author-illustrator, Jane Whelen Banks, and her Loveable Liam series.


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