” Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands, and goes to work”

What a beautiful day it is with deep blue skies and warm sun. Today is spring in all its glory. When Gracie comes in from the yard, her fur is warm to the touch. She sleeps in the sun in the back of the yard on the tall grass. It is her morning perch on glorious days like today. Fern is asleep in the sun streaming through the front door and Maddie, also by the door, grabs the very small bit of sun Fern doesn’t use. Today is animal day as I need to shop at Agway for all of them: cat food, litter, dry and canned dog food, dog and cat treats and thistle and suet for the birds. I’ll need a small loan to pay for all of it. As for me, I’m thinking of that bacon, cheddar and avocado sandwich I had last week. That will be my treat.

Last night was trivia night, and we didn’t win. We weren’t even close. One of the questions was what year Dakota Fanning was born. A teammate said she’d never even heard of her. I gave a bit of background and said she was 19. We subtracted that from 2013 and guessed 1994. I was right. I have no idea why I knew that answer. That will always remain one of life’s mysteries. Another question asked for the last state admitted to the union before Alaska and Hawaii. I knew it was Arizona, and I even knew it was in 1912. Sometimes I get to the kitchen and forget why I’m there, but I don’t forget Dakota Fanning’s age. Life is strange sometimes.

Say it, don’t spray it is a put-down from my childhood. The other day it popped into my head from who knows which part of my memory drawers, but it got me thinking about all those put-down we used which have now disappeared. They were really innocent as were we, but they did the job. Ask too many questions and one of us would want to know if you were writing a book. To call someone a closet case back then had nothing to do with sexual identity. Don’t have a cow is a favorite of mine. It really makes no sense, but we all understood its meaning. Sometimes we’d call a kid a spaz. I think that’s what I still am. Odd ball is another. Hold your fist in front of someone’s face and offer him a knuckle sandwich. The threat was generally declined. Being accused of having cooties was about the worst. Once that started, it became a refrain, a schoolyard taunt.

This morning my sister said, “You owe me a coke,” because we both had said the same thing at the same time, and she was quicker in throwing out the coke line. That and spitting were the start of this whole musing.

When was the last time you called dibs?

See you later alligator!

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14 Comments on “” Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands, and goes to work””

  1. Vintage Spins Says:

    Kat, I had such a good chuckle over today’s post! I remember all of your schoolyard put-downs, especially “You’ve got cooties!”. It makes me wonder how they migrated around the country and up here to Canada – TV, I guess. (Here, we wouldn’t invoke the cow – we’d say, “Don’t have a bird!”)


    • Kat Says:

      I suspect that kids’ taunts are universal and cooties was too good to waste just here. It had to migrate! I think don’t have a bird was also said here but came a bit later that the cow.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I called dibs not too long ago but I forget what I called it for. 🙂
    I don’t know closet case. I do remember having a cow but mostly we had conniption fits or kittens. Telling someone to hold your water was rude but not as rude as we could have been, I guess. 🙂
    It’s sunny and cool here. Definitely a spring day. I’ve been relatively productive this morning. Rocky and I had a longish walk during which he peed on all the things and I took photos of pretty flowers and tree buds. I’ve organized some stuff and started a new project.
    Bacon, cheddar and avocado sandwich sounds yummy but I think Benson’s ice cream will be my treat today. I had Brussels sprouts for lunch so I deserve it. 🙂
    Enjoy the rest of this lovely day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Unlike you, I have been a sloth. The last few days I was productive so last night my leg and back kept me restless so I’m going to take a nap before I shop for the animals.

      Walking and taking photos of pretty flowers sounds like the best way to spend a spring day!

      Wow, you deserve far more than one ice cream to counteract the Brussels sprouts!

      I think after my nap, I’ll do my shopping and take a ride with Miss Gracie to see all the flowers going down Cape on 6A.

  3. Birgit Says:

    It’s funny, I never had to look up so many words and phrases than in today’s post. The disadvantage of learning English as foreign language in school. Way too academic, though I was lucky to have a native British teacher for 2 years. Listening to British Forces radio BFBS and to American folk music was more helpful and fun than school. Sadly American Forces Network wasn’t available where I lived, their music was more interesting and I would probable have picked up more American phrases.
    So thanks, Miss Kat, for this American English lesson 😉
    PS: No cow, but we have a bird if we are crazy.

    • Kat Says:

      I thought of you this morning as I knew that there were far too many slang words in here for you to know. Most, as I wrote, have disappeared from usage here.

      You are very welcome!! I enjoy writing today as it brought back many memories for me as well.

  4. olof1 Says:

    A sunny and warmish day over here, it’s still rather warmish but clouds cover big parts of the sky.

    We had much the same sayings over here but dibs was replaced with to paxa something 🙂 Cooties was girl germs and when two people said the same thing we said fillipin 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      Still sunny here, and I am about to go do my errands. Gracie and I enjoyed a short nap together.

      I love that you too had an answer for when two people said the same thing. I figure you must have been quite young for them to be girl cooties. Ours were universal.

      Enjoy your evening!!

  5. Beto Says:

    “Don’t have a cow!”…
    Back then everybody knew what childbirth was and the moaning and screaming that went with it. For hours and hours.
    So it was the imagined thrashings to which one would be endeavored when passing a calf.

    You have used the term Memory Drawers before.
    I wrote a poem called “The Memory Chest” because of that reference.
    You’re all the time doing that you know.

    • Kat Says:

      I never knew that. I knew what it meant-not getting angry or impatient,- but I thought it was proverbial and didn’t realize it really had to do with cows.

      My memory drawers are where I always store my memories so I use that term quite a bit.

      I am happy to be one of your muses.

  6. I’m so envious of your warm sunny day. My dog is inside today, it’s muddy…again…and pouring rain….again. We had frost last night and it’s supposed to be 80 on Monday. My beautiful birds are having their afternoon snack in a downpour.

    • Kat Says:


      Wow, that you had frost amazes me. I figured we are beyond that though not beyond cold nights, in the low 40’s.

      We had a week of rainy or cloudy days. I thought the sun had deserted us. Today was a delight.

      On a rainy day, Gracie only goes out if it’s dire. Sometimes I really have to be insistent that she go out, especially before we go to bed.

      I always feel bad for the birds on a rainy day.

  7. Bob Says:

    When I was a kid we all used those slang names. Thanks for dredging up old memories of being called having cooties or not getting dubs on the front seat. The other one is calling everyone by their last name. Junior High or Middle School are the hardest years. Those names and other epitaphs, playground fights and pranks are what makes a chubby prepubescent kid into a man.

    • Kat Says:

      You are welcome. I think it’s fun when a memory pops into your head from when you were a kid.

      I never went to junior high. I went straight from 8th grade to a four year high school where juniors and seniors never tolerated childish pranks so I missed all that though the 8th grade boys thought they were something!

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