Monday, May 10, 2010


This blog has been a real downer lately - first I go on and on about my surgery then I post about how I couldn't sleep because I was cold and sick. It's time to pick things up a bit around here.

I thought I'd share with you today some "Elizabethisms" - these are terms I often use that require a little explanation:

Kitten whispering
Years ago I met someone who was constantly whispering her conversations with everyone except, it seemed to me, me. I didn't know her very well yet so I assumed she was talking about something really scandalous and interesting with everyone else and only talking about boring things with me. I wondered about her life, thinking it must be very glamorous and fascinating. Why else would she be whispering in a group setting with only a select few? Then one day I overheard part of a whispered conversation she was having with someone sitting near me. I couldn't believe my ears - she was whispering about her new kitten! I was both disappointed and relieved. I wasn't being left out of anything interesting at all. Ever since then, when someone is acting super secretive about something anticlimactic, I call it kitten whispering.

The warm maker
The warm maker is the warmest blanket I own. On cold winter (or May) nights, I put it directly over me, then pull my sheet and lesser blankets on top of it. Instant warmth. I know what you're thinking, "aren't all blankets warm?" Not as warm as the warm maker.

Old blue
Old blue is old tattered night shirt I never let anyone see. I should have thrown this night shirt away years ago. It is about as ratty looking as it can get. It's about two sizes too big for me, the seams are all ripped (either all the way or most of the way) and it's a very faded blue. It's by far the most embarrassing article of clothing I own (not including my collection of dickies in every color). I have gotten several new night shirts over the years but for some reason haven't thrown Old Blue away. I very rarely wear it - I'm sort of afraid I'll choke to death in my sleep on the ripped seams. But every now and then when I'm really down or sick or something, I'll bust it out. I can't believe I just admitted this...I feel so exposed.

Anyway, those are three of my Elizabethisms. What are some terms you've made up?


Katherine said...

I use the term "kitten whispers" quite regularly! It is very often applicable. And I think the dickie collection is WAY more embarrassing than Old Blue. I can't think of any terms I've made up...but I'll let you know if I think of any.

Robin said...

My most recent addition to the English language is pissabilities. I made it up quite by accident when I meant to say possibilities. As it turned out, pissabilities really was more accurate. It means leaky prospects, unlikely odds, ets. I wrote a blog about it and encourage people to use it well and often, but

Mike said...

Your list is pretty good, but I feel you left off a very important term: Pooling - The art of going swimming instead of showering. Can also replace washing clothes if you go swimming fully dressed. Most effective during the summer, as outdoor pools are more common. Has been known to cut morning routine times in half.

Sarah said...

I've coined "punkarelli" from a misunderstood lyric in the Verve Pipe song, "The Freshman." It can be used in many contexts as an adjective to describe a female doing something/acting someway that normal words just don't cover. :)

Another term was "ho-tard." It was on the side of a bus we saw in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, and was in fact the perfect term for most of the girls/ladies we saw that trip...

Robert said...

I hear you kitten whispering about me over there!!

Did the term warm maker come from your mom when you were a kid? Is this warm maker scientifically proven? What evidence do we have Elizabeth?! We need some fact! I was gonna say "cold, hard facts" but that doesn't seem to fit with the warm maker. ;)

Elizabeth Downie said...

No Robert, I don't remember my mom ever using that term. And I'm afraid the warm maker hasn't been scientifically proven! You're just going to have to take my word for it! :)

Heather said...

I thought old blue was dad's old truck that had the windshield washer thing that pointed out and you would shoot people when they walked in front of the truck? Did I tell to much there? People really should know that about you. (that your funny and can play jokes when need be, of course.)lol.

I can't tell you the one thing that comes to my mind, it's not appropriate. It has to do with flarting......ok, I'll tell you. When my oldest (we won't say her in name for her own sake) was a baby, she pooped while farting,Jim said she "pooted" (like tooted) There, you got it out of me.

Liz said...

My family always says "negative Ghost rider". It means no. I always thought my brother made it up but I just looked it up and according to urban dictionary it's actually from the movie Top Gun. No matter where it's from it's my family's fun way to say no.