“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.”
Dame Edna Everage so wisely reminds us.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not about to get all “born again” when it comes to using the occasional swear word. Fuck knows swearing is one of the last remaining vices I have left, so I do enjoy being unapologetically inappropriate from time to time.
However, I would also like to mix it up a bit and offer some new “old-fashioned” words for us to add to our daily vocabulary that are fun to say. They are alternative options that may help us have a few more laughs at ourselves if we have become just a little too serious.
Now as a lover of words, studying them, speaking and writing about them is for me just pure joy. Quaint little word clusters like TICKETY BOO just make me happy. When was the last time you answered someone who asked how you are going and said?
“Well I’m feeling just TICKETY BOO, thank you”
How do you not want to smile as you say it? It is a playful kinda, happy little response. Please indulge me, as I would like to share with you a few other responses to consider substituting some negative clangers we might frequently use with some of my favourites.
Beautiful Barb, my recovery sponsor and my heart’s longest, loyal female companion since 1995, uses old-fashioned words in ways I had never heard before I met her. She has a collection of antique sayings like …
“It’s all grist for the mil,l love.” What the fuck? I didn’t have a clue what she was on about. She has taught me so many powerful and lighthearted turns of phrase. I have learnt so much gentle language from her over the years. Don’t get me wrong, she does and will swear too without apology, but she mixes it up a little to keep life light, educational and playful. Now occasionally she uses the word “possum” instead of “fuckwit”, especially when she is sitting in traffic. But she says it with such a gentle tone …
“Come on, in you come then, possum” she will say when an inconsiderate driver is trying to bully her to make space. She reminds me of Dame Edna in the way she uses the term “possum”, it is just endearing and smile-inducing.
I also loved it when Robin Williams, dressed up in the movie Mrs Doubtfire tweaked, his language as he pretended to be a kind, elderly nanny. As Mrs Doubtfire he used the word “poppet” for his children that did not know Mrs Doubtfire was actually their dad. Such a tender and sweet word to call a little person, dontchya think?
Another beloved word I adore using is “diddliepops.” I adopted the word, as a young mum in the late 1980s to describe a cluster of little toddlers. I remember smiling looking out of my kitchen window when my backyard was full of under five year old boys with teatowels tied around their necks yelling out …
“Come on you diddliepops, time for lunch in the cubby.” Ah happy days.
How about “Oops a daisy” when a little person falls over? That gentle phrase we use to help a toddler gently get to their feet without a fright. Imagine if we kindly said to ourselves or to those we love as adults …
“Oops a daisy, up you pop, you’re all right sweetheart” when we or they perhaps trip over their stiletto or clumsily fall off of a treadmill instead of cursing …
“Oh for fuck sake, how embarrassing”
We could even start calling others that annoy us “nincompoops” instead of dickheads as a playful, kinder alternative. Just saying the word “nincompoop” can put a smile on my dial.
“Nincompoop, nincompoop, nincompoop.” Love it!
Another word treasure of enjoy using is “diddlie squat.” What are you up to this weekend? I love responding with …
“Diddlie squat”. It just sounds like fun to do! OK, OK, I’ve gotta be totally honest I often answer …
“Well I’ve got a lot on this weekend, I’m doing shitloads of diddlie squat. You?”
Bossyfussbum is also a word I confess describes me perfectly some days that I find preferable and kinder to use towards myself rather than calling myself a “controlling bitch.” When I explain to my patient hubby that I know I am being a bit of a bossyfussbum before our dinner party guests arrive he will smile at my self-honesty and it invites connection rather than distance. I sometimes ask him too if he has his “cranky pants” on if he is being a bit militant with his dialogue, and my playful enquiry can re-engage his sense of humour and reconnect him too.
So deliberately weaving some silly billy, cheeky little new “old-fashioned” words into our dialogue so that we remain playful and lighthearted can help with sustaining our Emotional Fitness. In those challenging life moments, not really worth getting upset over embracing non-
serious language in heavy traffic, around annoying people and during ego-challenging moments it is a gift.
So I hope all is TICKETY BOO with you, my beloved reader. May the diddliepops and poppets that look up to you see you handle any nincompoops, bossyfussbums with their cranky pants on that cross your path with grace and humour. If you fall down may the words “Oops a daisy” encourage your bruised ego to be kinder, and the next time you’ve got diddliesquat to do I hope you allow yourself to kick back and fully enjoy it.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2017 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift for another just click on the shop tab to place your order. Happy shopping x