Category Archives: Words

Words I have learned

Whole new vocabularies have sprung up while I was gone.  Such as “hoochie momma”.  That one I figured out by context.  But how about “snap?”  I kept hearing / reading that one, yet it remained a total mystery to me.  Fortunately, someone I know had a handy-dandy graphic:


Thanks, Meg.

The other day one of the immigrant students I teach part-time (sometimes I feel like they should be teaching me how to cope with America, but I digress) came in with a word he had seen that day and written down: “staycation.”  I was sure this was a mistake.  Did he mean “satisfaction?”  Citation?  Way station?  But he insisted this was the word.  Finally I consulted and learned that staycation is, in fact, a word.  Coined in 2003, which happens to be the last year I spend any significant time in the US until this year, it means a vacation spent at home.  Who knew?

Then there is “owned”, and “pawn’d.”  I think I’m starting to grasp these, but I’m not quite sure.  Anyone who’d like to fill me in, feel free to do so in the comments.

But I did hear one tonight that makes perfect sense.  On sports talk radio, of all things, which I’ve spent about 11 minutes listening to in my life, most of that coming in the time it took to switch the dial.  But tonight whoever it was was holding forth about Henry Aaron.  He called him the “Natural Home Run King.”

All natural.

All natural.

Has this become common parlance since the villain Barry Bonds trashed all that was still good and true in America’s besmirched former national pastime?  I don’t know.  But it was perfect, just perfect.  So perfect that I’m going to type it again.  The Natural Home Run King.  That felt good.