The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. You might not look or act exactly like your family but, there are some things you inevitably inherit. For example, you get their genes, mannerisms and sometimes all the unwanted junk they graciously pass down to you. Also, you are the recipient of a distinct dialect that has developed within your family for years. When you hang around the same folks for a lengthy period of life you develop a handful of sayings that might seem normal to you but, sound down –right crazy to anyone else. If you have been around my family at all, you probably have heard these following terms get thrown around from time to time. Allow me to clarify the etymology behind these peculiar phrases.


“I have been hankering … blank all day long.”

What it sounds like: Acting like someone named hank? A painful sensation?

What we mean: A craving for some sort of food or restaurant


I am going to have so many scotch-a-roos at Thanksgiving.”

What it sounds like: A drink with scotch?

What we mean: The beset desert in the world. Butterscotch and peanut butter rice Krispy treat with chocolate on top.

Wigging Out

“When she went to college she started wigging out.”

What it sounds like: Frequently wearing wigs?

What we mean: Normal person who has turned kind of weird.

Old Willy

“Old Willy is one-of-a-kind”

What it sounds like: An old man’s willy?

What we mean: Grandpa

Cat Call

“He came running when she let out a loud cat call”

What it sounds like: When someone yells something flattering at a person to express physical attraction

What we mean: Literally calling for the pet cat to come in from outside. A cat call sounds like tribal sounding chant/holler that brings the furry friend home everytime.

You kids have fun!

What it sounds like: Have fun kids?

What we mean: What mom says before anyone goes on a date. She is wishing you a safe and romantic evening. Meanwhile, she is waiting for you to get to home to ask you a million questions about the date.

The Race

"We are going to the race."

What it sounds like: A very vague term for any race?

What we mean: The Indy 500. The most celebrated day of the year outside of Christmas and Easter.

Mall Sickness

"I need to leave now, I am getting mall sickness."

What it sounds like: Illness contracted by shopping centers?

What it means: An excuse used by the men to get out of shopping or going to the mall.

Purdue fan

"I met a nice person yesterday and of course they were a Purdue fan."

What it sounds like: Someone who cheers for Purdue?

What it means: An automatic friend. If one cheers for Purdue, they are a good, loyal person. They also can empathize with you over many tough-love sports seasons.


"I am going to Greendinkle today."

What it sounds like: I don’t know what that is and I’m not sure if I want to know…

What we mean: Greencastle, Indiana; where it all started. That’s where mom and dad are from and everyone before them too.

Big Red

"Let's take a walk to Big Red."

What it sounds like: A soda? IU?

What we mean: A lighthouse in Holland, MI. A family landmark where we watch sunsets together and take nearly half of our photos at.