10 Silly American Words

In January, it’ll be 12 years since I have lived in America. While fully embracing my host country, paying taxes, raising my kids here, and even willingly saying words like “diaper” and “trash,” there are still several words spoken here that are, with all due respect, ridiculous (IMHO.) They are:

Pantyhose
Pocketbook
Catty corner
Bangs
Caboose
Eggplant
Rutabaga
Freshman
Teeter totter
Y’all

Hope I’ve not offended anyone! Being the word nerd I am, I am actually quite (that’s the U.S. meaning of quite) interested in the origins of these words. Not sure I’ll find much Latin or Queen’s English, but I am sure I will learn some interesting American culture along the way (much like one of my heroes – the writer, traveler and humankind observer, Bill Bryson.)

Meantime, for other lovers of language out there, you might want to check out this list of Words to Retire in 2012.

And please let me know if there are any other silly American words I overlooked.

Resolutions – for real

I’ve always been one of those people who didn’t make resolutions. General betterment was always the goal. Nothing too specific to hold myself to. Can’t say for sure whether that approach ever really worked for. Here I am approaching the end of 2011 and I realize that specificity might actually be the key to betterment or, at the very least, nixing some behaviors I know I am guilty of.

So here goes, my resolutions for 2012 – for real:

- I will stop texting, emailing, tweeting and Facebooking while I am driving. Nothing is so important that it cannot wait.

- I will find a way to dance more. Dancing makes me happy.

- I will be more present with my kids and less present with my iPhone.

- I will read more than one book. Which was all that I read in 2011.

That’s it: just four resolutions. Do-able, right? Please, I urge you, hold me to them, esp #1.

Thanks for listening.

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