Saturday, April 18, 2009

fiditty


No, not Puff Daddy or P. Diddy or Puffy or whatever the hell he's calling himself these days. Fiditty was one of my dad's euphemisms for poop. Crap. Numero due. He had a lot of expressions for lots of things. I think he dreamed it up. I've never heard it anywhere else.

One of my brother's early words (learned from Pop) was lollapalooza (he pronounced it yayapayoozah), which was one of my dad's words for something unbelievable. Used in a sentence, "Munson's grand slam was some lollapalooza."

He did a fair share of name calling. I now wonder if it was a reflection of his generation, or alternative cursing. Bad drivers and errant Yankees (New York, that is) could earn the appellation "knucklehead," "dimwit," or "furshlugginer twit." Furshlugginer is of course an adjective.

He also cursed, whenever his Sicilian temper boiled over. I probably didn't learn all the really bad words from him, but I probably heard them first used to their full effect. Being a newspaperman, his most colorful cursing always read like a headline to me, "Shit, piss and corruption." Love that one. Used it myself.

Language is an amazing thing. We learn words, first spoken aloud, as someone speaks or reads to us, and then later, as we learn to read ourselves. Conversation, and not books, however, is where most colorful phrases seem to originate. Hopefully, as we read computer screens more and more, we won't lose the desire to converse, even curse at each other in creative and wonderful ways. No emoticons required.

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