Malapropisms ( HLS 358)

16 March 2021

Being around very small children again, there are things resurfacing in my brain from the time long, long ago when my kids were little. Some of them are so wonderful, so special, that you figure you’ll never forget those times.

And then there’s the times that you hope that you forget really really quickly.

They usually relate to vomit or poo.

Usually when either is presented to you en masse, in fact.

I have enough ‘small children vomiting’ stories to keep you all enthralled for ages, but let’s face it – it’s the poo ones that are funnier.

One of my children managed to do a pooplosion that went through his cloth nappies, through the fluffies (fluffy pants that covered the nappy), through his sleep suit, through the rug he was wrapped in, through the padded cover of the bouncinette, through the bouncinette, and onto the carpet.

It is implanted in my brain, and no amount of therapy or red wine can erase that memory.

Nowadays, pooplosions go by the fancy name of poonami, and my memory is that that effort over 30 years ago was eerily similar to a tsunami in its relentlessness.

I heard a similar event described a while back, as a ‘punani’!!! Oh my goodness, they are not the same thing at all!!! (Those unfamiliar with this word should be aware that it’s a vulgar slang word for a females’ lady bits. And while the terminology in my mind is as offensive as an eruption of baby poo, they are not interchangeable).

Which brought to my mind today, as my daughter-in-law was relating to me the latest poonami event in their household, words that we hear misused on a regular basis. It may seem like I’m on one of my regular whinges about people not using our language properly. Because yes, I am.

Heather’s pet peeves of the day:

For all intensive purposes, or possibly for all intents and purposes.

Television programs that are paper view (maybe pay per view?)

People who apparently could care less, instead of could not care less.

People ordering Expresso at the coffee shop (is this merely a really fast espresso?)

People proudly telling me they have made a 360 degree turnaround – that’s called the hokey pokey when you turn right around 🙂

People who home in on a subject. They don’t hone in – maybe that’s too close.

People suffering hunger pains, rather than hunger pangs.

People wishing piece of mind to others. Actually this does get effectively used both ways – if you get angry with someone it can be said that you’re giving them a piece of your mind 🙂

Butt naked, or buck naked. My research tool tells me that buck naked apparently goes back to slavery times in the US, so quite frankly I’m happy that we never use that version and stick with butt naked instead. It’s appropriate 🙂

Wet your appetite, rather than whet your appetite.

On tenderhooks (tenterhooks?)

Free reign, rather than free rein – relates to a horse not a duchess of Sussex.

Sneak peak (a peak is a mountain top, and is not very sneaky – a peek, however, is unobtrusive.)

Escape goat – scapegoat

Baited breath / bated breath (fishy smelling breath?)

But my biggest whinge of the day, is when people insist they could OF done something…..grrrrr…..could HAVE, people!!!!

Ok let’s go – what word or phrase do you hear misused that you wish you could write a bit of diarrhoea complaining about?

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