Sunday, March 22, 2009

Word of the Day

I want to start teaching my kids a "Word of the Day".

There were clearly several times this past year when my preschooler and Kindergartener needed to understand some crucial words. And when put to the the task (out of necessity) I totally came through on several occasions. At times, I would say my definitions and explanations of words were down right inspiring. A few of the words we've covered to date include, "karma", "adaptability", and "obnoxious".

I am going to blastoff my new Word of the Day campaign tomorrow with "gravity" and will need to come up some other big, important words which I can enlighten their gorgeous little heads with.

I'm shooting for meaningful words which they can use now, preferably relating to topics such as, but not limited to: the benefits of living in another country, how to treat your brother, and acting cool in public without bribes of Cadbury Chocolate mini-Easter eggs.

I'm looking for words-- got any?



Aussie in the USA said... ;)

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Aussie in USA- After reading that I realize my kids are constantly sledging me when I ask them to do, well-- anything!

Stephen Moore said...

As someone who very much finds reading a dictionary to be a pleasurable past-time I can declare that words are awesome! A Word of the Day for your chidlins is a great idea.

I suggest couth (more commonly heard in its negation, uncouth) for your egg dilemma.

(who is, to answer a question posed elsewhere, Australian)

A Free Man said...

The benefits of living in another country... how about 'nationalized medicine'?

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Stephen- My five year old keeps the dictionary close by at all times-- he told me that the Macquarie Dictionary means it's actually an Australian dictionary-- is that true-- or is it a brand as I thought. It's like the whole Texta marker thing?

Free Man- For sure, officially on the list!

Jenny said...

My daughter's kinder class had a word of the week. I chuckle when I hear her use words like superlative, ubiquitous, tragedy, rambunctious, and minuscule. She is also a kid who finds it fun to read the dictionary.

Stephen Moore said...

The Macquarie Dictionary is an Australian English dictionary. It's a brand rather than a generic: I wouldn't ask for the Macquarie and expect to be handed any ol' dictionary like I would ask for a texta and be handed any ol' marker.

steck said...

How about "kerfuffel"?

It sounds like it might be Yiddish,
but it's Scottish, to my recollection.

It even sounds slightly onomatopoetic,
with its ragged mix of sounds.

It also has the charm of being a fairly
unusual word, but always used in an
informal context.

-- Paul

Dana said...

We recently introduced the word "karma" into Gus' vocabulary, and I'm regretting it a little now. The other day when I snapped at Gus and then tripped on something shortly after, he remarked "That's called karma". grrrrr.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Jenny- I'd love to hear my kids use those words in sentences.

Stephen Moore- So texta is to marker what kleenex is to tissue (well at leasve in the U.S.? I'm assuming-- it's a brand which turned into more of a generic name for something-- true-ish?

Steck- I really want to use "Onomatopoetic" and would be very thankful for any words to use as examples!

Dana- Karma was the first word I really made a big deal about-- and it worked like a charm. Just like Gus with you, my kids use it all the time with each other, it's hilarious... they totally understand the concept.

Anonymous said...

how about "boondoggling" for wasting time?

Captain Dumbass said...

I'm still working on 'listen.'

Dina said...

I think that's a great idea.
I can't think of any words though. My brain's not awake yet.

I'd probably use words that you or they have encountered recently.

Stephen Moore said...

Yep, texta is to marker as kleenex is to tissue; a brand that became the generic.

MB said...

My son likes to play the Great Big Fancy Word game ( on the computer (when he's not covered in dirt outside). It's got all sorts of 'great big fancy words' to learn.

formerly fun said...

My favorite word in the world?


Seriously, what clould be better than happy accidents?

My 8 year old son loves:
pandemonium(he causes it)
disheveled(he is)
decidedly(I have him using this in place of really, because I really hate really:)

Anonymous said...

the problem with teaching little boys delicious words is that they'll use them in the playground. then some bully who doesn't know what they mean might beat them up for being precocious.

This happened to a nephew of mine - in case you're interested the word he used was "pedantic". Maybe you should keep that one to yourself for a few years. Or at least tell him some version of this cautionary tale.....

Luna said...

I might have this one solved for you Laura. Simply make them FULLY aware of the meaning of "sheket" (obeying it, not speaking it) and then they will never need another word again.

steck said...

The Wikipedia page on onomatopoeia has lotsa examples, such as the names of birds (killdeer, cuckoo, chickadee).

I can think of some onomapoetic words, like buzz, hiccup, and whir.

But my favorite is "thunk", a parameterless procedure which makes a satisfying sound as it's placed on the runtime stack (you have to be a computer geek to appreciate this one).

-- Paul

buffalodick said...

One my favorite words in the English language- elegant.. No word says so much, so well, in just one word.. Use it well, and only when applicable...

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Nursemyra- Added to the list, thanks! And my five year old is already pendantic-- very.

Captain dumbass- I'm still working on that one myself.

Dina- Maybe a vegemite sandwich would perk you up a bit?

Stephen- Thanks-- we had a big conversation about this last week after I couldn't determine if he was calling markers-- textas or textures-- ya know, the whole accent thing where r's turn to ah's.

MB- We use all the time-- where is it on there??

Formerly Fun- You are obviously the voice of experience with all those cute kids.. I'm adding them all on. I have a feeling some of these words are going to lead to interesting stories.

Luna- I'm assuming you're a Jewish mother?

Paul/steck- thanks! very useful!

Buffalodick- Elegant is a great one-- but I was kind of thinking you should have said "buffalodick".

Fragrant Liar said...

Hello US/Aussie,

What about some words like:
. stupendous
. spastic
. laughable
. incredible
. intriguing

Oh, and fragrant. Yeah!

buffalodick said...

I am a contrast of life- I don't even know what I'm going to say next!

Jill Stevens, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist said...

well i love the word moot. its the best. i really want to hear one of the boys say that it's a 'moot' point. and also what about marinate. but not in terms of food. but rather to just sit with an idea for a while.
these words could definitely be used in relationship to discipline. Like you say "i want you to marinate in that for a while" and the older one can say "you know mom the point is moot." that would crack my ass up.

Marvin the Martian said...











Oh, there's so many delicious words.

Tom.... said...

You probably want to wait on this one for a few years, but on a recent trip to Chicago to visit my grandkids, they laughed themselves silly every time little Johnny said "that sounds a little like a pee-pee dance." Don't know where the kid who is only three got it, but it cracked me up all weekend.
Tom Anselm, teacher and author,

Natasha said...

How about "acclimate" or any of it's variations? Definitely something you have to do eventually when you move to a new country!

MB said...

It says Pinky Dinky Doo or something like that. Honestly, my son found it...I had never heard of it before. My husband set up a profile on our computer specifically for him that has nick jr and pbs only on it. So, my son gets on the computer (puts in his name for the password, actually it's his last name now, he mastered his first name) and off he goes, playing games that I often can't figure out. Crazy. It's a little scary to think how much smarter he's going to be than me. I'm going to have to put my game face on in a few years.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Fragrant Liar- Love the word suggestions, I'm taking them all. And love your blog btw!

Buffalodick- Hahahaha

Jill- I want to marinate your mom.

Marvin- Did you have to say "wort"? I'm definitely not doing that one-- yuck. Ok, I'll take "zealous" and "fortuitous" and "um".

Tom- I'm not sure-- but if your suggestion was "pee pee dance", then we've totally got that covered! They're very familiar with it. Thanks for coming by!

Natasha- Fer sure!

MB- I'll have to check that out!
Sounds awesome.