Most of us don’t carry a dictionary around with us. Even if we do, it’s the one thing almost guaranteed to kill the conversation.
Over the years, probably more years than we care to remember, we’ve developed replacement words to fill in the gaps when we just can’t remember.
I’m not making these up. You can find them all at one or another online dictionaries or thesaurus sites. Here’s some of what I can remember without looking anything up:
I can’t remember a lot of what my younger brother used to say when we were young. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he had his own dictionary.
Made-up or real, what’s the difference? As long as the people in the conversation know what each is talking about, does it really matter?
In Tagalog, the word ano means “what”, whether it’s a question or not. My wife, Josie, her mother and her siblings all use it as a replacement word. It’s an annoying word because it doesn’t really mean anything when it’s used in a certain way.
Josie has asked me, at times, “Where’s the ano for the ano?” Sure, I’m going to know the answer to that question. It’s like me asking, “Where’s the thing for the thing?” What thing for what thing?
My mother-in-law spent around 14 years living in the United States. Although she can speak good English if she wants to, she doesn’t want to. Like my younger brother, she has her own dictionary.