I’ve realized over the past few years that all of the things I grew up saying may not be what everyone else is saying.  I’ll call them Harrison sayings.  Here are a couple, and I welcome any other sayings you Harrisons or Harrison in-laws have noticed and wish to add. 

“Eensy Weensy Spider” – I had always sung this song as “eensy weensy” until I was singing it with Kathryn and Darryl said it should be “itsy bitsy”.  I was clinging to the “eensy weensy” version until I heard the photographer at the Harrison Family Reunion (Summer 2006).  We were trying to get a picture of all the grandchildren with Grandma and Grandpa but half of the kids were crying so we all lined up to sing “eensy weensy spider”.  I heard the photographer saying “itsy bitsy”…  FYI, Kathryn now sings it “eensy beensy” which is a nice combination, I think.

“Hook” – Apparently the word “hook” is not a universal attachment word.  I have used “hook” all my life for anything that attaches.  We hook puzzle pieces in, hook magents on the fridge, hook legos together, hook a lot of things together.  Darryl pointed out that to “hook” is actually very particular.  I am trying to expand my vocabulary to use words like buckle, fit, velcro, stick, plug, etc.  I did notice this word in MaryAnn’s blog today, and Darryl claims to have heard it a lot by various people in our family.  But in my heart of hearts, I believe that you really do “hook” puzzle pieces in.

“Huh” – This may just be used when talking to little kids.  I used to say it all the time to Kathryn – “Daddy will come home for dinner, huh.”  Then Kathryn started saying it to Amelia.  And we did catch both Grandma and Grandpa Harrison saying “huh” to Kathryn on the webcam last week.  Darryl apparently never says this word so he thinks it is funny that I say it so much when I talk to Kathryn and Amelia.

“Apple Bread” – This isn’t really a saying, but the thing.  I grew up eating apple bread every year and I think it is just heavenly.  I never had banana bread (that I can remember) until I was 18 years old one morning at seminary.  But since I have left home, I always talk about and bake apple bread in the Fall, and no one has ever heard of it.  Everyone thinks it is the strangest thing ever.  This is one thing where I am sure that the rest of the world is missing out!

8 Responses to “Language Acquisition Part I”

My goodness what a lot of quotes and sayings in your family.

Dad and I were both taught “eensy weensy” in Primary, so not just in our family.
Will have to be the inlaws to point out others as we don’t see these things in ourselves. All families have them though!
Here’s one Charles pointed out: “throw down your dirty clothes” which I got from my Mom. I never meant that anyone should do that, but it meant put them in the hamper.
Blessed be the ties (phrases) that bind!

Congratulations to Darryl for remembering his favorite nursery song.

Yes, we have a lot of fun with “throw down the clothes”. It cracks Charles up every time.

Charles is convinced that not using the word “hook” might be a Canadian thing because he thinks we all say hook a lot.

Charles also says I pronounce “ruin” incorrectly and he’s heard mom say it the way I do too. A one syllable word “roon” as opposed to “ru-in”. It’s a running joke in our family now. We’re both trying to teach the girls the “right” way to say it.

Brian is on my side about the hook thing, too. We think Canadians just don’t appreciate the versatility of the word “hook!”
I didn’t know whether to teach Hannah Eensy Weensy (as I had learned) or Itsy Bitsy (like everyone else). I ended up going with Itsy Bitsy; I think it sounds the best.
Brian’s family has funny word things too. They call tortillas “burrito shells.”
I think another fun thing we did in our family was saying “Wereading” when it was time to read scriptures and eat. It’s like the We’re reading and We’re eating combo!

[...] Language Acquisition Part I [...]

My whole family has always sung “eensy weensy”, but we say “ru-in” instead of “roon”. Personally, I think eensy weensy works better in a song (because you can’t hold that T sound), and I think it’s the older version, because I’ve found that it’s mostly older folks who say eensy weensy.

I’ve never had apple bread, but it sounds great. Do you have a favorite recipe you could share?

PS: Your use of “hook” for putting magnets on the fridge is a brand new one on me. To me, there should be some sort of hookish thing involved for an action to be hooking.
:-)

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