Words and Gestures I've Picked Up From Others

March 25, 2014
What can I say, I am a product of my environment and I tend to pick up gestures and phrases from those that I am around.  Here are a few examples:

**Abbreviating Words: This comes from my sister Denise who regularly says things like, "Do you want to watch a moo?" or "Let's go downstairs to the bay."  The ones I tend to say the most are "stu" for "stupid" and "ridic" for ridiculous.  At first, I thought it was funny that she spoke in this manner, so I started to talk like this around my friends and now a bunch of them have started doing this.  It's catchy, I tell ya!  I tend to turn my abbreviating on and off, and use the abbreviated words around those I feel close with, but say the full word around people I don't know that well.  However, sometimes I'll catch myself using an abbreviated "word" around strangers who then look at me like I'm stu.  Oops.

**"Y-y-y-y-yeah."  I had about 11 American and Canadian co-workers that I taught with at a private language school in Korea.  One of them started saying "Y-y-y-y yeah" and somehow, by the end of our contracts every single one of us was saying this except no one knew who originally started this!  I still find myself saying this from time to time, and when I do, I have to smile because it reminds me of my old pals.

**"All righty." and "There's that for ya."  I picked up both of these from working at the movie theater.  My friend Autumn would say, "There's that for ya," every time she would put something down for a customer. She didn't even notice she did it until I pointed it out, and I brought it up because I noticed that I was starting to do it!  Another co-worker says "all righty" all the time, and I find myself saying that, too.  A customer will tell me what they want and then I'll respond with an "all righty", go and get their order, put it down and say, "There's that for ya."  A lot of people at work do it that way since we've all worked so closely with each other for so long.  I really want to try to limit or just eliminate the "all righty" because it reminds me of Ace Ventura Pet Detective and Trey from Sex and the City, haha.


**"Buttrageous." I used this word a lot in my early 20's, courtesy of my friend Mandi.  "Did you see her outfit?  It is completely buttrageous!"  I think my usage of this word has dwindled down, but on rare occasions I'll say it out of habit if I see something heinously ugly.

**Italian gestures. I have always used a lot of gestures when I talk, so when I went to Italy, I fit right in.  During my time in Italy, I picked up even more gestures that are distinctly Italian. My personal favorite is the, "What in God's name are you saying?" gesture, which you can check out here.  This gesture was the perfect accompaniment to the Italian phrase, "Ma che dici!?"


**The peace sign in photos.  My Korean students would flash the peace sign in pictures and so did many other Koreans that I came into contact with.  Of course that rubbed off on me and every other teacher I worked with.  When in Seoul...  Upon returning to America, I had to consciously try to stop myself from doing the peace sign in my friends' photos!  It's a really hard habit to break!



** "Ratchet."  I never even heard of this until I met Rachael and she said it several times.  It's my new favorite word because frankly there are a lot of ratchet people to appropriately use the word on!  Thanks, Rachael, for the new addition to my vocabulary!

** Bowing.  In Korean culture this is done as a sign of respect.  It was pretty flattering when the parents of kids came in and bowed at me because I was their child's teacher, but after spending time in Korea I also started bowing at older people and at my boss.  I still find myself dipping my head a little to show respect to certain people even though I've been back from Korea for years!

What phrases have you picked up from your friends?
15 comments on "Words and Gestures I've Picked Up From Others"
  1. OMG I love this post. And SO MANY PEOPLE ARE RATCHET AND BUCKY I can't deal ;)

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    1. They really are!! I find the word extremely useful. :)

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  2. i say "duh" a lot now. and i would like to say fetch, but that's never going to happen.

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

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  3. Haha- I sometimes say y'all and wicked in the same sentence :)

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    1. Y'all is one that I don't say too much, but that might change if I move down south!

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  4. I love the little quirks you pick up when you have been abroad. I never notice them until I talk with my family but I think they are nice reminders of where we have been.

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    1. It's true--where we have been influences how we act and talk.

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  5. Its funny you posted this because I do this with my sister all the time. We almost have our own little language going on and our friends pick up words and then my hubby picks them up and before you know it our text messages are a series of weird little half words and things we make up lol. Don't even get me started on the funny nick names :)

    -Erica

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    1. Yes!! My texts to my sis are all a bunch of abbreviated and made up words. We also leave each other inside joke messages that would probably sound crazy to anyone not in on the joke (so, to mostly everyone.)

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  6. Oh the peace sign. I teach a lot of Korean students too and they are all about it. I love it when the turn in a paper and bow to me.

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    1. My students never bowed to me when they turned in their test. I feel ripped off. ;)

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  7. Oh gosh "there's rear for ya" hahah and I catch myself saying all righty all the time at work! I love buttrageous! Haha too funny!!!

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    1. I said it at least three times today at work and thought of you!

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  8. How fun is this!! I want to start using ratchet more now :) lol I think I have really picked up saying "that's real nice" from Russ lol My best friend gives me such a hard time about it :)

    http://neatly-packaged.blogspot.com/

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