Culture, nostalgia, and insidious topped Merriam-Webster’s 2014 Words of the Year list. Topping the Runaway Mama’s 2014 Words of the Year list are three insidious words that were most likely introduced to my impressionable eight-year-old son (and his five-year-old brother by osmosis) by older kids at school, classmates with older siblings, YouTube, and/or repugnant children’s television programming like Uncle Grandpa. In no special order, the words are:
- Sexually appealing, attractive, or exciting
- Having interesting or appealing qualities
Sexy is a word that you might use to describe someone you like a lot when you’re older. For instance, Daddy likes me a lot, so he might see me in pretty dress and say I look sexy, or attractive. But we’re all grown up and married and you’re eight, Dude, so stop saying sexy because it’s inappropriate and you clearly have no idea what the word means. Case in point, sexy isn’t interchangeable with words like scary, mean, or evil, like the bad guy,
Sexy (???) Dr. Pepper, who plays a starring role in that game you play with your friends at recess. (For the record, despite my repeated inquiries, I have no idea who Dr. Pepper is or if he’s related to the carbonated beverage with the same moniker.) Also, sexy isn’t a suitable word to use to describe an ice cream cone, your homework, or a puppy. In conclusion, don’t use the word sexy until you’re old enough to vote. I can’t handle it.
- A weak person who is easily frightened.
- Slang: penis
A weenie is a mean word for someone who is a wimp or a scaredy-cat. It also means penis, but in a way that’s insensitive. It’s not nice to call someone a weenie nor is it nice to be called a weenie. Don’t trust yourself to use the word weenie on your brother at home but not at school. That’s the kind of unrealistic self-control that ultimately fails eight-year-old boys like you. If someone calls you a weenie at school, tell him to quit it. If he continues to call you a weenie, tell your teacher. Don’t get nervous when reporting the incident and accidentally call your teacher a weenie. If you do accidentally call your teacher a weenie, don’t panic and say, “Oh shit!” which will surely fuck things up for you.
Editor’s note: “Oh shit!” did not make the Runaway Mama’s 2014 Words of the Year list, but only because it’s a phrase, or idiom. In fact, “Oh shit!” is on a separate top-three list that also includes “What the?!” and “Kick ass!”
- chiefly British: fellow, chap
- usually vulgar: penis
- [by shortening & alteration]: detective
- nickname for Richard
My mother’s intuition tells me that you didn’t learn the word dick as a result of going on about British culture with your mates. Dick is another insensitive word for penis. Dear God, please don’t refer to your penis or anyone else’s penis as a dick. It’s worse than weenie, Sweetheart. Way worse. Also, if someone calls you a dick, they’re suggesting you’re a jerk or a bad person, which isn’t nice at all. Don’t ever call anyone a dick because it’s as tactless as calling someone an ass, which you should also never say. Now listen. This is the hard part (no pun intended) about the word dick. Believe it or not, there are people in this world who are named Dick. Don’t laugh. Dick is a nickname for Richard. Don’t ask me why. We can ask Siri later, but first let’s finish this teachable moment before I forget what the hell we were talking about. And don’t say hell. Most people don’t name babies Richard or Dick anymore, so it’s unlikely that you’ll meet a Dick with a capital “D” in your age group, but old-fashioned names are popular these days (ahem…Gertrude), so if it ever happens, play it cool. Our neighbor’s name is Dick and he’s a very nice old man, so keep it together when he stops by to ask us to collect his mail when he goes out of town, okay? Finally, don’t call your brother a dick, and don’t call anyone at school a dick…unless, of course, his name is Dick.
What are your Words of the Year?