Whitley Jargon

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The Tom and Colleen Whitley family have produced some children who have (along with their parents) produced a plethora of witty, strange, and dumb expressions. This document is an attempt at cataloging some of these, but I anticipate that it will always be hopelessly incomplete, due to the sheer number of dumb things we've all said. Nevertheless, it would be a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions if this lexicon were to pass away unrecorded, so I'll do my best to preserve it here.

Disclaimer: Some of the Whitleys may wonder why I haven't included an entry for a one-liner someone had that was really cute. Here's the criteria: This is a jargon file so in order to be included, it must be something that was said numerous times and became a staple of our lexicon. One-shot quips, no matter how cute or witty, do not belong here. I might be convinced to make a seperate page for them.

A brief list of the key players follows:

Some categories and nicknames:

Additionally, there were a number of second-string players, including grandparents, grandchildren, and neighborhood kids whose dumb saying have been immortalized and repeated within the hallowed halls of the Whitley household.

Some further categories and nicknames:

Major sources of influence:

Author / Maintainer: Mark Whitley, who has had a lung-collapsing amount of fun writing this up. If any of the major or second-string players has a correction, send it to me.

Key: [Attribution (Co-opted by), part of speech]


"A woman? A woman in our club? A woman?!!"
[Breathed, quote] A line from the second to last panel in a Bloom County cartoon strip, spoken by Portnoy. If Jared and Mark are in the room together and one of them says this line, the other will supply the follow-up from the last panel "Bap! Bap! Bap! Bap!" which is the sound of the rabit (oh my gosh, I forgot his name!) hitting Portnoy over his head.
"Allright [clap] Fast! [point]"
[Colleen, expression] Mom would say this as a way of inspiring rapid movement. Whether she actually said this or not is questionable. It was probably invented by the sons after a manner of mockery.
[Kristina, proper noun] Didn't everyone spell their family's names backwards when they were kids? Well we sure did. This was our favorite (or tied for favorite, right up there with Neelloc) and we would frequently refer to Kristina by this name, over her loud protests.
"And it makes me sad"
[Ed/Mark, noun phrase] Said in a squeaky high voice with a cheezy smile and lots of head tilting. Always used facetiously. Usually followed by Ed (or Mark) saying "There he sits, happy as all get-out."
"And oh, the gas"
[expression] Presumably this was originally used to refer to flatulence, but it became such an effective way to change topic / kill the conversation, that we took to using it indiscriminantly.

Update: An alert peruser of this file pointed out to me that this expression was used by Julia Sweeney who played an old woman character in a decades-old SNL sketch. Thanks, Sean.

[Flite Frieman, adjective] Probably Flite's favorite adjective when he was growing up. His preference for this word and its similarity to a swear word was probably not a coincidence. Mark made up a song called "Asinine child of mine" which we would sing to Flite, while imitating his mother's (Mary Joe's) voice.


Beat Stick
[Mark, noun phrase] Any stick.
Big Swing
[Kristina, noun] Once upon a time, Kristina took a ride on the "Big Swing" and apparently, it packs quite a wallop, because she got hit by it and we heard about it for years afterward. If ever we roughhoused with her in such a was as to aggravate this tender bruise, we would hear "That's where I got hit by the Big Swing!"
[Colleen, Word Of Power] Here's a typical scene from a typical meal at the Whitley household: One of the kids asks "Where's the ketchup?" Mom, in reply, circles one finger around in the air, then points to the ketchup, which is sitting right next to the kid (the one who was asking where it is) and exclaims "Bizwappo!" You and Elizabeth Montgommery, Mom.
Brat Savage
[Jared, nickname] Yet another affectionate nickname for our sister, Kristina.
[Bryce Whittaker / Jared / Mark, profanity] Here's the way I usually tell this story to people: When we were children, Mom would encourage us not to swear by using the old Bill Cosby bit about not taking the Lord's name in vain, onaccount'a the Lord's a busy man and doesn't need to hear about it every time you hit your finger with a hammer. Well, taking that to heart, Jared and Mark decided to find someone who could be bothered on such occasions and we found Bryce, a kid with Time On His Hands. In no time at all, we were taking Bryce's name in vain like pros. We've invented various other phrases that use Bryce's name as the central profanity: "Dang it, Bryce!" and "Thank Bryce!" remain the most popular, although the odd "Bryce of our Fathers!" isn't unheard of. For his part, Bryce doesn't mind the extra attention and is actually somewhat flattered.

Update: According to Ed, Cody Colvin was the first one to say "Dang it, Bryce!" while playing basketball at the Whittakers, but he wasn't using Bryce's name in vain.

[Krissy, noun (pl.)] A corruption of "brothers".


Caprentagathus ("Ca-pren-ta-ga-thus")
[Mark, chant, dumb] Mark would chant this repeatedly while galloping through the house as though he was riding a horse.
"Cease and desist!"
[Colleen, exclamation] Mom's way of telling us to knock it off. Boy, if I had a nickel...
"Couple of quick items"
[Colleen, warning] Mom would say this when a majority of kids were in the room as a way of warning us that she wanted to have a family meeting.
Cyborg Monkey
[Jeff Johns, proper noun] Remember those little brown monkey mini-figures that came with the old Pirate LegoTM sets? Well, one day, Jeff decided to switch the arms and legs with some arms from the Space figures. The result was, you guessed it, Cyborg Monkey. Occasionally he would set the phrase to a jaunty tune (somewhat similar to "Go Speed Racer"), singing it over and over... and over, again.


Dad Mockery
[Ed, noun phrase] An term given to describe the act of imitating Tom's sayings, diction, gestures, or idiosynchracies. Widely regarded as being "well and good" and "a good time had by all" or even "friendly jibes and ribbing" and standing in stark contrast to the serious offense of Mom Mockery.
Darnedst Thing, The "(And) the darnedest thing is..."
[Tom (co-opted by the sons), noun phrase] Dad would say this as a precursor to a key point in his argument. See also "The heck of it is..." Both "Darnedst Thing" and "Heck of It" have been wholly co-opted by the sons, if not all the kids.
"Death to you all"
[Mark, expression] As a child, Krissy owned a little rubber duck. Mark discovered that he could make the head bob by squeezing the sides. After doing this a few times, he began counting "with a one, two, three, four". Shortly thereafter he added "Death to you all" while turning the duck toward Krissy.

I would like to go on the record as saying that we love our sister dearly and that claims of unkindness toward her (death threats, etc.) have been greatly exaggerated.

"Ding Dong! Lou Lou!"
[Lisa, expression] This was one of the first things that Lisa said to Jared the first time they saw each other after Jared's return home from his mission to Germany. Jared trained her dilligently thereafter to say this in response to "What does Lisa say?"
[Colleen, song / warning] Mom would sing this to the tune of the traditional circus theme. Singing this little diddy was Mom's way of warning us that it was time to clean up or do some other chore.
Double-Check ("Did you double-check?")
[Tom (co-opted now and then by the sons), Advice] A frequent exhortation that we heard our dad say. On occasion, we would mock our father by asking if we had double-checked trivial things (such as turning the tap all the way off) only to discover that trivial things can have large consequences. The mockery would continue with follow-ups like: "Think of the lives that could be saved!"


"Eggs and pork and beans -- Sardines!"
[Jon Bernal, saying, dumb] Opinion is divided as to whether Jon Bernal actually said this or if Mark just made it up. We always pictured him standing on a stage before a huge audiene and speaking everything up to "beans" into a microphone, with the audience responding loudly "Sardines!"
Emmy Sue
[Jared, nickname] Jared's nickname for himself. He had a funny voice he'd use when speaking as Emmy Sue. Jared also made *-Sue nicknames for everyone else (an extreme example being "Ishimatsu-Sue"). I could really write up a whole page on Emmy Sue-isms.


[Mark, proper noun] Our pet name for Ferin Frieman. Roll the name around in your mouth a few times and you'll see how I arrived at that pet name.
[Colleen (co-opted by the kids here and there), exclamation] An almost-swear-word occasionally used by Mom.
Flite, The Shi'ite
[Mark, title] A playful nickname for Flite Freimann. Flite has no affiliation with Iran or the Muslim faith. For that matter, he doesn't affiliate with the Freimann family all that much either these days...


"Get a secret-sacred-wars move-on!"
[Dave Sim (co-opted by Mark and occasionally Jared), quote] A quote from the Cerebus comics made by the Roach durring the Church and State series. Used to indicate a desire to get a move-on.
"Good sir!"
[Colleen, exclamation] When Mom was driving and she'd encounter a rude, aggressive, or otherwise capricious driver, this is how she would announce that she'd spotted him.
"Grow a beard, (Kirby)"
[Jared / Emmy Sue, exhortation] Jared frequently requested of Mark that he grow a beard when he was in high school. This was a pipe dream, as Mark only shaved a total of about six times through all of high school. Mark vividly remembers feeling a "hovering" presence while catnapping, and peeping his eyes open to see Jared looming above him and hearing him say "Grow a beard!". See also "I was there when Thor died".


"Hail to thee, blithe spirit!"
[Colleen, greeting] When a welcom (and blithe) individual would show up on the doorstep, Colleen would throw the door open and with one arm lifted skywrd, proclaim this greeting. We fully anticipate that when we're all dead and wandering the Earth as ghosts, Colleen will greet us exactly the same way.
Handy Shadowrun Campaign Portfolio, The
[Jared? (co-opted / used by all the gamers), noun phrase] Referred to either an old "Churchill Chargers" folder or a "Star Trek" folder that was used to hold character sheets, adventure scenarios, or important scraps of paper. We called it this regardless of the gaming system we were actually using. There is a little song we would sing as well to the same tune as "Longshot Limited Edition Series".
Happy Van, The
[Mark's friends, noun phrase] Over the years, the Whitley family owned numerous different vans, and they were all "The Happy Van". Especially when Mark got his driver's license.
Heck of It, The "The Heck of it is..."
[Tom (co-opted by the sons), noun phrase] Dad would occasionally say this as a precursor to a key point in his argument. See also "The Darnedest Thing"
"Hello? Telophone?"
[Mark, expression, dumb] Used when answering the telephone or imitating Mom answering the telephone.

One time Mark sat in a seat in English class that Ed also sat in next period. I would occasionally send him "messages" by drawing pictures on the desk. On on occasion, I drew an enormous telephone receiver and the words "Hello? Telophone?" in huge, block letters. Ed confessed afterward that he had difficulty supressing his laughter shame throughout the class.

"Heil hit, hit heil"
[Mark, exclamation, dumb] Occasionally used as a precursor to hitting. Note that the "heil" is pronouced the the German fashion.
"Hey--What? Whoah!"
[Disney, quote] A line uttered by "The Wort" (Arthur) in Disney's Sword in the Stone. We frequently would use this when falling down, dropping something, bumping into someone, etc.
"Hold 'er, Newt!"
[Colleen, saying] Mom's way of telling us to hang on for just a minute before persuing some (ostensibly) unwise action. Mark later discovered that this was a Pogo quote.
"Home again home again, jiggedy jig."
[Colleen, saying] Upon returning from an outing (especially a vacation), Mom would chant this little phrase as we pulled the van into the driveway; the outing just wasn't complete until Mom said this.
[Jared / Emmy Sue, nickname] A pet name Jared had for Mark when we were kids. "Hossheay" is a corruption of "Horsie" (which is in turn a corruption of "Horse"). You see, Mark would give Jared 'horsie' rides, meaning Jared was the rider "Ryder" and Mark was (none other than) the horse. See also Ryder.
Hyper Diapers
[Attribution unknown - possibly Mark, noun phrase] A not-so-flattering nickname given to Jared durring that awkward potty-training phase.


"I was there when Thor died"
[Jared / Emmy Sue, saying] Jared would recount a make-believe experience of witnessing the death of Thor (the Norse god of thunder and lightning), claiming that his dying wish was that Mark (nee "Kirby") grow a beard.
"I'll trade you seats"
[Lloyd, warning] Grampa would say this to you if you were sitting in his chair when he returned to the room. This was his polite way of telling you to get the heck out of his chair.
"Impeach the Peach!"
[Breathed, quote] The punchline a Bloom County cartoon strip, spoken by Portnoy. The Bloom County Meadow party was assembled to move for the impeachment of Reagan, but then determined that he was too nice ("a Peach").
[Mark, adj.] One of Mark's favorite adjectives when he was growing up.
Insidious Vitamin C
[Mark, noun phrase, dumb] Case in point. See Insidious.
[Mark, swear word] This was a custom swear word made up by Mark and used indiscriminantly in situations where a more conventional swear word might otherwise be used. In moments of extreme exhuberance, Mark will even spell it out ("Aye, pee, pee ay -- Ippa!"). Originally it referred to "the swear finger", and Mark once made a picture called "Ippa" which I think only Ed ever saw. Mark still uses it, and now so do Jana, Lisa and even Jessica at times.
[Mark, proper noun / exclamation, dumb] Yet another dumb thing Mark would say in the same tone of voice that he would say "Saliva!"



[Mark, nickname] Kristina's name sung to the tune of "Ta-ren-ta-ra-ta-ren-ta-ra" from the Pirates of Penzance.
[Kristina, nickname] An abreviation of "Krissy". Also "The Kipster"
[Jared, nickname] One of Jared's nicknames for Mark. See also The Kirby Doll.
Kirby Doll, The
[Jared, action figure] Jared owned a TMNT action figure of a Samaurai Rabbit which he called "The Kirby Doll". Mark made a sand-blasted glass project of him with a quip "1990: The Year of the Kirby Doll". We even had a song we'd sing to the tune of "It's Christmas in Kilarney".
"The Kirby Doll, the Kirby Doll,"
"The beautiful wonderful Kirby Doll."
"It's Christmas in Kilarney,"
"The wonderful Kirby Doll."


Lay Claim
[Colleen, phrasal verb] A term frequently used by Mom to refer to ownership. Ex: "Who can lay claim to these sandals?"
"The Light is Bright"
[Mark, noun phrase] Said with squinting eyes and smiling, clenched teeth while staring directly into the sun.
Longshot Limited Edition Series
[Marvel, limited edition comic series title] Mark picked up a copy of this graphic novel, and while the story was pretty good, it paled in comparison to the amount of fun we had singing the name over and over to the same tune as "The Handy Shadowrun Campaign Portfolio".


"Me? I read 'Garfield'." -- Garfield Gets Old
[Breathed, quote] Taken directly from a Bloom County cartoon wherein Opus, having become disenchanted with his peers, turns to the wacky antics of Garfield instead. 'Garfield Gets Old' was the title of the cartoon collection Opus was reading. Jared and Mark will quote this on occasion when we desire to express an exhuberant difference in preference.
Mom Mockery
[Ed, noun phrase] An term given to describe the act of imitating Colleen's sayings, diction, gestures, or idiosynchracies. The sons would frequently accuse Krissy of 'mom mockery' and claim that there was no greater sin while hypocritically mocking mom in a fashion that was just as bad or worse. See also Dad Mockery
"Mon beat mon mon, Insidious C"
[Mark, expression / chant, dumb] A way of describing Vitamin C. See Insidious.

A little entmology: the "Mon" is short for "Manuel". ("Mon" and not "Man" because we're using the Spanish pronunciation here.)

"Mon Vitamin, Insidious C"
[Mark, expression / chant, dumb] Yet another way of describing Vitamin C. See previous entry.
Mister Fingerbuster
[Mark, proper noun] Title given to a very large marble. The idea here was that attempting to flick this marble with your thumb and index fingers (as in a game of marbles) would "bust" your fingers. There was a little song Mark would sing, too.

The "Mister Fingerbuster" song was updated with the phrase "daily baby lotion" and sung to Milo (by Ed) when he was an infant and we would put lotion on him on a (you guessed it) daily basis.


Neelloc ("Knee-lock")
[Collen, proper noun] Mom's name spelled backwards, and one of our favorites. It conjured up images of a super-mom who possessed the amazing powers of Tetanus. See also Anitsirk.


"Over there, behind the weiners"
[Jared, saying, dumb] Jared had a dream once where she was playing hide-and-seek in a supermarket and asked Ferin (or was it Decker?) where to find someone. This was the helpful tip she received.


[Jared?, noun] A coloquial term for referring to Mom and Dad. Synonym for "parents". Ex: "I dunno if I can sleep over, I'll have to check with the parentals."
Pocka Shirt
[Ed, noun phrase] A term used to describe those t-shirts with the little pocket over the left breast. "Pocka shirt" was usually said in a sing-songy sort of way with an accompanying gesture of inserting all the fingers of the right hand into said "pocka".
Pooks, Pooker Cuequer
[Colleen (co-opted by everyone else), proper noun] Mom was so careful not to indulge in an excess of "cutesie" names for her kids, but when Jared showed up, she just couldn't help herself. The proto-name was "Pookie-Cuekie-Wookie" or some such, but it was later abreviated to "Pooker Cuequer" and later just "Pooks". The latter was used frequently by Dad as a mild (and terse) scold following some theoretically bad behavior.
Pooer Water
[Ed, noun phrase] When we would see a puddle or pool of dirty, polluted, or foul-smelling water, Ed would refer to it as the "pooer water". Example sentences include: "Don't step in the pooer water" or "It fell in the pooer water."



Roach, Amazing Game Of, The
[Jared, proper noun / athletic game] A game we were fond of playing in the back yard involved smacking an empty, plastic milk jug with bats, sticks or billy clubs. The object was to hit the milk jug into other players, making them go "out". The last man left standing was the winner. (A testament to individual spirit, determination, dodging and hitting.)

None shall forget the day, when jared, some 10 or so years old marched out the back door with a Rooseveltian big stick in one hand and a milk jug in the other and proclaimed "Genlemen! I believe you know the rules!" The game was adopted by our scouting troop and continues to be a favorite camp activity.

Ruptured Spleens
[Tom, noun phrase, plural] Prior to us kids engaging in some dangerous activity (like, oh say, jumping on the trampoline), Dad would frequently rattle off a litany: "I don't want any broken legs, twisted spines, ruptured spleens..." and so forth. For whatever reason, the "ruptured spleens" bit was the most memorable. Occasionally, in displays of defiance, we would announce our intentions of dangerous behavior by exclaiming "I'm going to rupture my spleen!", which usually produced the desired result from Dad. Whether dad ever actually said this or not is subject to debate (it is more than likely just a case of "Dad Mockery") but it's the sort of thing he might have said.
[Jared / Emmy Sue, nickname] One of Jared's nicknames for himself when he was younger. See also Hossheay.


[Mark, noun / exclamation, dumb] 'Round about seventh grade, Mark would build up a big loogie in his mouth, pull it out with his thumb and index finger and, while letting it drip toward the floor, utter "Saliva!" in a strange, unearthly tone of voice.
[Mark? / Jared?, proper noun] A nickname for Krissy. See also Underpants.

Entmology: This name came from the chant "Kree-os, the Shmee-os, the big fat Shmee-os". (clever, eh?)

Slow Driving
[Dad, noun phrase] Dad had a little tradition he would observe upon returning home from a long trip. He would drive the last block or so to our house at about 0.0002 MPH. While we marveled at how driving the last block of the trip could take as long as everything leading up to that last block, slugs, tortises, and three-toed sloths would laugh at us as we would watch them race by at (what seemed to us like) breakneck speed.
"So [fill in the blank], huh?"
[Tom (co-opted by the kids), observation] Our father was (is!) the king of non-sequitors. You could be sitting watching TV and he would walk into the room and -- completely unprovoked -- exclaim "So, Beef Stroganoff, huh?" and leave us all scratching our heads. Another famous example was "So, The Catcher in the Rye, huh?" Sometimes I marvel at the brilliance of our father; we see only the tip of the iceberg.
"So we threw that first mother!"
[Breathed, quote] The punchline a Bloom County cartoon strip, spoken by Portnoy. If Jared and Mark are in the room together and one of them says this line, the other will supply the additional from the last panel "Gazongas!" which is the title of the girly-mag Portnoy is reading. (I guess we're kinda fond of Portnoy.)
"Sorry... Yes!" ("Sorryes")
[Ed, apology] When we were kids, we got it into our heads that it wasn't enough for someone to just appologize by saying "sorry", they had to follow it up with an affirmative "yes". This was something of a tradition:

Kid#1: [walks by, bumps Kid#2] "Whoops, sorry..."
Kid#2: [threatens Kid#1 with physical violence]
Kid#1: [shrinking away in fear] "...Yes!"

It became a little game we would play to see who could hold out the longest between the "sorry" and the "yes"; sort of like a flinching contest.

Suicide (Mission)
[Ed/Mark, noun phrase] We would often refer to excursions upstairs to, say, steal a cookie as "suicide missions" if there was a (high) chance of being caught by the parentals.


[Jared, proper noun] Name of the German / Jewish / superhero character played by Ryan Workman in the films by the same name.
[Mark / but possibly Jana, proper noun] Referrs to all of the friends Jared's age who frequently participated in the filming of Thilo movies. They persued other activities together, not the least of which was role playing games and Nintendo playing. See the Thilosians category at the top of this page for a full cast of characters.

Entmology: In addition to the obvious connection with Thilo, this term was a bit of a play on "Thalosians", which was the name of a very esoteric alien race in the Star Trek role-playing game.

"Three rasins and one nut... And I'm the nut!"
[Kristina, pearl of wisdom] One Christmastime, we had a nearly empty container of nuts and rasins that had only (can you see it coming?) three rasins and one nut left. Krissy picked them out and observed that there were four items and one... two... three... FOUR kids in the family! She then held them up for all the world to see and announced "Three rasins and one nut... And I'm the nut!" Couldn't agree with you more, Krissy.
"Tak for matten"
[Dad, Norweigan expression] Literally translated "Thanks for the meal". We used to hear that expression more than most kids do.
"Tusen Tak"
[Dad, Norweigan expression] Literally translated "A thousand thanks".


[Jared, nickname] A nickname for Krissy. She took umbrage at this one. A typical dinner conversation went something like this:

Jared: [to Krissy] "Pass me the butter, Underpants."
Krissy: [taking umbrage, then turning to Dad] "Daddy, make them stop calling me Underpants."
Dad: [somewhat distracted] "Jared, don't call your sister Underpants."
Krissy: [turning back to Jared, vindicated] "See!?"
Jared: "Shut up and pass me the butter, Underpants."
Krissy: [taking further umbrage, turning to Dad again] "Daddy!!!"

Jared informs me that this reference comes from one of the National Lampoon's Vacation movies (I'm not sure which one) in which Chevy Chase calls the bartender "Underpants". See also, Shmoss.

Unifingular Dissasertment
[Mark, noun phrase, dumb] Mark would say this before smacking his younger siblings (or any other little kids I could find) on the top of the head with the (innner) side of his index finger. Ostensibly, this smack was the come-uppance for something the kid had done wrong to deserve it. (That was the theory, anyway.)

Entmology: "Dissasertment" is a an amalgamation / corruption of the phrase "Assertive Discipline", a program that was tried at Mark's elementary school (with dubious success). "Unifingular" is likewise an amalgamation / corruption of "one finger". (Hint: think "unicycle".)

Unknown, The
[Jeff Johns, noun] We had this yellow, rubber monkey, okay? (Actually, I think it was a mandrill or a lemur or something, who cares.) Well, when Jeff discovered this fabulous toy, he just couldn't help himself but hold it by the head and the tail, slowly rotate it through the air, and advance on some innocent bystander, all the while saying "The Unknown..." over and over in a voice just above a whisper. Used to bug the crap out of us.
[Mark, Word Of Power] One of the little games Mark would play at dinnertime was trying to make his younger brother Ed laugh while he was in the middle of taking a drink. To that end, as soon as Mark saw Ed in mid-gulp he would begin saying words and phrases that Ed found curiously funny, including "Cookie Monster!", "Abraham Lincolin!", and "Upholstery!" Usually by the time Mark reached 'Upholstery', Ed was spraying milk everywhere. When Krissy entered the family, Jared and Mark would do the same to her with similar, spectacular results.


Vitamin C
[Dad / Mark, vitamin] Dad always felt that any health problem, no matter how small or large (dry mouth, tiredness, sore throat, dropsy, pneumonia, severed limb, etc.), could be solved by large intakes of vitamin C. To that end, he would keep vast quantities of it around the house in all forms: swallowable pill, chewable tablets, liquid form, etc.

Mark would frequently combine his other dumb sayings with "Vitamin C" (possibly owing to the large abundance of it around the house?).


"When the Lord made the bean, he knew what he was doin'."
[Lloyd, Pearl of Wisdom] Grampa testifies of one of the Lord's better days.
"Whoop Bonk!"
[Colleen (co-opted by Jeff Johns), exclamation] Mom would say this if she or someone in her line of sight bonked themselves / got bonked. Jeff Johns really took a liking to this phrase and would race around corners, hoping to surprise someone, then hit them in the forehead and yell "Whoop Bonk!" Colleen was so distraught with this crude parody of her expression that she hasn't used it since. Thanks a lot, Jeff.
Woollenwobber, Bob
[Tom (co-opted by the kids), propper noun] One night at dinner, apropos of nothing, Dad simply began a sentence with "So anyway, old Bob Woollenwobber..." No one remembers anything after this because we were all collapsed on the floor in fits of laughter. It was much later that we learned that Bob Woollenwobber was, in fact, a real person.

Addendum: This would become one in a longer list of names that could be used as verbs. Examples: "Ken Felt badly about running over the dog"; "John Ott to be more careful about what he says in mixed company"; "Bob Woollenwobber all the way to the bathroom before he could find a towel".



"You always laugh at things that aren't funny and you never laugh at things that are!"
[Kristina, exasperation] The "humor" wavelength that the boys in the Whitley house tuned into seemed to always be just out of reach of Krissy. We three would be cracking up while Kristina was protesting loudly that whatever we were laughing at just wasn't, well, funny.
"You're all bouncin' around..."
[Joey Remmington, handy advice] Thus began Joey Remmington's immortal advice on "how to fight". The complete advice wen't like this:
"You're all bouncin' around, somebody tries to hit you -- You duck."

Thanks a million, Joey. We're all sleeping a lot better at night.

Yucca ("Ooo, Yucca!")
[Colleen (co-opted by the kids, esp. the sons), proper noun / exclamation] Mom would say this to express her revulsion to some ickiness, i.e. a dollop of who-knows-what on the kitchen floor, the trailer for a slasher flick, etc.

One day we were driving through California on a trip and Mom said "Look at the Yucca in bloom!" to which we all replied -- in Pavlovian fashion -- "Ooo Yucca!"