Thursday, 28 February 2008

A Bad Word

"Don't be a hooligan!"
A desperate grandma calls after her first grandson. He had thrown off his shoes in the park and was running off as if he had wings and those shoes were his shackles. "Come back here and wear your shoes!" She yells after him.

Grandpa uses it on Micah too, because he loves climbing every where, including onto the tables to reach for the shelves of forbidden things (batteries, sharp instruments, a load of knick-knack) placed beyond his reach. "You're like a hooligan! Come down!" Grandpa growls.

Hooligan was a word my grandpa used on us too. I can't remember on what account, though, but it always gave me the impression that it meant a savage of some sort. I think I heard my father used it before, but not on us. My generation, my siblings and I, never use this word.

Anyway, I looked up the word in Wikipedia and here it is:

Hooliganism refers to unruly and destructive behavior. Such behavior is commonly associated with sports fans, particularly supporters of professional football and university sports. In some countries, the hooligan elements of a group of supporters are known as Category C. The term can also apply to general rowdy behaviour and vandalism, often under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The term has been used since at least the 1890s, to describe the behaviour of street gangs. The first use of the term is unknown, but it appeared in an 1898 London police report. One theory is that the word came from the name of an Irish hoodlum from Southwark, London named Patrick Hooligan. There has also been reference made to a 19th century family by that name who lived in rural Ireland, known for their wild lifestyle, resulting in anyone who lived similarly as being referred to as a hooligan. Another theory is that it came from a street gang in Islington named Hooley. Yet another theory is that the term is based on an Irish word, Hooley, which means a wild, spirited party.

The "bad" word I use most on the kids these days, and you can tell, because Max is echoing me, is "Nonsense". Sometimes when he catches me scolding Micah for doing something silly, or behaving terrible, throwing tantrums and all, when I pause for a breath, Max will say it: Nonsense. And I will have to try not to laugh, because I would have said that in my next breath.

The "bad" words my boys use these days, bad because they have the potential to aggravate and will result in either the adults scolding them or one of them crying:
go away
me first

I hope they don't catch their grandparents' "bad word".


Simon said...

actually nonsense isnt that bad compared to what i hear some kids say.

sometimes i get annoyed when my kid says 'whatever' in that tone...

Kathie "Moomykin" Yeoh said...

Kids can really get to you, eh? I think when they are older, we should get back on them and use their terms on them. Hahaha... Evil mom-in-plan!!

Incidentally, today at playgroup, they were talking about the fruit of the spirit and when the teacher said "Peace. What is the meaning of peace?" and Micah said, "like 'Disturber of Peace'?"
I was embarrassed. That's what the grandparents call him too.

Ann said...

ooohhh....talking bad is really something we have to nip in the bud at the early stage I reckon!

When do they start actually? Seems like the bad habit creeps up all of a sudden without real realisation!

(I am still getting over the fact that you are pregnant!)

Kathie "Moomykin" Yeoh said...


Hey, you'll never know when and where they pick up their words from, so it helps know who says what all the time (expressions usually used by relatives, etc.) and need to monitor their exposure to media.

Surprise!! I'm pregnant! ;)