I was at least 10-years-old before I realized that a davenport is a couch.
Whenever Grandpa yelled at us to “Stay off the damn davenport!” I had mistakenly assumed, I don’t know why, that he meant the porch. Davenport sounded porch-y to me.
Far be it from me to ask why we weren’t supposed to be on the porch, I just figured it had something to do with my grandparents never using their front door except for “formal” company. The rest of the family, my grandparents included, used the side door that led directly into the family room.
I later learned that davenport meant sofa or couch but it wasn’t until just now while writing this article that I realized that Davenport is actually the brand name for a line of couches from an old furniture company. According to Wikipedia, “Davenport is the name of a series of sofas made by the now-defunct Massachusetts furniture manufacturer A. H. Davenport Company. Due to the popularity of the furniture at the time, the name “Davenport” has become a genericized trademark, like Kleenex.”
Crazy, right? So when I’m 95 (and Kleenex has, perhaps, gone out of business) and asking my great-granddaughter to get me a Kleenex she’s going to snicker behind my back before handing me a tissue?
While davenport happens to be a legitimate word, grandparents are known for saying some crazy stuff. Especially when trying to wrap their dentures around new-fangled words. When my Gramma got her first microwave she called my dad and asked if he’d help her hook up her new “right-goat-wave”. (Say it three times in a row as fast as you can and you’ll realize how she made the error.) Gramma eventually called the “contraption” by its proper name but other words she never mastered.
It got me to wondering what crazy stuff your grandparents say, whether it’s a mangled word, the result of an accent or the dialect specific to where they were raised, grandparents be saying some crazy sh!t.
Below are some doozies shared by my Facebook friends. So give it up, what crazy stuff comes out of the mouths of your grandparents? Part 2 of Sh!t Our Grandparents Say is just around the corner!
Come Get Under the African! 1 of 25Sara Ryan's grandma might have the best mispronunciation of all-time. Sara tells me her grandma would say, "African instead of afghan (as in the blanket). Made for the best unintended double entrendres. 'I'm under the African' or 'Put the African on you.' Oh, I miss her."
Photo Credit: blanketzz.com
Get Me A Big Gulch! 2 of 25My own grandmother (the same one who called her microwave a "rightgoatwave" would send us out of the house with a kwarter to get her a Big Gulch of Tab from a nearby 7/11.
Photo Credit: thephoenixagents.com
I’ll Meet You Back at the Condom 3 of 25Grandmas and condoms just don't go together. And yet two of my Facebook friends say their grandma and cousin both call condos condoms. Must come from the term condominium, is all I can figure. Sounds like condom. Also, from here on out we should call all small condoms condominiums. It just feels right, doesn't it.
Photo Credit: search forcharlestonrealestate
Sex and the Single Girls 4 of 25Strollerderby's own Meredith Carroll says her grandmother calls Jerry Seinfeld "Jerry Steinfeld" and refers to Sarah Jessica Parker's iconic HBO show as Sex and the Single Girls.
Photo Credit: current.com
Let’s Go Watch Some Lesbians Perform Shakespeare 5 of 25Kathleen George Smith's grandma calls thespians "lesbians."
Photo Credit: lawsonzepeda.blogspot.com
Grandma’s Vibrator 6 of 25Jordan Krause's grandma once suggested he try her vibrator. "My grandmother asked me once if i wanted to use her vibrator, said it was very relaxing ... Turned out she was referring to a handheld back massager. Seemed totally oblivious that there might be any kind of double meaning there." Ever think Grandma used the vibrator for multiple reasons, Mr. Krause? Maybe she knew exactly what she was saying...
Photo Credit: teraputics.com
The Dirty Clothes Camper 7 of 25If you happen to spend the night at Katy England's grandma's place, make sure you throw your dirty laundry in her "dirty clothes CAMPER."
Photo Credit: theahhamoments.wordpress.com
Doing the Warsh 8 of 25Apparently this is a dialect thing because several people mention their grandparents said warsh as in "doing the warsh" or "you better warsh up before supper."
Photo Credit: homedesigning.com
Bat-trees 9 of 25
A Little Earl Will Fix That Squeak In No Time 10 of 25TimTudor's grandmother figured a little "earl" could fix any squeak in a jiff. He tells me that "if something squeaked you 'earled' it up."
Photo Credit: preparednesspro.com
Beware of the Amtrak! 11 of 25Remember after 9/11 when anthrax became a big scare what with all those letters being sent to government officals? Well Allison Watson's pawpaw went on endless tirades "about them idiots sending all that Amtrak through the mail."
Photo Credit: msnbc.com
Hello! My Name Is… 12 of 25Names must be hard for the senior set to get their mouths around because Gordon Richard has a son named William, after his grandpa. They call him Liam but grandpa can't seem to get it right, constantly calling him "Lilliam." Amber Babin has the same problem saying "For the life of my grandpa, he cannot call my son by his name correctly. Gunther is supposed to mean Hunter."
Photo Credit: phillygaylawyer.com
Go Big Or Go Home 13 of 25Charese Phillips' grandma called going pee "going little" and going poop "going big." The bathroom leads to many hilarious grandparent anecdotes. Allison Watson's grandma couldn't get the word diarrhea right. She called it "diaREEma." Lisa Gottlieb's grandma had her own version: The diaREE. As in, "Oh, goodness! Do you have The Dia-REE?"
Photo Credit: irmaaveplumbingandheating
Chester Drawers 14 of 25Thanks Jennifer Dedmon. Next time I check into a hotel I'm going to use the name Chester Drawers.
Photo Credit: gildedageantiques.com
Tie-Ya-Know 15 of 25Kathleen George Smith's grandma popped a little tie-ya-know whenever she had a headache.
Photo Credit: liverfailure.com
Dove-It 16 of 25Saffron Ghost's grandma calls it a dove-it. Apparently it's a "North Yorkshire thing."
Photo Credit: wiseforliving.org
Would Sir Care For Some Prongs? 17 of 25Crystal Gardner's great-grandmother called prawns "prongs." They do seem rather prong-y, though, don't they?
Photo Credit: steamykitchen.com
Tuckerware 18 of 25
You Say Buhdayduh, I Say Potato 19 of 25Kristin Mulready-Stone says her grandma never did get the pronunciation for potato correct. And that's not the only thing. She says, "My grandmother born and raised in Connecticut and lived there until her dying day called potatoes 'buh-DAY-duhs.'" And all of the men in her family including her sons (my uncles, now in their 50s and 60s) pronounce "mine" as "Mayan." No idea where that comes from. "Whose new car is that outside?" "That's Mayan."
Photo Credit: nutrition.about.com
Othra Windfrey! 20 of 25Facebook pals John and Beth tell me their grandma calls Oprah "Othra Windfrey." A second friend says her grandma calls the queen of TV Ofra. Oprah, Ofra, Othra all equally weird names.
Photo Credit: forbes.com
Vanilla Envelopes 21 of 25Cindy Apathy's grandma uses vanilla envelopes while the rest of the world is using manila.
Photo Credit: popwuping.com
The Wall Mark 22 of 25Katy England's grandma is full of gems. She called Walmart "The Wall Mark." John Klemack says his grandma can't get it right either. "Wal-Mart is Gual-Mar. But it's a Cuban accent, so that could explain it."
Photo Credit: nerdbastards.com
Go-Forwards 23 of 25Amber Rook's grandma has another favorite of mine. She called flip-flops "go forwards." Where did she come up with that? I dunno, but, God, I love it.
Photo Credit: starstyleinc.com
How Are Ya? 24 of 25Jessie Hartman's mother-in-law says "Cal-i-PHONE-ya" for California. Not to be outdone, Jennifer Faulkenberry's grandma calls Hawaii "huh-why-yah." I'm fine, and how are you?
Photo Credit: wr.usgs.gov
Tampoons 25 of 25Laura Buck says her grandma couldn't get the pronunciation right on this one. "My grandmother referred to feminine hygiene products as "'ampoons.' Cracked us up all the time!" I totally see it. They do have a pontoon-like quality, no?
Photo Credit: thehairpin.com
More From Monica on Strollerderby:
- The Way We Live: What Your Fridge Door Says About Your Family (Photos)
- When Classic Turns Trendy: 7 Hottest Girls Names That Have Been Around for Ages
- 25 Must-Read Books For Kids
You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.