Family: Do you have your own dialect?


According to Teri Harman, author of the article “Does your family have their own dialect?”, families tend to have their own unique way of speaking to each other.

Ranging from made-up words to accents, family communication is something developed by and used by families. Other manifestations are nicknames, quotes or private jokes.

Coming into any family, whether as a close family friend or in-law, requires diligent study to keep up with the conversation and understand the private references.

Only when you understand what’s flying around the dinner table, are you considered a full member of the inner circle.

What it boils down to is that the family unit tends to be a close-knit social group, and like any other social group, it adopts its own rites and customs, and “how to speak'” is one of them.

These nicknames and private jokes are unique, special and often bizarre. However, they are an essential part of what makes a family a family.

Does your family have its own family “dialect”? What family nicknames do you have? Do you use different words? Did your secret language pass through the generations? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave a comment

The email address is kept private and will not be shown

  • Rachel Cramp

    July 30, 2012

    Also known as an ” ideolect ” – yes a lot of our words have developed from my children’s early words, eg “bin bom” for dustbin men, “loaf laff” for bread!!