Marital Codes or Why We Don’t Have Many Friends

The Boffin and I will be celebrating our 15th anniversary on December 28th. And I realize, like many couples who have been together a long time, we have come up with our own code words and phrases that make sense to us but classify us as weirdos to the general public. I thought I would share a few in the spirit of making us just a little more understandable.

Lord Lucan 1 – “Lord Lucan” has become a long lost object: the forgotten leftover in the back of the fridge, the screwdriver that had been misplaced, that important piece of paperwork that was needed a month ago, etc. You get the idea. “I’ve found Lord Lucan!” is the tip-off sentence.

John Mills 2 – The ideal of masculinity that I jokingly thrust upon the Boffin.  I even have John Mills’s picture as the avatar for the Boffin’s contact info on my phone.

John Major voice – The Boffin is good at the former prime minister’s voice and characterizing this person. It is the voice of the overly educated, pedantic Englishman who complains about the most nitnoid things. (I don’t want to hear a word from the Boffin’s family.) It is the voice of the worst letters sent to Points of View. It is the person pointing out the blatantly obvious who is taking everything literally. The Boffin just wrote this letter as an example.

Dear Sir,

After 15 years of almost daily use, my Worthington Bishop 12oz teapot recently met with an untimely accident.  As a result, I found to necessary to procure a new teapot.  However, I was shocked and dismayed to discover that the Worthington Bishop no longer is made in the 12oz size, and I was therefore reluctantly force to buy the Worthington Bishop 16oz pot.  However, I have discovered that because I only fill the pot with 12oz of water. In order to compensate for the additional evaporative cooling resulting from the larger headspace, I have had to raise my house’s thermostat by 0.1°C (not an easy feat as it generally increments by only 1°C).  Assuming that this pot also lasts me 15 years, and similar issues are happening in every household in the United Kingdom, I have estimated that this will force us as a nation to consume the same amount of energy as Huddersfield consumes in about 1 minute and 23.2 seconds.

In keeping with the Government’s environmental policies, I suggest that you reintroduce the Worthington Bishop 12oz pot and, perhaps, bring out it’s Eco-qualities in your marketing campaign.

Yours Sincerely

Mr Herbert Q. Pedant

George and Mildred 3 – The elderly couple cruising at 20 mph in front of us.

Tom and Barbara 4 – Whenever The Boffin and I are in a gardening or, more likely, in an us-against-the world mode.

Woody and Tinny Words – Woody words are pleasant sounding words. Tinny words are harsh sounding ones.  Thank Monty Python for this one.

“My Hovercraft is Full of Eels” – Our response to a nonsensical statement. Of course, we have to attribute this to Monty Python too.

I like cheese. – Code for “My brain hurts. Let’s talk about nice things.”  Sylvester and co. are our friends.

PEOPLE! AAAAH! – Quoting Gossamer from the Bugs Bunny cartoon. Our “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” exclamation.

So, do you and your partner have any odd phrases you want to share?

1. To make a long story short, John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan disappeared in 1974 disappeared upon having a warrant for his arrest for the murder of his children’s nanny and the assault of his wife. To those in America, chances are, you haven’t heard of him. He was quite an interesting character to say the least.

2. If anyone has heard of Sir John Mills in the U.S., it is usually either as Hayley’s dad or the father from Swiss Family Robinson. Meanwhile, from the 1940s to the early 1960s, he pretty much epitomized English film masculinity: stiff upper lip, courage under fire, wry humor, knowing when to break the rules and when to conform. The running joke is that nobody has seen the beginning of Ice Cold in Alex in years because they happen to catch it while channel flipping and remain stuck watching it until the end. Sir John Mills never mattered to me until I met the Boffin.

3. George and Mildred was a spinoff sitcom of Man about the House. It was the equivalent of The Ropers being the spinoff of Three’s Company.

4. From the sitcom The Good Life or Good Neighbors, depending on where you live. Tom and Barbara Good, played by Richard Briers and Felicity Kendall respectively, were a couple living in the London suburbs who decided to become self-sufficient by growing their own food, raising livestock, and bartering to meet their needs.  The disconnect between the two worlds made for some classic comic moments.

11 thoughts on “Marital Codes or Why We Don’t Have Many Friends

  1. The only things I can think that we have is ” twaddling” which is when the kids just talk twaddle, and Matts Kingswood, which is what we call Hadham in Bristol. This is because he thought it was Kingswood, and as the locals round here can’t pronounce Wales properly (They say Wells which of course is a nearby town) they say Welsh Wells. so we have Matts Kingswood.

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    1. We use “twaddle” too, but we say, “I am twaddling off,” when we have to go somewhere.

      There was a physician in my hometown named Hugo Twaddle. The man was a quack, but he was on my decapitation level health insurance plan, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Using a stethoscope over my clothes. Hardly reading charts. Ghastly.

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  2. When one of us stands in front of the TV and blocks the view of the other, we say “Pinuche!” Pinuche is the name of a dog we had many years ago, who was senile, and would absent-mindedly do the same thing.

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  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of these. After 23 years together, I think we would find it odd to not have the massive lexicon of code words and in jokes that we have between us. We also have code words and in jokes with the kids.

    PS I actually am that cliche: I have never seen the beginning of ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ because the twice I have watched it I came upon it while channel hopping.

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  4. Oh my gosh – my husband and I have loads of “in jokes.” I may steal your idea and do a blog post about them. Most of them involve purposefully mispronouncing names. For example, I misread a new neighborhood sign that said “Chesapeake Junction.” In our house it will now forever be known as “Cheapskate Junction.” 🙂

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    1. Misread signs…another great source for marital codes. You reminded me of one ours.

      When we lived in Pittsburgh, there is a building on the Western outskirts of the city with a lot of reflective glass showing the company name, “Hoogovens”. It is practically illegible, so when I first saw it, I announced, “What does it say? Boogerovens?”. The name has stuck.

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