The Kid Dictionary by Eric Ruhalter

The Kid Dictionary: Hilarious Words to Describe the Indescribable Things Kids Do

by Eric Ruhalter

Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2012.

I’m one of those people who loves to have the right word for the right occasion.  I’ll chop garlic with any old knife, and nevermind the garlic press.  The right tool for the right job, however, is a prize beyond rubies when it comes to language.

Imagine my delight when we were sent this book full of words made up for the job of parenting.  Right from the very first word (feelabuster: (v) to pat down your toddler before she leaves a play date at someone else’s house to make sure she isn’t stealing anything), Eric Ruhalter had me laughing out loud, gleeful not only at recognizing the scenarios that gave rise to the words he’s made up, but their wonderfully apt accuracy.

These are some of my favourites:

invisibooboo: (n) the site on a child’s body where you unnecessarily applied a bandage to appease him when he got hurt, even though no blood ever appeared

freak of nurture: (n) a child who, without any prompting, wants to eat well-balanced meals and avoid junk food, gets enough sleep and exercise, and realized the value of his education

hypocriticize: (v) to yell at your kids to keep their voices down

daduation: (n) the painful realization that you are quickly and irreversibly turning into your parents

adrenalad: (n) a child who will never ever under any circumstances admit that he is tired

harrask: (v) to persist in asking again and again for permission to do something in the hopes that the answer will change from no to yes

snoot: (v) to suck in rather than blow out when blowing your nose

wishjack: (v) to blow out the candles on another child’s birthday cake

whyarrehea: (n) an inquisitive toddler’s chain of questions rattled off in rapid-fire succession

Santastrophe: (n) a parent’s misconception that her baby will enjoy being handed to an enormous, white-haired, long-bearded bespectacled stranger in a blood-red fuzzy suit for a Christmas photo

scoozer: (n) a child who only has something to say when you’re on the phone or in the bathroom

This book would make a great shower gift or a Mother’s or Father’s Day gift.  The only downside to the book that I can see is that it does not include blank pages for readers to add their own neologisms.  One of ours is Tooty McFartypants to describe the more flatluent members of the family.

Do you have any?

Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending us a review copy.


7 thoughts on “The Kid Dictionary by Eric Ruhalter

  1. I suppose in our house we could use a word like “sororalax”–the remarkable laxative properties of having Mommy sit down to supervise an older sibling’s homework/piano practise on a chronically constipated preschooler. Nothing makes a parent jump in this house like “I need to poop.” Who knew we could have skipped the referral to the children’s hospital, bucketloads of adult-sized doses of laxatives, enough prunes to rip through the digestive system of any normal person–all we needed was big sister to start grade 1 and piano lessons!!

  2. On the walk home from school yesterday I found myself wondering if he has a word for the way my kids, at least, go into a kind of spacey-eyed trance where they walk directly towards (and through, if I’m not fast) the pile of dog poop when I call out “Watch out for the dog poop on the sidewalk!”

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