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Dad’s Dictionary

Being a father is difficult. Quite apart from the obvious things like sleepless nights, learning to change nappies and coming to terms with the fact that you are no longer the most important thing in your mother’s life there is a whole new language that you have to learn. I think I am just starting to get the hang of it and so I thought I would share my wisdom about what certain words mean when said in relation to our families.

I start with some words that may be used about our children:

Affectionate – as in “He’s so affectionate!”

The child is soppy. Soppier than a Labrador in pink ribbon. If he tries to kiss my face and cover it in his germ-laden mucus one more time I will need to get my immunisations updated.

Gregarious – “Such a gregarious child!”

Cheeky cow.The child has absolutely no respect for her elders and betters. Needs to be taught a lesson or two in manners.

Egocentric – “Don’t worry, he’s just going through an egocentric phase.”

Selfish brat. The child has less consideration for the thoughts of others than Genghis Kahn’s Mongol marauders had for the people of Samarkand.

Active – “He’s one of the more active children in the class.

Future rioter. He is impossible to control and does whatever he wants. We spend all of our time running around after him. I wish that the Met police could show us how they kettle protestors.

Independent – “She’s really independent, isn’t she?

Feral. The child has no respect for authority. Earlier today I found her chewing through some electrical cabling and howling at the full moon. Do you impose no discipline in your household?


Next up, some helpful translations that can be used to de-code phrases that your wife or partner might use. I will undoubtedly get into trouble for these so please think kindly of me if I turn up at your door later this week looking for somewhere to spend a few nights whilst my darling wife calms down.

Tired – “I’m not grumpy, I’m just a little tired.

I’m grumpy.

Helpful“I’m not being controlling, I’m just trying to be helpful.

I’m being controlling.

Discuss“Can we discuss your plans for Friday night?”

You’re not going out with your mates again this week. We’re going to argue about it until you agree.

Discussion“I don’t want an argument, I just want a discussion about it.”

I want an argument.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. In fact I would like to start a universal Dad’s Dictionary. I will try and convince the guys at DadTalk to start compiling phrases with their real meanings to help fellow men navigate the treacherous minefield that is family life. If you have your own suggestions for phrases to be incorporated, please post them in the comments field and we’ll see if we can get it going.


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