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Waffle Cornflake And Other Family Words

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A listener emails to say that her nonagenarian mother adopted a special project during the pandemic. She compiled a lexicon of words and phrases used by their family when the kids were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. The resulting 33-page document includes some of the family’s favorite stories, games, and words they adopted as a result of childhood misunderstandings, and offers a unique glimpse of their day-to-day lives during that time. For example, the family playfully referred to New Mexico as New Mixing Bowl and newscaster Walter Cronkite as Waffle Cornflake, and had a running joke about one of the children’s imaginary friends named Billy Onson. The lexicon also includes an entry for the family’s New Room, which they added to the house in 1960, but still call the New Room many decades later — not unlike the Pont Neuf in Paris, with a name that translates as “New Bridge,” even though it’s the oldest bridge across the Seine in that city. Ever thought about compiling your own Family Lexicon? We’d love to hear about it! This is part of a complete episode.

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