It has come to my attention recently that a glossary of terms is necessary so we can all be, quite literally, speaking the same language. Over the years, I have curated a collection of terms and phrases, kind of like an Urban Dictionary but without all the repugnant sex stuff. So here we go!

The (Incomplete) Rookie’s Guide to American Heavyweight Vernacular

NSLP – Non-sexual, life partner. The perfect blend of best friend, confidant and aspirational style model. I met my NSLP on holiday, the only good thing ever to come out of an all-inclusive resort.

PUMP THE BRAKES – drop this little gem when someone is taking too much at the buffet line or getting ahead of themselves in a meeting. Also works with a little “whoa whoa” at the beginning as in “whoa, whoa, pump the brakes pal.” Can also be used interchangeably with “Slow your roll.”

GEAR DOWN, BIG RIG – a personal favorite of mine. Great alternative to telling someone to calm down (which usually has the opposite effect). Try it the next time someone is freaking the fuck out and they will not only gear down, but they might just laugh in your face. You instantly become a hero.

TICKING TIME BOMB – how I describe my stomach after I’ve eaten dairy. Can also mean someone that has been bottling up their emotions for so long that there is an audible ticking sound if you get close enough. Good descriptor for a toddler that has missed their nap or how you feel when you are all standing at the door ready to go but that last family member has to just run upstairs for one last thing. Try to diffuse the bomb but usually best to move to another state.

HOW YOU SAY IN YOUR COUNTRY…? – little known fact about this American Heavyweight is I didn’t know much English until I started Kindergarten. Sometimes if I’m tired/angry/hungry, I stumble on words. Instead of revealing my vulnerability, I will drop this phrase followed by something complete out of context or inane. Very useful if someone else is struggling with remembering a word. Makes them laugh and REALLY slows down the ‘Getting to the Point’ of a story.

GET YOUR OWN SANDWICH – Have you had a great idea, only to have someone try to piggyback on your success? Does that same someone jack your style without giving proper credit? Tell them to get their own sandwich! Also a useful phrase if that same Frenemy is trying to quite literally, eat your lunch. This is a figurative/literal phrase that is equally effective in both situations.

SLAYER – to describe someone that is KILLING IT. Great hair? Nice kit? Fierce baby? Adding the knife emoji is a nice touch. KNIFE EMOJI

ANCHORS – the people in your life that hold you down, figuratively dragging you to the bottom of the ocean, impairing your freedom to get on a plane whenever you damn well please. You can use this to describe your children or other loved ones, who am I to judge?

SHIT OR GO BLIND – I picked this up from my friend Biz in 1999. This one is actually in the urban dictionary: A set of nonsensical choices that indicate a high degree of confusion about what to do next.

THE OUTLAWS – Shoutout to my friend Brownie who coined this gem years ago. Most people have Inlaws and there is LOADS of baggage that comes with this descriptor. I adore my husband’s parents to death so it makes me laugh to think of the ‘pew-pew-pew’ sound those old spaghetti westerns used in their soundtracks. Wouldn’t you rather be an Outlaw than an Inlaw? Makes perfect sense.

SMOTHER – Where to begin describing this one? Perhaps a short story will illustrate what I mean by my Smother. Years ago, my husband foolishly revealed that he loved Greek spinach pies. As a result of this innocuous statement, my Smother has brought an 8 x 11 inch pan of spinach pie to my house every single time she has come to visit. This is not a joke. Or an exaggeration. Sometimes she visits several times a month! We have probably consumed 300 pans of spinach pie in the last few years. If only I could tell her to Slow Her Roll.

'I think we have a possible case of death by overdose.'


  1. My pet peeve of internet inspired urban dumbth is all these people who want to “loose” some weight. I feel like saying, “Really? How is it tethered?” LOL

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