Sunday, September 23, 2007


So the whole city watched the weather with extra intensity last week as a vague, storm-ish thing lurked in the Gulf and our PTSD-bones tingled ominously. But it drifted elsewhere, and the weekend was clear and lovely. Annou described it as a "shu-shu".
a fire-cracker that quietly goes "pfft" instead of "bang"
I'd never heard the word, and Google reveals nothing. She thought it might be local but couldn't say for sure. But etymology be damned, I like it—shu-shu.

And, in this particular case, I was perfectly content with a shu-shu. What obscure linguistic oddities do you have in your bag of verbal tricks?


  1. Anonymous10:56 PM


    not just an a*!hole, but an a%#hole of such ill proportion as to be considered a gaping a?^hole.
    Usage: You pass a guy dressed as an armadillo on the side of the road, who's waving signs for a mattress store in 100 degree heat. "What a gaper."
    Origin: Texas, where everything's bigger - even the insults.

  2. I'm not sure of the spelling or the etymology (or of the spelling of "etymology," for that matter) but my grandma, the Edith Bunker of the Faubourg Marigny, threw around the phrase "faw-faw" a lot. It means a person or place that's overly fancy or fussy. "Oh, I ain't dressed to go in that place. It's too faw-faw.

  3. "Faw-faw", fantastic.

    Shu-shu, faw-faw, gris gris. And let's throw in some local-ish nicknames: Nounou, Kiki, Mimi. Anybody detect a pattern?

  4. "Rim-bomb-beato", a phonetic spelling of a Calabrian dialect word for someone who can't do anything right. I don't know the correct spelling and probably never will. I don't think google will help.