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New words for your next family vacation

Matt Villano

The list of new words for this year's update of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary won't be unveiled until the end of August. But why wait until then?

In anticipation of the upcoming summer of travel, I present to you my nominees for M-W’s next installment. These phrases have been culled from years of traveling with (and, in at least one case, without) kids. My wife and I use them often; along with some other choice phrases and words, they comprise the crux of a distinct lingo we take with us whenever we hit the road. Before good ol' Merriam-Webster decides whether to include these in the next book, feel free to adopt the words as your own.

  • babybomb \ bay – bee – bahm \ v : to litter a hotel or rented space with evidence of a baby’s presence; such items may include stacks of clean diapers, disposable Arm & Hammer bags of dirty diapers, baby toys, high chair, etc. Example: When we arrived, our room at the Four Seasons Maui was super-swanky; after an hour, it had been babybombed.
  • clark \ kl – ark \ v : to over-plan and over-schedule a family vacation in the vein of Clark Griswold from the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movies, to the point where nobody can have fun. Example: Uncle Justin clarked that family trip to Disneyland so hard, I would have strangled him if I wasn’t so exhausted every night.
  • marmot \ mar – mott \ v : to wake up from a sound sleep, pop one’s head over the side of a travel crib and stare at Mom and Dad sleeping in the bed on the other side of the room; babies are most commonly the ones to exhibit this behavior, and they usually do so between the hours of 4 and 5:30 a.m. Example: I was having a wonderful dream until the baby marmotted and woke me up with coos and giggles.
  • MP \ em – pee / adj : hostile or unfriendly to children; abbreviation of “misopedist,” someone who hates children. Example: That restaurant is MP, dude—they have no high chairs and no changing tables in the bathrooms.
  • travelbooty \ tra – vuhl – boo – tee \ n : when traveling, the condition during which a toddler (or grown-up, for that matter) responds with constipation to foreign toilets and a disruption in schedule; condition can sometimes last multiple days and cause significant discomfort. Example: After three days of vacatoin and no success on the potty, I think little Emmy might have travelbooty. [NOTE: “Travelass” is an age-appropriate synonym.]

Surely you readers have devised some of your own phrases over the years. I’d love to hear them; please feel free to share in the comment field below. All submissions will be considered for inclusion in a future post.

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