I was a little Skunkneck

My father was wicked witty and claimed he did not have a creative bone in his body. You be the judge…


He had his own vocabulary that would just flow out of his mouth such as

“Bushwa” which was short for “Bushwa-ishkabible-skyta-brute.”  (The whole thing was used mostly during a tease.) The word was used to disguise something usually ridiculous or not worth talking about. Like “Oh bushwa!”

Terms of endearment were not as you would have expected: lunk-plunk, angle-worm, nongin-plongin, skunkneck, angle-snangle, buttheads, plug-ugly or plug, squirt-neck or squirt, snorkel-dorkle, or little bugger,…

Most of us also had individualized nicknames. One of mine was “jayfer, nayfer, payfer, layfer, scayfer.”

His unique vocabulary mixed into regular conversation without a hiccup.

We looked “cuter than a bugs ear” or “peachy keen.”

When proud he would say it three times: I’m “Proud, proud, proud!”

For reassurance he would always say, “You’ll Do It!”

When we were sick his diagnosis was usually that we had “the “screamin’ scrud snuds.”

But when we were really really sick we had the “hydra-konda-bogus and triple…” I am keeping the rest out on purpose for a future children’s book!

Extremely frustrated or angry he would exclaim, “Oh horse manure!”  or “Amscray! (SCRAM)”

My father used his unique vocabulary to teach us, such as when he would gently remind us to: “Say lovin’ words.”

Or my personal favorite; his explanation for when day turns to night or night turns to day; “There it is sky-blue-pink!”


My father was not perfect. He said his share of “damn- it’s” under his breath. That was his prominent swear. But he would throw in a “bass-akwards” or a “horses arse” to keep it “cleaner” for my mom. I recently realized that our favorite car singing song that he taught us as toddlers left out the word ass. I do remember my mother looking over at him as I stood in-between them in the big station wagon. (When he slowed he would put his right arm across my body to keep me from falling forward. )

He would mischievously look over at my mom and smile his straight across smile. And we’d all sing it loud and strong and even in a round.

Sweet Sings the Donkey

As he goes to grass.

If you don’t sing better you will be the…



Hee-haw, Hee-haw, Hee-haw!

My last recording of him on my phone begins, “Hello lovin’ heart.”  I play it often just to hear his voice.

It is interesting to me how silly words and phrases unexpectedly turned into my father’s legacy of love and affection for his family.

It makes me smile my straight across smile just to think of this.

Happy Father’s Day dad.

I thank God every single day I got a good one!



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2 Responses to I was a little Skunkneck

  1. Zach says:

    Inremeber when he asked “is it my turn to think” during a card game at Tahoe! He’s funny. Love this mama!

  2. Wahini says:

    Sob!!!! Oh gramps– his nickname for my was his wahini. Can’t wait to be with him for eternity. I know he’s close when I see my hummingbird.

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