My Favorite Word

By: Lara Winburn

I don’t know about you but there are a lot of words that are off limits in my world these days. No, not those kinds of words that get bleeped out on a reality show. Some words I have eliminated are fairly harmless, but to keep my sanity I have tapered the use of them. Words like C-A-N-D-Y. One mention of that sugary goodness and it is all I will hear about for the next 47 minutes. I also have had to eliminate words that may not be that bad but you don’t really want to hear parroted back at you from that precious three-year-old mouth. You know, words that your mom may not want to hear you say, even though you are allegedly grown. Phrases like, like “this sucks” or “well, that’s stupid” are perfectly legitimate and not “really” profane, but are less than lovely all the same.

So I have come to embrace words that I can freely use in my house – words that serve many purposes but will not cause embarrassment when used by my child at daycare. There are many words I like to use. Obviously, if you read what I write, you have discovered I can be quite wordy. But I wanted to share with you my favorite word in all of its versatile glory and good news. It only has three clean letters. Ladies and gentlemen, (okay, gentleman as my husband is probably my one male reader) my favorite word is: W-O-W.


Wow! Wow. Wow. (Which sometimes may be pronounced more like wow-a.)

Now at first you might think that there is only one use of this word.

Wow: An exclamation of surprise, wonder, pleasure, or the like. Example: Giant hot air balloon sails over your house. “Wow! Did you see the size of that balloon?” Yes, that is your run of the mill everyday use of this little word but you are missing out if you have not considered other ways this word may serve you with a little tone adaptation.

Wow: A realization of what your life has become. Example: You look down and realize that is not chocolate smeared on your hand after a big diaper change. “Oh wow, how long has that been there?” Now it is pronounced with a little more desperation and defeat – wow.

Wow: Exasperation. In other words, you have got to be kidding me. When used in this form and tone, it can pack a mighty punch. Example: Someone in front of you at the grocery store has 7,310 items in the 10 items or less lane. “Wow, you have quite a few groceries.” They may misinterpret you at first but with proper delivery they will definitely get your meaning. This is also a good use of the word when the words in your head are not daycare approved.

Wow: Expresses true disbelief. Example: A good friend gets a really drastic haircut or you are walking the beach and you realize just about anybody can wear a bikini. ”Wow.” No more words needed. Just wow. As mentioned before, in Off the Hook, this can be a good wow or a bad wow. Sometimes it just needs clarifying.

I hope this little word can serve you as well as it has served me. (And if you hear me say it in your presence, I am sure it is just an exclamation of surprise…. unless you have had a drastic hair cut.)

What words do you use in this tiny-ears-hear-and-repeat–every-word world some of us live in?

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