Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It is said that English is a Living Language, always ready to bend, fold, mutilate, mutate or transmogrify in order to meet the needs of the occasion.   Back in school, I recall being taught that this is a Very Good Thing.

So I suppose that I am pleased, in once sense at least, with the addition to the vocabulary by members of the Port Swiller family of what I believe to be a brand new word or family of words.

Allow me to explain.

In my capacity as paper paterfamilias, I often find myself issuing instructions to the gels of the following variety:

“It’s almost time for dinner.  Come downstairs and set the table, please.”

“You were supposed to clean out the kitty litter.  Get TO it, please.”

“That laundry of yours is still sitting on our bed, waiting to be folded and put away.  Get it done.”

“You’ve played enough Mine-Craft for one day.  Turn off the computer and come upstairs.”

“Dammit, we’re going to be late, AGAIN.  Get.  In. To. The. Car.” 

Well, you get the general theme.

At any rate, almost invariably in response to these and similar directions, the younger gels answer with the delaying-tactic imperative, “Hold on.”

This is where the liquidity of the Mother Tongue kicks in because they don’t, in fact, answer me with these two words but rayther have taken to serving up what I believe to be a unique hybrid.

So far, there seem to be several different permutations, all of which they utter in a kind of dismissive mumble.  A phonetic  sampling:

“HOE-d’n.”

“Huh-duh.”

“H’duh.”

“Huddin.”

I’m not sure yet if there is any connection between choice of variant and context, whether for example one might be formal while another is more familiar, or whether this is just a bit of linguistic chaos common to the birth of a new form of expression.   No doubt inevitable further exposure will give me some more refined insight.

At any rate, as I say, I try to derive whatever etymological pleasure I can from these utterances, because otherwise they drive me absolutely crazy.

 

 

 

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