Grade School Lingo


Elementary school is fun and messy and filled with high hopes of being awarded with colorful pencil tops for perfect attendance. I read in one study that grade school years are the most difficult and stressful years of our lives. Apparently the stress we have after this time is mostly self-induced, whereas young childhood stress is brought upon us without choice. I can see where they are coming from with that opinion, though to me, elementary was nothing but play time.

There are words and phrases that we used back then, that we never really use again. But what if we did? I bet the office would grow excited if we had rewards greater than casual Fridays. (Actually, I wouldn’t know, I am required to wear jeans every day.) You understand my plea though, I know you do. Let’s try to bring a few of these back into our adult life.

Eff Word


Ever actually been told “You eff word!” Not all kids are too shy to whip out the biggie, but many are. So, they call each other letters to compensate. I bet at least one time on the bus you either overheard or participated in a conversation where the entire alphabet of curses was attempted to be figured out. ‘Cause we need to know what the “M” word is already.

Seven Up


Recess is the most important part of the day. And then sometimes it rains. On these days, we played seven up. The game was easy. Teacher would choose seven students who stood at the front of the class and then announce, “Head’s down thumbs up!” You’d stick your head on the desk in the perfect position so that if one of those seven did tap your thumb that was raised you could see their British Knight tennis shoes as they passed by. When all seven had chosen their prey, heads were demanded to be raised from the desks and the chosen would guess who tapped them. I fondly recall always wanting to be chosen so I could tap the thumb of the boy I crushed over. My crush for him stemmed from the fact that he had a lisp and because of it would call me “Krithy.” I should look that speech impaired boy up on facebook.

Line Leader


This was a blessing or a curse. If the teacher was a drag, who wanted to stand next to them? If you were on your way to the lunchroom, then of course you wanted to be at the head of the pack. Remember the teachers yelling to have you make the line as straight as possible? The other teachers would naturally think more of them if the line was perfectlystraight…Commies.



This needs to still be in effect. You traded some crap Ham and Kraft Cheese to this poor kid who hands over his Fun Fruits and scream, “No backsies!” as he/she realizes what a dumb move that transaction was. I would so yell it to the tables I serve that decide they did not understand what the ingredients of an menu item were.

Big Kids


When you are five years old, a kid who is seven is basically a giant to you. Even if they are not much larger in size, their second grade attitude is coweringly intimidating and you will call them a Big Kid and bow down to them. I like to still refer to those who are a year or two older than me as such.

Popcorn Party


This was the reason you went to school. Every now and again the teacher would pass out those rough brown paper towels that were barely distinguishable from the bark from which they came. You knew a popcorn party would soon follow. At our school they would buy a massive ten gallon bag of pre-popped corn and pour some onto the paper towel in front of you that you had unfolded to take up as much space on your desk as it could and therefore make room for as much popcorn as possible. Then you’d receive either a Dixie cup with warm root beer from a value brand two liter or on those really special days…McDonald’s Orange Drink. The class all goes home with the orange drink mustaches and spoiled appetites. Everybody wins.

So, choose one. Use it at work tomorrow and then tell me how it goes.

About kristiane

killing spiders with my laser eyes.
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6 Responses to Grade School Lingo

  1. My name is Galileo and I’ve cheated at Seven Up. Several times.

    Because I never wanted to go sit down again, I’d either tap one head too many, or no one at all. This resulted in either 8 or 6 kids claiming to have gotten tapped. I think I got found out once, and then I was never chosen again. Then again, the whole “Seven Up” game ceased being fun around that time, anyway.

    YOUR popcorn parties had pre-popped corn? Feh, all of mine popped ours IN CLASS, with old school shooter poppers (the one where the popcorn shot out of it into the bowl when they popped).

  2. stephanie says:

    what about budding? or the new way to say it is “hey, no budging in line!” i must say that the orange drink from mc’ds takes me back, even now, to track and field day.

  3. kristiane says:

    Steph- you bud in line and then someone calls you by singing, “Budder Buder Peanut Butter!” I do remember that.

  4. Guise says:

    Interestingly – or not – it’s been budging for as long as I remember over here, even the order to make room is ‘budge up’.

    I always liked calling ‘bagsies’ and ‘dibs’ on things, and still do it.

    …and one thing I very much enjoy doing is calling out in that sing-song voice “Good Morning Miss/Mr/Mrs…” because the amount of people that annoys is wonderful.

    We never had popcorn parties, but ‘hot green custard’ days were always a fond memory.

    I got burned bad on a ‘no backsies’, someone said they had banana slices and I traded a Choc Dip – a whole unopened Choc Dip with all the fingers – only to find out it wasn’t fresh banana slices but the dried, hard glazed kind.

    Though I got some degree of revenge by frequently having choc spread sandwiches on a Friday, then when he wasn’t suspecting it I switched to Marmite and accepted a trade of Dairylea in a single roll for my sandwiches. I win, because I originally was gonna trade with someone else anyway, because I hated marmite, but I scored higher because it completely ruined the kids whole lunch. No backsies, punk, savour the taste of defeat, the yeast extract taste!

  5. Sarah says:

    all I want to say here is I’d love to hang with the teacher who is holding the line leader’s hand. She looks effin rad!

  6. kittymao says:

    no one ever picked me in Seven Up.

    sad panda.

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