The pling

I’ve been thinking about words again, thinking about words each family has which are individual and either deliberately made up or have arisen from baby talk, or things young children say, or mistaken pronunciation, or inherited from parents or grandparents, or just arrived from who knows where! My son used the word sibdubs for bark chippings, and now so do we, my daughter said brekklefast and now we call it that – not deliberately but we just do, it’s become part of our own vocabulary.

When i was young we had all sorts of odd words for things; some came from rhyming slang, titfer – hat, rosie – tea, plates – feet, etc. some from my dad’s time in the army during the war – there was army slang such as gyppo for gravy,  some  he’d picked up in Italy such as latte, some left over from former times when the army (not him) was in India such as charpoi and dhobi. From my mum came words from her early life when she lived in a small village in the country.

However there were lots of words in our family which I think must have been just made up – maybe from things my sister and i said, maybe just those family terms which arise. One such is the word ‘pling’ which means a mild infectious illness, such as a cold, but which could be caught by others. Quite often having the pling was having some sort of cold, tummy upset, that sort of thing but it could also be in the later recovering stage of something like chicken pox. If we were plingy we were still ill! Pling… I wonder where it came from?

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