He took great delight in grabbing her around the waist, his fingers wriggling as he nuzzled up to her. I think Grandma liked it, but she must have been a bit ticklish.
As she tried to pull away in mock disgust, a labored smile appeared as she responded, “Suh, Daddy. Suh, suh.” Eventually, Grandpa gave up and returned to more adult behavior.
My brothers and I witnessed this countless times while we were growing up. Eventually, one of my brothers found the courage to ask: “Grandpa, what does suh mean?” As a broad grin crossed his face, he replied with a naughty twinkle in his eye, “It means more, more.”
While I’m certain Grandma would disagree with that interpretation, we grandkids knew that when we heard “suh” coming from elsewhere in the house, it probably meant that Grandpa was tormenting the love of his life.
We all have words like that in our family history, words that symbolize something in our families but may have a different meaning altogether to outsiders. While this one came easily to me, I’m hard-pressed to come up with any others from my own family today. Perhaps my brothers will help me set the record straight
Writing prompt for the day: Make a list of some “code words” from your own family history. Are they still used today? Be sure to include definitions.
Photo: Jens C. Andersen enjoys a relatively tame moment with his wife, Ellen Andersen, in 1969. (Larry Lehmer collection)