Diction (a glossary of terms)

Ashley Hynd


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Diction (a glossary of terms)
by Ashley Hynd

Aunt: f. from the Latin amita

1. small creatures that can carry more than their share 1.2 stand-in mothers (who can’t hold seventeen hours of labour over you) 2. photo filler used for major childhood moments: christenings, communions, etc. 3. antonym ex-aunts: members of the family easily erased by divorce

Brother: m. from the Latin frater 

1. a mythological creature said to beat up boys when they break your heart 2. synonym brotherhood: the reason why your cousins always gang up on you in a fight 

Babcia: f. not to be confused with babka 

1. a Polish grandmother who makes hand-made Care Bears for her unborn grandchildren then dies two months before you are born (you think I would have loved her)

Cousins: uni. from the Latin consobrinus

1. competition for the mashed potatoes at thanksgiving 2. temporary siblings 3. the reason for the block option on Facebook 4. an episode of Jerry Springer on crack cocaine 

Daughter: f. from the Greek thugatēr

1. a princess who can do no wrong and always gets her way 2. the black sheep always to blame for family fights 2.2 a constant strain on resources such as food, finances, and freedom 3. a continuous cycle of oppression forced upon women since birth (sometimes referred to as fresh-starts)

Father: m. from the Latin pater 

1. an angry- absent- narcissistic- yet-charismatic- male- role- model of your formative years 1.2 the reason you drop out of high school at sixteen to get a job 3. PTSD waiting to happen

Grandfather: m. from the Latin grandis + pater 

1. a man who died from cancer the year your sister was born 1.2 the owner of the cologne bottles on the back of your grandmother’s toilet (which haven’t moved in fifteen years) 1.3 an otherwise story-less member of the family (but mommy learned to love abuse somewhere)

Grandmother: f. from the Latin grandis + mater 

1. a mythological creature rumoured to bake cookies 1.2 the only reason for family gatherings 1.3 a fragile little woman who gave you twenty dollars and a funeral for your thirteenth birthday 

Mother: f. from the Latin mater 

1. an emotionally absent woman who incubated you 1.2 a body on a one-way train to the States 2. a cackle-tongued woman of wisdom with a dash of drama 3. the strongest woman you have ever known (aside from possibly yourself)

Pépé: m. not to be confused with papa

1. a French Canadian grandfather on your father’s side 1.2 your best friend until the age of four 1.3 your first experience with trauma (turns out he wasn’t sleeping)

Sister: f. from the Latin soror 

1. rumoured to have loved you once when she was two 1.2 smacked an old lady in the nursery of the hospital saying “my baby!” 1.3 the child used to make the second child feel like a mistake (“why can’t you be more like your sister”)

Uncle: m. from the Latin avunculus

1. the point where you cave under pressure  2. stand-in fathers who actually hung your school pictures 3. the reason you thought Beauty and the Beast was romantic 4. antonym ex-uncle: taboo or family secret

Ashley Hynd lives on the Haldimand Tract. She was a member of the 2015 Kitchener Slam team and her work has appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine. Her hobbies include trampling the patriarchy, avoiding doing the dishes, and being consumed by conversations.

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