Birth of a new language
Mumsnet, the online forum for mothers, has unexpectedly given birth to a new language – female slang (“Mumglish”?). Since Mumsnet was founded in 2000, ‘MNers’ (Mumsnet members) have created hundreds of their own acronyms for often-used phrases, with new ones being added all the time.
As you can imagine, relationships are a common topic of discussion and account for a large chunk of acronyms. These range from the relatively mild DH (‘dear husband’) to the downright hostile PITA (‘pain in the a*rse’) and STBXH (‘soon-to-be-ex-husband’). AIBU – Am I being unreasonable? – might be met with a reply of YABOS (‘You are being oversensitive’) or, alternatively, YANBU – ‘You are not being unreasonable’. Men reading this should be worried if they spot the letters LTB in a partner’s post: it’s uncompromising advice from other members to ‘leave the bastard’.
The topic of sex has sparked a fair share of acronyms such as DTD (‘doing the deed’) and SWI – ‘shagging with intent’ for those trying to conceive. Another, cringe-making, term that appears is BD for ‘baby dancing’.
For the uninitiated, other useful phrases include:
AFAIK – As far as I know
ATM – At the moment
BBS – Be back soon
BC – Before children (not the birth of Christ)
BRB – Be right back
DC – Dear (or darling) child/ren
FTFY – Fixed this for you
HTH – Hope this helps
IIRC – If I remember correctly
IME – In my experience
IMHO – In my honest opinion
IYKWIM – If you know what I mean
IYSWIM – If you see what I mean
MMTI – Makes my teeth itch
OTOH – On the other hand
SAHM – Stay at home mother
YY – (Enthusiastic) yes
While the language has been around for as long as Mumsnet has been on the scene, it was identified as a ‘thing’ by Jonathon Green, a slang expert and author of a book on women’s slang, ‘Sounds & Furies: The Love-Hate Relationship Between Women and Slang’. Although women have created their own language before – the Flappers had their own slang in the 1920s – Green says Mumglish is notable because “It’s got hundreds of thousands of users, which means its influence on slang is quite substantial.”
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