The language of modern parenthood

Are there words and phrases you use as a parent, that perhaps weren’t used by your own parents?

A new language

‘Poonami’, ‘freezer tapas’ and ‘niplash’ are among the funniest phrases most used by modern parents, according to a survey.

The baffling words have been coined to help parents cope with raising little people, with 84 per cent of parents frequently using them. Are you one of them?

Four in five parents say terms such as ‘threenager’ – meaning a three-year-old throwing a teenage-style strop –lightens the mood when they find parenting tough. I have used this frequently over the years!

More than a third (35 per cent) admit to using the secret slang so their child doesn’t understand what they really mean. Hands up who does this?

Overall the most-used quirky parenting word is ‘Mum Bun’ – a hairstyle where harassed mums pull their hair into a topknot – used by three quarters of parents polled by I just sob becasue my hair is too heavy for a mum bun!

‘Poonami’, the secret code for a baby’s explosive poo, is favoured by two thirds of mums and dads while three quarters frequently say they are ‘winging it’ – meaning trying to cope while other parents seem more organised.

the language of modern parenthood

‘Beige rainbow’ and ‘Freezer tapas’ are used by one in five families to describe ready-made playdate food such as chicken nuggets and chips. Also half describe themselves as a ‘mombie’ – a mum who looks like a zombie through lack of sleep.

Other popular mottos include ‘ginwag’ meaning catching up over a glass of gin, while an ‘adult headache’ or hangover follows the next day. Anyone in need of a ginwag this week?

A quarter of parents confess they ‘iparent’ by giving kids a tablet device to keep quiet alongside one in nine who have a ‘mum spa’ when they open the dishwasher from the steam.

returning to work

‘Velcro baby’ is used by 23 per cent to describe a clingy child who won’t be put down and 18 per cent say ‘niplash’ to describe the pain when a breastfeeding baby twists their head without letting go of your nipple.

What do you think?

Personally, I think funny phrases like these can go a long way towards bonding parents and also keep parents from taking themselves too seriously – what do you think?


Here are the top 20 modern parenting phrases – how many do you use?

1. Mum bun – mum hairstyle
2. Winging It – doing your best when everyone else seems to be more organised
3. Poonami – poo explosion
4. Threenager – 3 going on 13
5. Sniff test – checking if the baby really needs a change
6. Mombie – mum exhausted through lack of sleep
7. Flying Solo – coping on your own
8. Mumboss – mum in charge
9. Going to bed early – sex
10. The Handover – passing the baby to your partner as soon as they get home
11. Velcro Baby – clingy baby
12. iParenting – using a tablet to keep your child quiet
13. Niplash – when a breastfeeding baby twists their head without letting go of your nipple
14. Freezer Tapas – serving up whatever you can find in the freezer
15. Adult headache – hangover
16. Musical beds – when kids change beds all night long
17. Beige Rainbow – ready-made playdate food like chicken nuggets and chips
18. Mum spa – opening the dishwasher
19. Deja poo – when the baby fills the nappy for the 20th time that day
20. Ginwag – catching up on the gossip over a glass of gin

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