posted by Joe Anaya on October 14th, 2013

Occasionally, there are words or phrases that I have never come across that seem to be common knowledge. In my late twenties, while discussing a wilting plant I heard the word flaccid for the first time. (I blame my incredible masculinity.) But when I met my wife, I was introduced to a whole lexicon of words I had never heard before. Here are a few of them.

Pillow Sham – The froofy fringy cover of a pillow that isn’t for resting your head on.

Duvet – The froofy cover casing for a comforter that’s not for laying on. Apparently, you don’t need to pick a comforter that you like the look of because it’s going to get covered by a duvet.

Skim Milk – I knew about whole milk, 2%, 1% and non-fat. But I didn’t know where skim milk came in. I still really don’t. By the description, it sounds like someone is skimming the top layer of fat off of the milk. So, I’m assuming it’s one of the less fatty ones.

Mani Pedi – This is shorthand for a manicure and pedicure. I like to use this phrase when ever possible. It’s funny to say and it makes my wife think I care about how her nails look.

Quinoa – The creepy grain with a tail. It’s the latest rage in girl food. It’s supposed to be good for you somehow. I stopped listening after, “We need to eat more grains…”

Jimmy Choo’s – These are shoes. Apparently, women name things based on who designed them. These are shoes so expensive that if a woman would say, “Where are my pumps?” or “Where are my flats?” those aren’t descriptive enough. But if she says, “Where are my Jimmy Choo’s?” I’m supposed to know what that means.

Crudité – This is the vegetable platter that comes with a little dipping sauce. Why it’s not just called vegetable platter, I don’t know.

Wainscoting – Maybe Bob Villa knows what this is, but I didn’t. I still don’t know how to pronounce it. I’ve heard “wains cotting” and “wains coating.” It’s the old-fashioned wall paneling that only goes up to the chair rail.

Chair rail – The trim that goes around the room at about the height of the back of a chair. I’m sure it originally had a purpose, but now it’s just decoration.

Flatware – “What’s flatware?” I ask. My wife responds, “It’s the fork, spoon and knife settings?” I acknowledge, “Oh the silverware.” She replies, “No, it’s not made of silver.” “Well, it’s not flat either.”

There are others: sconce, hydrogenated oil, and hydrating. I don’t think I’ve ever used these words with anyone other than my wife. So, I’m not sure what good they do me, but they are now part of my vocabulary.

File Under Jack of all Trades