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My Personal Word Wall

When you teach, you’re told that putting up a word wall is a good idea.

A word wall reminds students of the new vocabulary they have encountered during their reading, and they are reminded to use the vocabulary in different contexts to completely absorb the words rather than simply memorize definitions.

While my students are learning new vocabulary, I am gathering my own words, taught to me by my students.

I’ve learned such words as “fye,” “ratchet,” and “twerk.”

The urban dictionary app loves me.

My newest word made it to my “wall” last week.  Please tell me if you’ve heard of it.

The word?

Boogee.

No.  It’s not booger.

A booger is something icky that sticks to the inside of your nose clearly visible to the public and which may become an edible item depending on the person wearing said booger.

Oh no.

We’re talking boogee, which is pronounced like “boo-jee.”

This word came up during the following conversation:

“Mrs. AuburnChick, are you going to the fair tonight?”

“No, I’m not,” I said.

“Why not? There’s good food,” one young lady said.

I said, “I don’t like fairs much, and I wouldn’t be able to eat the food anyway.”

The kids know I am a vegan.

Next, I heard, “Mrs. AuburnChick, you are needy.”

Um, really?

I replied, “No, I’m not.”

“Yes, you are.  You can’t eat this, and you can’t eat that,” the same girl said.

And then I heard, softly spoken, “You’re boogee.”

Now, I’m the first to admit that my hearing isn’t always what I’d like it to be, so I leaned my head down and said, “I’m what?”

“You’re boogee,” she repeated.

I naturally asked, “What is ‘boogee’?”

A young man piped up, after struggling to find a “standard English” word with, “You’re stuck up.”

Oh yeah.  Did you just sit up straighter?  I know that I put my shoulders back, ready to defend myself.

What I actually did was turn this into a vocabulary lesson about denotation and connotation and proceeded to explain what the phrase “stuck up” meant.

They held their ground and insisted that I was stuck up.

I was genuinely confused.

Stuck up people think they are better than others.

You read my blog.

You know that I am the first to admit when I make mistakes.  Heck, mistakes loom around each corner and attack me constantly.

I explained that “stuck up” has a negative connotation.

They wouldn’t budge.

It bothered me, so when I got home, I looked up the word.

A girl who is high class or someone that looks like they have a lot of money

Well, that didn’t sound so bad, but when I mentioned, to another class, that I’d been called “boogee,” they looked appalled and insisted that I reveal the name of the person who described me this way.

Honestly, I give up.

Boogee isn’t good.

I don’t understand it.

My personal word wall continues to fill up with words in which the denotative and connotative meanings do not remotely resemble each other.

Me thinks I’m getting old.

The young folks are confusing the heck out of me.

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