Parents Need Phrazzlers

Eric Ruhalter

This article, entitled "PARENTS NEED PHRAZZLERS (brand new words to describe the Wild World of Parenting)," comes from Eric Ruhalter, author of The Kid Dictionary and Phrazzlers.

Soon after my kids were born I noticed that I now lived in a bizarre new world. One filled with brand new, unique and unusual circumstances owing to the fact that all of my dealings revolved around the lives of kids. I also noticed that a lot of the situations I was finding myself in sorely needed but did not have words to describe them. While most of the world and the people in it bend over backwards to accommodate children, the English language does not.

A kid haggles with you to buy them candy in the supermarket checkout aisle… you have to engage in intense negotiations to get a child to take medicine.. when your kid is finished with something, like a food wrapper, they think the proper course of action is to hand it to their mother… Your kids show up in the middle of the night to take over your bed…

Things like these are such common, every day occurrences that there ought to be words to describe them. But there aren’t. Or there weren’t.

I started making up words to describe these kinds of things so parents could more easily describe their days. Because parents are already frazzled enough. These words I’ve made up are called “Phrazzlers.”

Do any of these describe you or your children?

(ROW-buh-tuss-uhl) v.

The long, drawn-out battle to get a child to take medicine.

(PILL-o-JAHK-uhr) n :

A child who manages to coax their way into his parent’s bed to sleep.

(gum-BOOX-uhl) v.:

A child’s desperate attempt to convince his parents to buy them some of the candy conveniently located in the supermarket checkout aisle

(nugg-ZIST) v.:

To live on virtually nothing but chicken fingers and French fries.

(ree-LACKS-uh-tiv) n.:

A child who urgently needs your assistance at the precise instant you finally manage to sit down to rest.

(MOM-bee) n.:

A mother who embodies Zombie-like qualities after many months of sleep deprivation.


A kid who has no qualms about barging in on you in the bathroom.

(STRIPP-lahk) v.:

When a child opens a re-sealable food package in a reckless fashion such that it is no longer re-sealable.

(mom-NEEZ-ee-uh) n.:

A mother’s ability to ignore the barbaric agony of childbirth and let herself get pregnant again.

(SMOOV-uh-neerz) n.:

The consolation gifts you buy for your kids when you don’t take them with you on vacation.

(NAPP-smeer) v.:

When someone or some thing brings your baby’s nap to a premature end.

(giv-VUPP-er) n.:

A grown up who pretends not to know the answers to the world’s oldest and tiredest riddles so a kid can feel like a comedian.

(eg: Dad: “Hmmm. I don’t know. Why DID the chicken cross the road?”)

(MOM-post) v.:

A kid’s notion that the proper course of action to dispose of something they are finished with, such as a food wrapper, is to hand it to their mother.

The book “Phrazzlers: Funny New Words to Describe the Wild World of Parenting is full of these types of words. And there are funny videos giving more glimpses inside the book at

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