name that meaning!

I like nonsenseThis week we decided to mix it up a bit during our writing group inside Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility. I mean, it’s great to have a reliable structure for a weekly meeting, to know what to expect; that’s both comforting and safe. At the same time, shaking it up from time to time guarantees that we don’t fall into any kind of rut. So instead of the ‘usual’ prompt – something soulful or even straightforward – we played with words. “A birthday party for the mouth,” as our opening poem, “Saying Things” by Marilyn Krysl says (see “Prompt of the Week” for full text.)

Some women just spilled words across the page as they occurred to them, based on sound, rhyme, or syllables. Others generated nonsense words. That would be me. It suddenly came to me while sitting there that it would be a hoot to try a “Says You” type process, asking each woman to come up with her own definition of a nonsense word. Best part? There is no ‘right’ answer. So we ended up with a wonderful list of words with a wonderful list of definitions. Which do YOU think should be the ‘real’ meaning?!!!


1.  the place you find co-defendants (LS)
2.  a core belief that insults your big toe (TD)
3.  when people make a plan, then join hands to go ask for it (AA)
4.  a place where you will look and find all your defendants and co-defendants (KH)
5.  a fact-checking website (SB)
6.  a songbird whose feathers have rusted or corroded (SB)


1.  a single sound, one noise, one sound, one band; makes me think of my drumming class, In Line Harmony (KH)
2.  singular sounds machine (LS)
3.  what you feel like when you’re on a Monday morning shift (AA)
4.  to think outside the box, or of social norms (LS)
5.  a soliloquy of mismangled syllables haphazardly strewn together by someone awakening from anesthesia. As in ooooo aaa uh foooee ooo. (JP)
6.  the endless repetition of a single sound (SB)
7.  the building in which one sound is spoken (SB) Continue reading