And what, you are asking, is a spucket?

Every family ends up with its own made-up words. For example, a “muffin-toast” is Kiddo#3’s word for an English muffin. A don-don is the word Kiddo#1 derived for a thing you hang from your rear-view mirror. 

When he was five, Kiddo#1 shouted at his sister, “Get away from me, you dumb spucket!”

Cue me wondering what a spucket was. Husband didn’t know either. It took a while to figure it out. 

Cyberchase. The main villain is The Hacker. He has two sidekicks, Buzz and Delete. 

The Hacker frequently calls them “you Dunce Buckets.” My son, with his inimitable way of parsing spoken language, heard it as “you dumb spuckets,” and derived from this that a spucket is a short, incompetent sidekick.

Thus it was easily applied by a five-year-old to his one-year-old sister.

Since then, we’ve found “spucket” to be a useful term. My brother-in-law, when he had an internship at my Patient Husband’s place of employment, didn’t have a real title and so we called him “Nadia’s Spucket.” I frequently tell my Patient Husband that for my birthday, I want a spucket. I sometimes refer to myself as my Patient Husband’s spucket, which is kind of funny given the difference in height.

Spucket has entered out daily language, and so I pass it along to you. As the English language loses perfectly good words in the postliterate era, such as “sack,” we need replacements in order to prevent our descent into mere grunting animals. Try to use “spucket” in a sentence today. It will do you good, I promise.


  1. Ken Rolph

    You know very well that we don’t need any new words. In the near future all communication will be by videoclip and will contain the single spoken word “whatever”. Everything else will have to be interpreted from facial expressions and body gestures.

  2. philangelus

    Whatever, Dude.

    (We’ll need two words, see?)

  3. Wendy


    Now your email becomes clear. I was wondering a “spucket” was a book-biz term.

  4. Daniel Kenney

    You just made me laugh very, very hard and now I’m p@^( because this is one more blog that I will need to check every day now.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Scott

    Whenever my son sees the yellow street signs with the stop sign and arrow, he says “Julia” (we think).

    The only reason we can think of why he says that could be if his preschool bus driver was named Julia and the assistant was paranoid yelling “Julia……..stop sign”

    BTW, I like the dude after whatever, but whatever by itself is sooooo much more powerful when trying to get someone angry.

  6. philangelus

    Scott, Kiddo1 used to talk about the Mayving, the Kaymay-Mayving, and A Place Called Goodies. Always the three in a row, in that order. The best we could figure out was that the Mayving was a telephone pole, a Kaymay-Mayving was a telephone pole with a transformer on it, and the place called goodies was a house our neighbor pointed out to us once as a place she went trick-or-treating. (Maybe that they gave out goodies there?)

    By the time he was old enough to explain, he’d forgotten what they were, but holy cow. All the time: “Momma, can we go see the Mayving, the Kaymay-Mayving, and the place called Goodies?” I’d love to, but what the heck is it?

  7. karen ^.,.^

    my daughter, when she was tiny, had two imaginary cats and they were named “burpy” and “climby”. i understood the “climby” because our real cat climbed all over everything. the cat named “burpy”…eh, no clue. i need to remember these things now that she’s interested in boys. might be interesting antecedotes when she brings home dates…

    by the way, how is stormy?

  8. Ken Rolph

    When my mum and dad get together with certain friends of their own vintage, they are likely to end the night by saying, “Good night everyone except Keithie!” Then they all laugh.

    Apparently this goes back to an incident when they were all scout leaders out around a campfire. None of them were ever able to give me a sensible explanation of what happened. Nobody even remembers exactly who was there. I think when they say it that they just bring up nostalgic emotions for those times when they were young together.

    Whenever I try to get at the incident behind the saying they will just say to me, “You had to be there”. Since the incident happened in 1947, that is a bit unlikely. So I’ll never know. I have to go now. Good night everybody except Keithie!

  9. philangelus

    Ken, it sounds like when my friends at college used to say, “When you assume, you make an ass of you and Catherine.”

    (Except in my case, I was able to figure out what happened. Apparently someone said, “When you assume, you make an ass of U,” and Catherine replied, “…and me,” and the rest is history.)

  10. Kit

    Ahhh, Jane….spuckets and hairy-hairys….you have enriched my vocabulary and this little corner of my life in my library! 😉

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