Well, it’s August going into September and I’m starting to get all “wee-wee’d up.”

I don’t know exactly what that means, but I like the sound of it. Especially when President Barack Obama says it. He says it happens in Washington every year about this time. The Washington press corps had a field day over the remark. During his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had to field questions asking him just exactly what the president meant by the remark.

Perhaps it’s because the first family has a first dog, Bo-bama, who may not be as White House-broken as first expected. There actually is a product for dogs, (and cats) with incontinence. It’s called a Wee-Wee Pad. Maybe that’s what President Obama was thinking about. Or he may have been reading the nursery rhyme This Little Piggy to Sasha and Malia, but they’re a little too old for that, and besides, the little piggy that went all the way home went “Wee-wee-wee.” Thrice, not twice.

Gibbs’ reasoning; “I think ‘wee-wee’d up’ is when people get all nervous for no particular reason.” It’s answers like that which has earned him the nickname, “Baghdad Bob.”

There are colloquialisms that are specific to certain groups of people. Sometimes families have little expressions to which nobody else is privy. When Shelby, Taylor or Kyle would start to whine, my sister-in-law and her husband would say, “Look out. Here come a flock of waa-waas.”

Feel froggy? Jump.

I’ve been saying that for years whenever somebody is trying to act tough. Nobody knows what I’m talking about. I heard the expression a long time ago and it made sense to me. Kind of like, “fish or cut bait.” Feel froggy? Jump.

During my teen years, when those of us from Gershom Avenue roamed the streets of Pawtucketville, we would argue in the strangest way. If one of us was trying to say we did not commit a certain act, our prosecutors would say in the most sarcastic of tones, “Oh, but you didn’t.” The person proclaiming his innocence would say, “Oh, but I did!” “Oh, I’m sure you didn’t.” “But I’m sure I did.”

Doesn’t make sense, does it? It did to us.

Another way of speaking, which we did frequently, was to abbreviate sentences. Amazingly, we understood each other perfectly.




“Goin’ to the hos.”


“See my sis.”


“She had a babe.”


“Are you going to the park?”

“I can’t”

“How come?”

“I’m going to the hospital.”

“How come?”

“I’m going to visit my sister.”

“How come?”

“She had a baby.”

My kids walk around the house saying “whatev.”

I knew a couple of brothers from Rockville, Md., who used to suck on Skoal chewing tobacco. They were always trying to entice me to “put a dip in.” Scratch that. They were “all-the-time” trying to entice me to “put a dip in.” They were all-the-time saying stuff like that. And they would laugh at me because I said “lobstah” or “bahbacue.”

So President Obama’s use of the phrase “wee-wee’d up” is open to interpretation, I guess.

I just wonder what the fallout would have been if it had been George W. Bush who said it.

Dennis Shaughnessey’s e-mail is