Why I Just Googled, “What Does ‘Soaked Up’ Mean?”

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Yes, I know what “soaked up” means; it means that something has either physically absorbed a substance or that a person has absorbed new information.

But after the way you used the phrase today, I just wanted to make sure there’s not some underground slang used nearly 3 year-olds that I didn’t know about.

Turns out, there’s not. Google had nothing new to teach me, on this one.

This morning while we were at church, a friend Mommy and I both know walked up to us and with a whispered, dead pan performance, and jokingly explained to you that your parents shouldn’t need a nametag to identify their own son.

(Our church’s daycare requires computer-printed nametags for safety reasons.)

You didn’t say a word to him. You just stared at him with a somewhat serious face during his joke.

As soon as we got back to the car, you asked Mommy and me, “Why was that man soaked up?”

For the entire car ride home, we were inquisitive as to what you meant by him being “soaked up.”

“Did you think he was wet, somehow?” Mommy asked you.

“No! He wasn’t wet… he was soaked up,” you explained.

There was nothing about his appearance that should have seemed any bit out of the ordinary. So maybe “soaked up” had something to do with the way he was talking to you?

For the rest of the afternoon, I tried to use context clues to figure out the meaning of this mysterious phrase. But I was unsuccessful in getting you to say it a second time. And when I said “soaked up,” you just adamantly insisted that I was wrong to say it.

I suppose this is one of those mysteries I will take to my grave.

Like, why does the witch in the Wizard of Oz melt away simply by getting water poured on her? Why was it not problematic for there to be so few female Smurfs compared to males?

Most importantly, what does “soaked up” mean when referred to another human being, if it has nothing to do with them being wet in any way.

Only you hold the answer, Son.

The interesting thing is that simply by writing this letter to you today, I’ve helped make “soaked up” more identifiable in a non-traditional sense. In other words, I’m enabling your strange vocabulary.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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