Overheard: “-ish.”

It’s how Maggie, my 10-year-old daughter,¬†answers certain types of questions these days.

For example, “Maggie, are you feeling better now that you’ve rested?”

“-ish,” she answers. As in, better-ish. Kind of, sort of, a little, not really.

Or perhaps it’s spelled “Ish.” Hard to tell, though I prefer the hyphenated, lower case version. The questions that elicit this response tend to be qualitative in nature. But the range seems to be widening, with “-ish” covering more ground. Not dissimilar to, say, meh.

“How do you like that coffee ice cream?”

“-ish,” she’ll reply from the back seat, licking away without any great enthusiasm, waffling on the waffle cone.

No character in my books has used “-ish” in dialogue. But I suspect that’s going to change.


  1. Liz S says:

    I get this at home, too. I like it. I have to work hard to keep from asking what he REALLY means, but I’m catching on.

  2. Michelle Discenza says:

    My daughter says ish too!! She is 11. :)

  3. maggie preller says:

    Ewwww!!!!!! I hate coffee ice-cream!!!!!!!!

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