Have you ever come across a word you thought meant one thing your entire life, only to discover that the world at large has a completely different definition for it? Let me tell you a little story.

Growing up as the youngest member in my extended family, I "benefitted" from hearing detailed stories about my childhood from everyone, including the unpleasant stuff.

I'll get to the point: the term "Blowout", as I always understood, referred to an overflowing diaper.

You can imagine my confusion when I came across this sign in a Portland shop window:

Lou, Townsquare Media
Lou, Townsquare Media

APPARENTLY, the rest of the world has been using this word to describe your hair getting blow dried by a professional. This is a very different way to warm up than the process I was imagining. Why can't they just call it a blowdry?

I asked my mom about this revelation, and she divulged that my family coined the phrase, equating a diaper disaster to getting a flat tire at a high speed (also called a blowout). That would make a little more sense - at least those are both horribly traumatic experiences that no one wants any part of...

Going forward, I shall try to reroute my thinking to encompass this new-fangled definition. Until I have kids, that is... then I intend to mess with their word associations just as my family did with mine.

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