Bacon pants — This is one of those phrases that just kind of stuck and became all-purpose. Here’s the 2001 chat where it originated.
Bonus kid — A stepchild
Celery man — A reference to a vegetable centerpiece mentioned in a Holiday Hootenanny story. Here’s the 2020 chat where it originated.
CH — Carolyn Hax
Death chair — This one is from a holiday story about a family whose holiday table includes an unlucky “death chair” and is another phrase that just stuck. Here’s the 2000 chat where it originated.
DH — Dear husband
DIL — Daughter-in-law
FIL — Father-in-law
FOO — Family of origin
Fox — Sounds like a specific curse word
FWIW — For what it’s worth
Glassbowl — A person who is being a jerk. Think about what not-so-nice word glassbowl rhymes with.
Hamster Wheel of Despair — Also Dating Hamster Wheel of Despair or DHWD. From a 2007 column, describing a recurring cycle of unhappy behavior.
Head to keyboard — An action of sheer exasperation.
Hoot — Also Hootenanny. Annual chat events where we share our horror stories from the holidays or from wedding season.
LW — Letter writer
Martin Van Buren — The eighth president of the United States and a reference to a memorable Holiday Hootenanny story. See the 2017 chat where it originated.
MIL — Mother-in-law
MOB — Mother of the bride
MOH — Maid of honor
Nibling — A gender-neutral term for the children of one’s siblings.
Nuts — Also nutterati. The dedicated readers who comment regularly on the column. Replaces the problematic “peanut gallery.”
Online only — A request that some chatters make when submitting questions to prevent them from appearing in print. We try to honor “online only” requests, but because of the volume of questions coming in, we don’t always see them.
OP — Original poster
Reindeer poop award — Deer poop that has been dried out, shellacked and mounted to a plaque. See the story from the 2000 Holiday Hootenanny here.
Singing goats — A favorite companion soundtrack to the Holiday Hootenanny.
SO — Significant other
TL;DR — Too long; didn’t read. Often used in front of a short summary of a long story.
YMMV — Your mileage may vary