Do you remember the first time you heard a weird word and thought, "what the hell does that mean?" Do you remember exactly where you were and the circumstances surrounding the experience?
I was working in my dad's office as a teenager during one summer. He was the medical director for the county medical care facility (nursing home) besides his family practice. A call came in from the nursing home one afternoon and I was to "tell the doctor that so-and-so had expired." Expired? um, like in a subscription to a magazine expires? I didn't ask for clarification because I was too embarrassed but when I gave dad the message he cleared it up for me - with a smirk on his face.
The other one also happened in my dad's office but not actually to me. A friend of mine had come in (again, I was working the summer job so I was young - that's my excuse anyway) and our beloved nurse, Louise Pullen, gave him a jar and told him she needed a stool sample. Stool? Like the thing you sit on? Wait, that doesn't make any sense. I didn't have a clue either but when Louise saw the confused look on my friend's face she gently explained the procedure. Now there's a life lesson for ya.
My third example (I'm sure if I sat here long enough I'd come up with more but you remember how I like to keep these things on the short side so . . . ) also takes place in a medical setting.
It was soon after I gave birth and I was doing medical transcription at home for a group of general surgeons. One of them always sounded like he had a mouth full of marbles so that was a huge challenge but the other guy used the word "peruse." Once I learned the meaning of it I used it ad nauseum (don't know if I spelled that correctly or not because it didn't pop up on spell check - just go with me on this, k?) because it makes me sound quite bright without coming off like a snob. Right?
You guys must have some good ones - spill 'em!