No Post Day | Famous First Words

A friend of my family died on Thursday. He was a local psychiatrist and artist who helped a lot of people and did a lot of adventurous things in his life. He would’ve been 91 next week.

His family is scattered across the planet so the service won’t be until next weekend. I think it’s pretty likely there’ll be a headstone in the local cemetery but his ashes will be scattered someplace else… maybe back in his native England.

I’ll write more about him next week after the service… he did do a lot of interesting and experimental stuff in his lifetime.

But for now… something remarkable happened just before he died. His wife, an amazing artist and a close friend of my mom’s, had been looking after him at home because he wanted to pass on with dignity, and not in a white room someplace else, so she was literally at his bedside when he passed on.


And at the end he woke up, looked over at her and said “something’s about to happen”, took three quick breaths and that was it… as last words go they’re pretty memorable.

I thought about having a No Post Day asking people what they’d like their Last Words to be, but thought it’d be a little morbid to ask a pack of clinically depressed manic depressives to think about their final moment. Besides, we’ve all thought about that kind of thing pretty much every other day for years.

So I thought maybe going the other way would be more interesting. On Monday I met with a friend and her, very young, girl has just recently said both “mom” and “dad” and just late last week said “Tetley”, which is their dogs name. Of course the pronunciation was a little off, but still…

So for today’s No Post Day challenge, for anyone willing to play along, I’m asking what your first words were and, if you could do it all over again, what would you choose instead?

I’m not sure what mine were, but I’ll ask mom when I see her later on today and post them…

Update… what about your kids?




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
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16 Responses to No Post Day | Famous First Words

  1. Very nice post! My first words were tractor and turtle, and I’m fine with that. I like that the words reflect where I grew up and what kind of thing I was interested in.

  2. thordora says:

    I don’t know. My mother remembered that stuff, not my Dad. I have no record of anything from the first few years of my life because he didn’t bother to remember, and my mother never wrote it down.

    I’d love to feel something so intense that my last words are as his though.

  3. Hella Stella says:

    Would you believe…. My first words were “front end loader.” I was born in Northern Ontario, obviously.

  4. XUP says:

    My first words were something in a foreign language because I was born in a foreign country

  5. Gabriel... says:

    Hi Thordora and Xup… what about your kids? Any words of wisdom from them?

    That’s hilarious Hella Stella, that’d totally make an awesome shirt for a baby.

  6. R says:

    Medical parents = medical names for anatomical details, so *one* of my first words (presumably i said “mummy” earlier) was “umbilicus”.

    My daughter’s first three words were “mummy”, “daddy” and “Ninja!” which was the last word of a song she liked. She’s never said it again.

    She does like to repeat incredibly odd things though – earlier in the summer we were in a local playground and a little girl came and lay down on the ground between me and her mum (we were standing talking) and then my daughter (not quite two at that point) came and lay down too. “Go to sleep”, she said. “Oh look,” I said, pointing at the by no three small children curled up on the ground, “it’s a mass die-in.” where upon my firstborn springs to her feet and runs of shouting “Mass die-in! Mass die-in!” and laughing.

    I swear old people take illegal drugs in order to simulate what are fairly normal brain states for under-4s.

  7. Rhiannon says:

    My first word was ‘light’. My dad used to carry me around the room every evening turning the lights on, which is presumably why.

  8. zoom says:

    I don’t remember what my first words were and my mom probably doesn’t remember either but I’ll ask her just in case.

    My son’s first word was ball, and his first sentence was “Not yet, soon.” (He was a born negotiator.) His second sentence was “I don’t like it, it’s too tight.” (To this day, he likes all his clothing loose.)

  9. giannakali says:

    I’m not sure what my first words were but I’ll tell a funny story about some early words…

    My first language was italian…I kept asking for “hard water” in italian and my dad couldn’t figure out what I was talking about…finally he got it…I was asking for a piece of ice!

    “aqua dura” is the actual phrase I used.

  10. Gabriel... says:

    I just asked Mom and she doesn’t remember my first words after the usual “mommy” and “satan father”, but she does remember that at 2.5-years old I had names for the train and big rigs that went by our house.

    She says I spent a lot of time standing around in my diaper, holding a bottle and staring out the big bay window in her bedroom watching stuff go by, and that I had special names for the trains and big trucks… she doesn’t remember my name for the trucks, but whenever a train would go by I’d point and say “Bob”, or “train Bob”.

    She said around the time my little brother was turning three he’d repeat three-syllable words and then bust out laughing… which, looking back, kind of makes sense.

  11. Soire says:

    #1’s first word was “Hi!”, closely followed by “No!”

    #2’s first word was also “Hi”, but followed by “Nurse!”

    *sigh* I have no idea what mine were. There are no records from that period of my life.

  12. exactscience says:

    My first words were “quack, quack.” Apparently I liked feeding ducks or something.

    This is not an interesting story. This however is.

    I am in physics class sat beside Nicholas. Nicholas is a douche, he is sat beside me in an effort to get him to behave. We, the class during a lull, are having the first word discussion. And I say mine were quack. He suggests that infact I am the bastard son of a crack whore who was adopted by my parents and my first words in actuality were a plaintive cry for crack. He was swinging on his stool so I tipped him over. Without doubt one of the most satisfying things I have ever done

  13. thordora says:

    Vivian’s first word was doggy..and then she basically started speaking in full sentences so after that it’s a blur.

    Ros didn’t really start clearly speaking for a long time, so she didn’t have first words perse-but she did call me “Memaw” for awhile, which was cute as hell.

    Vivian told her father he had “sweet fucking ninja moves” the other day. Does that count?

  14. Lydia says:

    My daughter’s first word was “cat.” She said it in reference to a toy cat. Then to the real cat. Then to me, to the refrigerator, the light, the car. You get the picture. It was another month or so before she said another word and reserved “cat” for the cat.

    My son, born two and half years later, first said, “cat.” He meant the cat, though, and went on to learn other real words shortly after that.

    And yes, we are cat lovers.

  15. Roop Rai says:

    my ma says it was ‘ma’. i don’t believe her.

  16. Gabriel... says:

    Hi Roop Rai, and welcome to my little blog. If you want to find out I say keep asking her until she relents. Like just again and again and again…

    word?ma,whatwasmyfirstword? ma,whatwasmyfirstword?ma,what

    That should break her…

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