'Spirited' and other words to describe vile children

LOVING parents never tell you their child is an irritating, destructive little shit and instead use words like ‘spirited’ instead. Here are some other euphemisms.


You might think a ‘spirited’ child is lively and determined, but you’d be wrong. It’s just a way for a parent to describe a child who has emptied a jar of mayonnaise into their handbag that doesn’t include the word ‘bastard’.


Everyone wants their child to have a certain level of confidence, but not the kind where they think it’s fine to smack another kid around the head with a bit of Brio because they’ve got the train they want. If they say ‘confident’ they probably mean ‘small bully with psychopathic tendencies’.

Knows her own mind

If someone tells you their child knows their own mind they want you to think they are intelligent and assertive. What they actually mean is that as soon as they start a conversation their child yells ‘No talking, mummy!’ at an ever-increasing volume until they meekly comply.


‘Passionate’ has very positive connotations, unless it’s applied to a three-year-old having his fifth tantrum in Tesco because you won’t buy him the bottle of Toilet Duck he has bizarrely set his heart on. Sounds better than ‘f**king annoying’ when apologising to the cashier though.


A boisterous child sounds quite fun but it’s actually a tacit admission by the parent that their child has smashed the screen of yet another expensive television with a plastic dinosaur and they don’t know what to do, so have been frantically googling ‘affordable boarding schools’ all morning.

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I drink fewer than 14 units of alcohol a week, and other lies you tell your GP

DOCTORS ask a lot of difficult questions that make you feel like a chubby, ailing waster. Here’s how to lie your way to health.

I’ve completely given up smoking

Apart from when you’re drinking. Or when you’re stressed. Or a bit bored. And sometimes you nip out for one or two during the day as a break from work. Aside from that though, you’ve totally quit.

I drink fewer than 14 units of alcohol a week

Even though you regularly neck all 14 units and more on a single weeknight, it’s fine to fudge the details a bit when the doctor asks. Just mention having the occasional glass of wine, even though by ‘occasional’ you mean ‘most nights’ and by ‘glass’ you mean ‘bottle’.

I’m really into exercise

Feeling knackered because you took a moderately brisk walk around the park for 20 minutes doesn’t make you really into exercise, it makes you very unfit. However, it’s important to lie to the doctor and say you’re training for a 10k otherwise they’ll make you feel bad about yourself.

I have regular sexual health checks

Crabs? You could have 100 lobsters crawling around in your pants and you’d still be too embarrassed to consider asking someone to look at it. Your GP doesn’t need to know that though, so buy some questionable cream on the internet instead and never have sex again.

I’m definitely ill enough for a sick note

If you fancy a lengthy skive off work, a sick note is the best way of legitimately doing it, so this is a lie worth telling. Lay it on thick with your doctor on the phone, using a pathetically weedy voice, wait for the magic note to appear and kick back with Netflix for a fortnight.