she who bathes with her knees

In ALL, BOOK PUBLISHING by Stephanie Klein22 Comments

I’m changing all the names.  I’m getting kind of annoyed with all these memoirs that begin with a declaration that names have been changed to spare the guilty.  In Moose, I’m changing the names to spare the fat? Because not everyone is as forthcoming about their weight?  People assume going to fat camp is something about which they should feel shame.  It’s just not.  But anyway.

So in going about changing the names, I was trying to find one for the camp itself.  In my search, I came upon the following words and was quite amazed such words existed.

TIS-SEE-WOO-NA-TIS: Cheyenne name meaning “she who bathes with her knees."
TOLINKA: Miwok name meaning "flapping ear of a coyote."
HESUTU: Miwok name meaning "yellow jacket nest rising out of the ground."
HEVATANEO: Cheyenne name meaning "hairy rope."
MONA: Miwok name meaning "gathers jimson weed seed."

These would make excellent chapter titles.  Though "she who bathes with her knees" would have worked well for Straight Up and Dirty:

All women should know how to do this. Febreze, fresh flowers, Frizz-Ease, a quick vagina cleaning, some sexy unmentionables, and you’re ready.  Okay, some gloss out the door.  Oh, yeah, perfume, but how French whore… I’d skip it.  Okay, maybe I’d add a little.


  1. TOLINKA: Miwok name meaning "flapping ear of a coyote."

    How cool is it that a word exists for this? We have to use 5 words to say
    what the Miwok say in one.

  2. Stephanie-

    Off topic, but I was wondering this morning how signing is working with the kiddos. Hope it's been successful!

  3. Is it usual to change all the names in a memoir? Even public business or place names like camps? Genuine questions – I've no experience with memoir protocol.

  4. Kinda off base, but….Just wondering what you thought of Mika's 'Big Girls Are Beautiful' song? I've got it playing on my myspace. A friend of mine messaged me today to say 'Arent you afraid you'll offend skinny girls or that people will think YOURE one of the fat girls'.

    I mean…huh?

  5. One of my favorite parts of Straight Up and Dirty. I totally agree there are a few marks of "real woman". Like committing to the stilettos. I have nothing against flats, but if you're going to wear the heels, you have to commit – if you're dancing barefoot at the end of the night, go back to junior high. A real woman can take the pain!

  6. Because this is FAR more interesting than a conference call I have to lead in 30 minutes, AND I looked them up:

    PACHAMAMA: Incan for "Mother Earth"
    AH CHIHUAUA: Spanglish for, "Mother of Gawd, will you getta load of her?!?"

    ABINA: Choctaw for "Outdoor Camp" (really)
    APALACHI: Choctaw for "helper, ally" and Hitchiti for "on the other side."

    CHICAZA: Chickasaw for "old field, place of settlement, or clearing.

    Oh, and if you go Hawaiian (and, if I recall Grumpy Old Men correctly), there's:

    CAMAN HAU'ANA LEIA: Burgess Meredith for "What are you doing later?"

    Or you could go with the hairy rope thing.

  7. Re: the "Big Girls, You Are Beautiful" song…

    My first thought upon hearing the song was, "Aww, cute song, nice sentiment. But who cares? He's gay." Hearing one of my many 'queen' friends tell me I'm hot doesn't carry a whole lot of weight with me (pardon the pun) since he doesn't have a whole lot of interest in the goods described. :)

  8. Wow. If you can bathe with your knees, you're definitely quite the woman to be with. That's all I'm saying.

  9. We call that type of bathing "taking a neckdown."

    I'll say to my hubby: "YOu taking a shower?"

    His reply: "Nah, I'm just gonna take a neckdown."

    You know, a shower where you wash quickly just the stuff from the neck down!

  10. SMA and ManicMom: Hilarious!

    Stephanie, I'm about six months too late but "Straight Up and Dirty" was straight up wonderful and such an eye-opener for me… Thank you.

  11. hey have you seen that show Fat Camp on MTV? I think it was on MTV. I watched some of it …god I cant remember…sunday?
    No, Monday night?
    I dunno but it made me think of you and maybe you could check it out, might bring back more memories for you to write about.

  12. Beth, I am with you on the stilettos. There is nothing tackier than a woman removing her shoes in public to dance – and please don't get me started on the bridesmaids that change into flip flops. Some places even sell them in colors to match the dress. Hideous.

  13. First of all- YOU ARE A GOOD MOM. PERIOD.

    Now–MOOSE is gonna be your best book yet Steph- put me down for one big fat copy, i can hardly wait to relive a childhood that was so uncannily like mine.
    I did go on to become one of the sexiest and thinnest(well, sometimes)gals around but it took me a while to get there.
    And as they say once a fat kid always a fat kid but (but in mind only.)
    And for those relatives that say 'She's just Big Boned'??? Oh pulzzzzeee!

    My goodgoodgood karma thoughts to that handsome guy Phil, ooops— Lucas and darling doe eyed Abigail.

  14. Yeah, I gotta agree about the painful shoes. While I love my sexy stilettos, and they do make my calves looks awesome, I'd rather keep my pretty feet and not fuck up my toes.
    Susan's comment made me laugh.

  15. Still like hairy rope camp name…. now, regarding Lucas, please, please post a new photo of Lucas and Abigail. Have to work all day today (Saturday) and it would be a real treat for all of us to see those adorable beans.

  16. how is the eye situation? you have so much on your plate it's no wonder that your skin is attacking you too. hope the writing is coming along and we'll all breathe a sigh of relief for you come oct. 2!

  17. Stephanie!
    I've missed reading you! Its been too long since I've commented, though. I think I just delight in your name changing statement. I've been working on a book for sometime now, thinking I'd name it These Names Have Not Been Changed…but that is just too long. Keep it up. Praying for your babies!!
    Warm Wishes from Chicago! Well, actually, sending you a breeze or two,

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