November 18, 2004

Baby Talk

Fellow Moo-Knewer Jordana at Curmudgeonry, who, with her husband, is currently discovering the joys of switching from man-to-man to zone defense,* has a nice piece up on Toddlerese.

I have heard many times from professional fussy-pants that it's wrong, wrong, to let small children mangle their own versions of words. (You know, because their lips and tongues might get stuck that way!) Needless to say, I think this is preposterous. Furthermore, it's quirks such as these that often later become part of a family's collection of inside jokes, a powerful source of bonding. Plus, awwwww, ain't they cute?

When I was a toddler, I used to call both bears and squirrels "qwullies." That word is still in use in my household, and indeed, my own kids are starting to use it.

A few new words invented by the Llama-ettes themselves include:

-"Pang-pangs" for pancakes
-"Byot-byot" for bunny rabbits
-"Pack-pack" for backpack

Also, my six year old still transposes "regular" into "regleer," something I find myself doing more and more often as well.

If you're worried about the long-term fallout of this kind of behavior, just remember: if they're still doing it in college, their roommates will cure them of it right quickly.

(*Gratuitous father of three advice: Play deep. Let them have the short pass. Just make sure none of them gets behind the coverage.)

Posted by Robert at November 18, 2004 03:09 PM | TrackBack

Well, if their roomies don't cure 'em, their spouses will. My wife - and her sister - and my step-daughter - all said "sawl". As in, " I sawl Bob at the mall", which drove me CRAZY. Years of patient and kind correction led them to see the error of their ways.

Wha'? Oh, divorced, thanks for asking.

Posted by: rick at November 18, 2004 04:48 PM

My son had chronic ear infections as a youngster, to the point that it affected his speech development and hearing. My wife was the only person who could understand his language, and that only about 50%. The one word that stayed with us was "Booooosh", which meant pizza and/or toilet, depending on which room it was used.

Occasionally on the road, when we drive by a pizza parlor, one of us will say "Booooosh" and we both crack up.

Posted by: Ted at November 18, 2004 07:56 PM

Rester-hunt: a place where you hunt for food then rest.

Posted by: Jane at November 18, 2004 08:23 PM

I wonder if that's the reason for President Bush's pununciation issues i.e. nuclear?

Posted by: Michael Brill at November 18, 2004 09:08 PM

I'm getting a bit sick of my 4 year-old telling me she's allergic to 'aminal' fur.

Posted by: Marjorie at November 19, 2004 08:08 AM

My uncle once called shoes "ishes" and we still use that term on occasion. When I was a child, my favorites were "colut nunk and dobuts" - chocolate milk and donuts."

Posted by: jen at November 19, 2004 09:39 AM

My son believes there is a flute-like instrument called a "recordion." He also says the classic "pisgetti".

Posted by: Eric at November 19, 2004 10:02 AM

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