Family Life

Sep 03

As a parent I sometimes feel there can be too much focus on helping your child to get things right, or do things the correct way. Sometimes it can be nice to just let them be children. They all get there in the end!

All young children get a few words a bit confused or mispronounced. Some of Little I’s ‘wordisms’ are just so lovely that we’ve chosen not to correct them. I know one day she will be corrected by someone else, or figure it out for herself…but for the time being I love to hear her own version of these words.

Gary – meaning, “Granny”. My mum always wanted to be called “Granny”, and was happy to wait for it as she realised it was much harder to say than “Nana” for example. But on the path towards saying “Granny”, Little I came out one day with “Gary”, and it’s stuck. We now all call my Mum “Gary”! I have to admit it gets a few weird looks sometimes.

Beachside – meaning, “seaside” or “beach”. We live in Bournemouth very close to the beach, and very early on Little I coined the word “beachside”. It always makes me smile when she says it.

Bamana – meaning, “banana”. It’ll be a sad day when she pronounces “banana” correctly!

Spicy – meaning, “itchy”. One day Little I told me she had a “spicy foot”. I wasn’t sure what she meant exactly until a few weeks later she told me her leg was “a bit spicy”, where she had an insect bite. The thing that I love about her use of this word is that she clearly thought hard about a word to best describe an itchy sensation, and she ended up with ‘spicy’. It’s not bad really!

Hot burger – meaning, “hamburger”. Derived from “hot dog”, Little I rationalised that a burger in a bun must be called a “hot burger”. We now all call it this and it’s another that is likely to stick.

Basghetti – meaning, “spaghetti”. This is another lovely mispronunciation.

Decland – meaning, “Declan”. One of Little I’s friends who she sees a lot of is called Declan, but she’s always called him “Decland”. It sounds so sweet that we haven’t corrected her.

Bamato – meaning, “tomato”. I have no idea why Little I pronounces ‘tomato’ in this way as she has never had a problem making the ‘t’ sound.

Tail – meaning, “willy”! This is another of Little I’s inventions, and it says what it is on the tin really! For as long as she’s been able to talk she has always referred to a boy’s bits as a tail!

Zoomi – her pet name for me. Little I loves to role-play, and often with me. When we are playing together she calls me “Zoomi”, and herself “Rosie”. It’s been this way for well over a year and I wonder how long it will last for. Thankfully she calls me “Mummy” the rest of the time.

How about you? What are your children’s favourite ‘wordisms’? Please share with me below.

About the Author

Wendy McAuliffe

Social media & online PR consultant and trainer, and ex-journalist. Founder and Director of Populate Digital and Mum of two. Living by the sea in Bournemouth. @wendymcauliffe.

  • Louise Smith

    Aww she sounds so sweet! Stacey’s mispronounced words were mostly words from tv, she seemed to pick up words we said to her absolutely fine. There was ‘Peewoz’ (primrose), Addy (Noddy), Loula (Lola) and for some reason I was ‘Brad’ for about six months of her life. I still have no idea where that one came from. Oh and she called my niece Betney (Bethany)

    • wendymcauliffe

      Brad! I love it. Good job that one hasn’t stuck :) Peewoz is so cute too.

      • Louise Smith

        If that had stuck I think I’d have had to consider adoption. Ha, only joking. It was cute but I just wanted to be mummy like all my other friends.xx

  • Lizzy

    E does some great ones, but I’m sorry to say that I think nursery has been correcting her.
    Efalant (elephant), didor (dinosaur – this one she did self-correct), fupperby (butterfly), ocabus (octopus) and ickle (little).  I love them, and love hearing them being used – so sweet!

    • wendymcauliffe

      Some really sweet ones in there. I guess nursery are only doing their
      job in correcting, and I’m sure the same will happen to us. Shame they
      have to grow up!

  • Gareth Frampton

    E used to say pantoline instead of trampoline and Ramia for Maria. H and I both now use these in our own everyday language!

    • wendymcauliffe

      I’m pleased we’re not the only parents who’ve adopted our child’s wordisms! Pantoline is hilarious! My Mum reminded me that I used to call Cornflakes “Horses Faces” when I was little :)

  • Sarah Deeley Porter

    So sweet! Gwennie calls it Basghetti too! I LOVE IT! I love the name Zoomi as well! I hope that one will stick! It’s a fabulous nickname! 

    • wendymcauliffe

      Really? That’s so funny they both pronounce spaghetti the same! I do find Zoomi quite sweet and I don’t really know how she came up with it. I really do wonder if it will stick ;)

  • Karen Marquick

    Hehe, so funny the way kids say some things.  Spaghetti seems to be a problem word for lots, my step-son at 10 years old still calls it scabetti! My 2 year old calls his younger sister “Lella” (for Isabella).  I agree, some words don’t need correcting…for a while anyway

  • Hpeacock_30

    This blog really had me reminiscing!   We had a lot as E and A have grown up.  Emma used to ‘babby up’ instead of tidy up.  She said to me the other day, “Mummy, it’s a di-aster, Alfie has ribboned my picture”!  That did make me laugh!  We have mimutes instead of minutes in our house.  We see fine engines instead of fire engines.  A’s latest is wiggling his bobum at us.  Very cute.  E used to call Alfie ‘A-eey boy’.  The last one I can think of is radiar for radiator.

    • wendymcauliffe

      These are all so sweet! I love ‘bobum’! Little I struggles with radiator too. I don’t want them to grow up! Wish they could stay cute and funny forever. It’s so lovely to keep a record of these words though and I’m sure we’ll still be using some of them in 20 years time!

  • Gary Marquick

    My daughter (who is 16 months tomorrow) always calls Bob the Builder “Fix It”, but not only that…when ever she wants anything doing (toy put back together, more drink, book read to her) she just waives said item at me or mummy and says “fix it”. Its gorgeous and I don’t want to correct her yet.

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