Made-up Toddler Boy Language

My boys were fun when they were toddlers.  Like most kiddos at that age they had their own vocabulary.  My youngest son once asked for some ‘shmushmellows’. Of course, he meant marshmallows, but I think his name is more appropriate, don’t you think?

It reminds me of when my older son was three.  He was constantly losing his ‘narmals’ (marbles).   I stepped on them so many times that I nearly lost mine.

Every parent of toddlers has served ‘pasketti’ or ‘basketti’ at some point for dinner.   And what fall holiday is complete without ‘punkins’ on the porch?

My sister took her kiddo out to eat.  They went to ‘Carlos Jr.’ otherwise known to the western United States as Carl’s Jr., a great place that serves onion rings and barbecue sauce on a cheeseburger.

When oldest son was five he pronounced bathroom as ‘baffroom’.  My Australian husband tried to correct them.   He said, “It’s pronounced ‘b-ahhhhth-room’.”  So the rest of the kids immediately chimed in, saying, “B-ahhhhff-room.”

Other words made-up words I have heard are ‘gugwee’ for ugly, ‘packpack’ for backpack, ‘gubble gum’ for bubble gum and ‘twinklers’ for Twinkies.

Thanks to toddler speak one of my twins is nicknamed ‘Rat’ because it was too difficult to say Rachel at the time.

Another very creative toddler of mine decided all drinks are called ‘dubway’.  We still haven’t figured out what ‘cimanom’ and ‘tippeway’ stand for.  Could they mean cinnamon and Tupperware?  We’ll never know.

One time I was at the health clinic getting one of my sons vaccinated.  A very chatty toddler enthusiastically showed me the ‘dickers’ the nurse had given her for being such a good girl when she got her shot.  ‘Dickers’, in case you don’t know, are what you stick on paper, envelopes or on your shirt.   You probably call them stickers.

There are toddlerisms that seem to span every generation.  Things like ‘samitches’ (sandwiches), ‘pease’ (please), ‘brudda’ (brother), ‘kissmiss’ (Christmas), ‘i-team’ (ice cream) and ‘lello’ (yellow) are timeless.

And then there are generation specific words like the toddlerisms for technology.   I’m sure you have heard of ‘cammas’, ‘pooters’ and ‘cell pones’.

Then, sooner that we anticipated, off they go to kindergarten.  Those amusing toddlerisms all too soon become just a memory-that is until Valentine’s Day.   Just about everyone I know had two boys in their class named ‘Milk’ (Mike) and ‘Brain’ (Brian).

Enjoy it all while you can.  The next thing you know they will be speaking a language you’ve never heard and your vernacular will be sorely outdated.   Cool, rad, boss and hot aren’t ‘cool’ anymore.  And neither are you, Mom and Dad.  That is, not until the grandbabies come along and there are toddlers in the family once again.

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  • RoodAwakening

    My husband, as a toddler, for some reason known only to him at the time, called cucumbers “toppy-top.” The only reason I know this is because he once telephoned a complete stranger long-distance to discuss vegetables, and it became a family story later told to younger siblings and spouses!

  • c-kingsley

    In my family liverwurst was called “push-meat” for 15 years because of my older brother. I didn’t know that other people called it something else until about 5th grade.

  • Cooky642

    “Toddlerisms” do not necessarily die….especially for the dyslexic! My mother never let me live down “mutts and nints” (mints and nuts). Now, I have 3 cats (I seem to have had 3 cats all my life!), 2 of whom are named “Ming” and “Winnie”. …….. Can you hear it before I type it? How often they come out “Wing” and “Minnie”!!!

    Maybe I ought to teach them sign language!

  • sillyfuzz

    Toddlers are so beautiful. My son is 2 years 4 months. He knows the difference from up and down, but says “up” for both. When he is downstairs and wants to go upstairs, he points up and says, “up, up, up”. And when he is upstairs and wants to go downstairs, he points down and says, “up, up, up”. So, I am trying to teach him “down”, I say no, not “up, up, up”…it’s “da, da, da, down”. So what does he say? Of course, “da, da, da, up”. If only he could be this way forever. And he is getting a brother soon and I am sure more beautiful linguistics with them.