Do you know how, when you have a small child, they often get words wrong in their quest to learn to speak our glorious and descriptive language? And do you know the feeling (common to most parents, I expect) that there are certain words that you don’t want them to learn to say properly? Well, we are at this stage with Cheeky now (he is four and a half years old). He speaks very well for his age (so I am told) but in the course of his efforts to speak like all the grown ups around him he does make the occasional amusing mistake. And, being the mean people we are, we glory in these small errors and intend to try to remember them for the rest of our lives! I don’t think that I’ll be quite as mean as my Mum and Dad, who still remind me about the first time I read ‘swamp’ when I was about four and pronounced it to rhyme with ‘tramp’ rather than ‘stomp’! (I think that was a perfectly natural mistake to make, and they should look at the bigger picture; i.e. that I was able to read aloud at that point, rather than still attempting to humiliate me with the story TWENTY FIVE YEARS LATER! OK, I feel better for getting that off my chest!!)
However, in the interests of perpetuating humiliation through the generations, here is a (non-exhaustive) lists of some of Cheeky’s more amusing faux pas, together with translations!
- Nibbles = nipples! As in “girls have boobies, boys have nibbles” – his definitive account of the difference between the sexes!
- Familiating = humiliating. Not sure where he’s had this from, but wherever he’s learned it, he can use it in the proper context, even if his pronunciation is a bit off!
- Forgetti = spaghetti – I love asking him what he wants for tea, as his favourite meals are lasagne and ‘forgetti bolognese’!
- Dark Vader = Darth Vader. An obvious one, but for some reason it still brings a smile to our faces and we don’t look forward to the day when he realises the correct way to say it!
- Snot Chocky Chocks = ‘Chop Suey Chooks’ – this is a children’s TV programme that they watch at the weekends, but I think his version of the title is far more entertaining!
The other reason that I wanted to list these little anomalies in my son’s use of the English language is because my memory is getting so terrible that I’m in danger of forgetting them as soon as he stops using them. And I love hearing his little mistakes. It probably makes me a bad mother for not correcting him, and allowing him to go on making the mistakes, but I think I can live with myself!