Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I love words that children make up on their own. Words I could correct but how boring would that be? There are of-course times when we tell them how to pronounce things properly but other times, it's too sweet to think of changing them.

We have a large set of magnetic bars and marbles that have provided hours of enjoyment. Sunbeam used to call them "mars and barbles" and instead of correcting her we all call them mars and barbles now.

After hitting her crazy bone for the first time Rosebud informed me she doesn't like having echoes in her elbow. We all have echoing elbows now.

The other day one of them asked me what an "optomentist" is. Meaning optimist.  One of the older ones heard it and told her an optimist is someone that is always looking on the bright side of things. A pessimist is someone who looks on the dark side, so an optomentist must be someone who cheerfully expects bad things to happen. I loved the definition but don't expect to have very many opportunities to use that word.

Does your family use words that aren't really words?


  1. Our son would call granola bars, gorilla bars. lol. Cute. And he would call girls, drills. ;)

  2. Oh, yes. My grandson who is 4years said that he had a girlfriend @ preschool, she is a yellowhead, I ask him what the word yellowhead meant. Of course she is a blonde!
    Yes, there are many more words that are heard around our visits.

    Debbie S.

  3. One that has stuck around our house since my youngest was a year old... "yaya" is applesauce. We still call it that!

    He also used to say "chachi" for chocolate milk, while my oldest called it "daddock". lol

  4. We used to have a sideboard (buffet) in the dining room, which my children called the "buffalo". Any piece of furniture that serves that function is still called a buffalo in our family -- more that 25 years later. And when something could not be found, it did not disappear, it "upsappeared". Still love that word to this day!

  5. My son (who turns 22 in three weeks) had a language all his own! We still use many of his words. They were cute and just stuck!
    A favorite - we still call ice cream = geepee. My husband will ask, "Who wants geepee?"

  6. "We can all have "brefkets" together when Daddy is home tomorrow, its our family fradiction!"
    My oldest who was looking forward to what she thinks is a family tradition of eating breakfast together.

  7. My son, who's almost five, runs in the room whenever he hears any noises, puts his hands on his hips and says "ok what's with all the huba?"
    I have no idea where he got it, but it's just too cute to stop :)

  8. We refer to a favorite blanket as a wubby - thanks to our granddaughters' influence, lol. And we sit and talk in the "lithingroom."

  9. gotta love "optomentist." and what a cool playset!

  10. Oh yes! We have lellow for yellow, yittle for little, nakapin for napkin. Precious words!

  11. When I lived @ home, my mom and I kept my sister's 2 kids. The oldest one coined "chock" for chocolate sauce and "I'n dum!" for "I'm done!" The older one is a teenager and we still use both terms:D

  12. Our favorite is that my oldest always said calapitter instead of caterpillar. Now she's got the rest of us doing it...rolls off the tongue better!

  13. I cannot think of one for our family, but when my husband was growing up, his mother taught the children to call a bowel movement 'moo-mies'. Haha!

    Sorry if the is too much information!

  14. My daughter used to call any bird Gee Gees. And my son used to call his blanket his Bee Bee

  15. Sooooo many! I think I might write a dictionary!

  16. Well, when my oldest was little... car used to be 'boom-boom' (morphed from vroom vroom). Cows were "boons" from moo. My 2 year old now calls his blanket "eat", his Mickey Mouse "ouse" and his Mr. Potato Head "Dio-head". There's all sorts of crazy things they say and do! :) I don't think many have stuck into our normal family language though. :) At least not yet!

    BTW, I LOVE the definition of optomentist!

  17. my daughter calls Thanksgiving "Giftsgiving" and we can't convince her of the real way to say it and she is 7 lol. So its "Giftsgiving" in our house.

  18. Our son when he was not quite 2 called his elbow his "bummo." We didn't correct him, but he realized he was mispronouncing it when he was just past 2 and decided it should be "elmo" instead :-)

    We also had "shishyhock" and it took a while for us to figure it out... "shishyhock" turned out to be "shoes and socks!"

    It took us even longer to figure out that an "unbillits" was an "ambulance. LOL!!! He was full of cute words and he grew up to be an editor for a newspaper :-)

  19. Ooops! How could I forget the youngest child and his favorite cereals: Yucky Charms and Fruit Yoops?

    The middle child didn't speak much; found out he didn't like mispronouncing words but ONE time he called his grandmother: "Mongi" and he never said it again til it sound like Gammy. He also repeated the last sound of t's and P's at the end of words: cup-p-p ... cat-t-t-t

  20. These are so cute!

    When my son was little, getting him to take a bath was a chore, but once he got in the tub, getting him out was even harder. For some reason, when his fingers got all "wrinkled" from being in the water so long, he said he had "dibbies" on his fingers. Have no idea why, but even though I don't need to use the word much, I still remember it!

  21. Your kids are adorable!

    My grandson used to call a tornado a 'potato.' We used to tease him...look out, the potato is coming!

  22. My daughter's best blanket is "Bessie"; my older sister Helen was called "Hen-en" by our youngest sister Sarah; my husband's family all said "anti-kews" for 'antiques' because his sister called them that; my family growing up all said "hippers" for 'slippers' because somebody mispronounced it but nobody remembers who.....maybe it was me?!

  23. When my parents Grandchildren were born they were introduced as Nana & Pop. That continued until one Grandchild affectionately called them `Banana` and `Popsicle`. So the tradition began until Pop died.

  24. Since we are talking about funny names... Long story, but when our oldest grandson (now 11) began to talk, he started calling us Poke and Monga. (I'm Poke.) He would say it in this little sing-song, "Poke 'n Monga, Poke 'n Monga." We now have seven grandchildren, all of whom call us Poke and Monga. Even their friends call us that, and now even our adult friends have started calling us that!

  25. Marytoo ... that is so funny!!! The oldest grandchild gets to name the grandparents and its a good thing because my youngest one (3) from my middle son calls me: "Obble-gobble" or just "Gob" for short all because I "gobbled up" her little neck at Thanksgiving time when she was 1 1/2 years old and she remembrered it! My oldest (from oldest son) calls me Grammy and we're hoping the youngest will too, someday....

  26. Peggy, good luck with that! I think I'd rather be Grammy than Obble-Gobble!

  27. My sister used the word "ubbatim" as an adjective - my ubbatim doll, my ubbatim coat. She was about five when my mom asked her what she meant, and Linda looked at her, and said, "Ubbatim on a lemon". Oh, ofcourse. Obviously. Hmmm. Absolutely no idea what it meant, and Linda never remembered saying it.
    The Lord of the Manor has an aunt that could talk the bottom out of an iron tub, and one day when we were leaving her house, our eldest daughter heaved a big sigh. "Boy, it sure is hard to get a word in sledgewise." We still use that expression, just because it explains things so perfectly. She also used to call her pajamas a bedfit, because when you went out, you wore an outfit, so when you went to bed...

  28. All of my younger siblings called the car "The bye-bye".My big sis,when she was about three,called ice cream "Ci-nine".My little brother calls his curly hair "Chocolate chip curls",my three year old sister has a hard time saying all of her siblings names(there are six of us all together)so she came up with her own little pronunciations,Yiyah(Moriah)La La(Taylor)Tana(Tenaya)Teth(Seth)and Teith(Keith).They've all stuck! : )

  29. First I want to thank you for sharing your story. I enjoy hearing people's stories and I look forward to see what's next every time I come to your blog - especially your courtship and early marriage that you're sharing now.
    I have a dear friend, Louise, who has always been my kids adopted grandma. They have called her "Gramma Ewlise" since my oldest could talk and begin this name. Also, "mazagine" for magazine, which we still use quite a bit. Optomentist - I think of Rachel Lynde of Green Gables...don't we all know a character(real or imaginary)who seems to personify this at least some of the time? Too funny!

  30. My best friend and I toured an art exhibit at a museum with our grade school way back when. There was a truly hideous painting that made us both giggle, which the docent announced (with a straight face!) was "a modern take on the Flemish masters". We're in our mid-40s now and *both* of our families still describe anything particularly unattractive as "modern Flemish". It's a riot to watch people react when the kids say it!

  31. Oh boy...our kids had many words that have entered our vocabularies!

    Hecta-copper (helicopter)
    OOOOHDAH Gock Kue (motor cycle)
    Veddah Vaydah (Elevator)
    Meef man (policeman)
    Pipesickle (popsickle)
    Hostable (hospital)
    Miracle Flag (American Flag)
    Miracle Round (Merry go round)
    Michael Wave (microwave)
    Bom-pa was my son's version of Grampa
    Meeeema was Grandma

    Thanks for the giggles ladies, and for the reminders of my own precious ones created words.

    One of them couldn't say "S" sounds, and replaced it with an "H" sound. She had 3 imaginary friends (why? with 4 older siblings?) She named them Cindy, Sally and Sarah..but they came out 'Hindy, Hallie and Harah.' and their favorite playplace was 'up in the attic on the hing-het' (swing set, which was NOT in our attic, by the way!)
    KIDS! :-)

  32. My little brothers came up with "dee dee" which means ridiculous :) I have no idea how they came up with it!

  33. I am finally almost caught up with all the posts. I have so enjoyed reading your writing.
    I was reading all the comments on this one and just laughed aloud as I read Kathleens post with all the funny words. Please understand that as she is my mother, her comment brought back memories.
    My children still use some of the words on occassion that were made up by my siblings and I.
    I really like your childs "optomentist" though as well as the others definition for it.

  34. I know I am late for this but I am trying hard to catch up having recently discovered this wonderful blog.
    Having grown up eating Polish Sausage baked in Sauerkraut, I made this dish for my family as well. My oldest (22) son thought it was called Polar Bear Sausage and Sour Trout. We still use that name even today. He also coined the expression for the finale of fireworks, The Grand Panoffie. One other very cute story is one time we were driving and playing a bible trivia game and the question to my younger son was "What animal did Jesus ride into Jerusalem?" His answer "a cow" . My husband almost drove off the road he was laughing so hard. I still giggle when I think of it.

  35. Karen, so funny! My kids called Shepherd Pie "German Shepherd Pie." We still call it that!

    I'm also reminded of the time we were playing Jeopardy! on the computer. My son's turn was "Who was Pontius Pilate?" Only he typed "Who was Pancho's pilot?" That still makes us crack up!

  36. I'm coming in late on this but yep, we've got some.

    My son, Danny (now 19) used to call his hair his "hay".

    My daughter, Allie (now 21) used to call breakfast "breakswiss".

    And our 12yo Abi, used to say when she wanted to nurse, she wanted to "abit"....meaning "have it".

    We've got a ton more, but those are some really memorable ones. :)


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.