Looking Glass Language

a word bird reflects on life & language

dig a little deeper

61K0InWjL4L._SX385_My nephew Sebastian had a panoply of changed words and meanings:

“Effisgator!” he used to shout as my sister drove down the M4: it took a while to work out that this digger-loving three year old was spotting yellow JCB excavators (this was pre-Bob the Builder so perhaps inspired by Dig Dig Digging?).

“Stacky backy mash boe!” This was Seb’s frustrated two year old’s version of ‘just back off [or similar four letter words ending in **ck] and leave me alone’. (I might adopt that one myself: it would certainly save on the swear box donations.)

“Hinxie needs some milk”. This was Seb (aged 2 1/2) trying to say ‘Think he needs some milk’, when he was worried that his crying baby brother Alex might need breastfeeding. From then on, Alex was known as ‘Hinxy’, later ‘Hinx’.

Be good to hear your own versions of baby-talk, family expressions and phrases and names that just don’t feel right if you change the order around…

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7 thoughts on “dig a little deeper

  1. Pingback: Mondegreen | Looking Glass Language

  2. “Stacky backy mash boe”…brrrr! A dear friend, who I had not seen for years, said these words out loud to me just last month. She too was recalling the venom with which the 2 1/2 year old Sebastian would deliberately and slowly repeat those seemingly innocent and made-up words in a staccato rhythm – verbally punching the air – aiming them directly at his mother.

    I have survived to tell the tale and Seb is a wonderful person, I am pleased to add. But these words send a chill through me and I have never met another toddler who could deliver a line with such spectacular effect to wound their parent’s already broken heart, time after time.

    I’m over it. Honestly. I wonder if Seb is…?

  3. We’ve been through this stage with our eldest! Some of his mash-ups were vaguely comprehensible e.g. Bonker for Granpa and gudugu for train (sounds a bit like one?) but our favourite and the most utterly bizarre was the fact that he called his duffle coat ‘Double-decker balloon castle’. Never figured that one out…

    • So, Bonker for Grandpa? Must admit, I’m highly curious about what his grandpa had been up to to deserve such an appellation… Gudugu I get completely: what a clever boy to create his own onomatopoeic word! Double-decker balloon castle: sounds like a a request for the entertainment at his ‘I am 5’ party…

  4. Apparently, when I was about 2yrs old, I pointed at some kitchen foil and and labelled it “Chocolate algon”.

    • Ha, thanks for this, Richard. Are you sure your mum hadn’t baked something chocolatey, and that you weren’t looking mournfully at the kitchen foil she’d cooked it in and saying, “Chocolate all gone…”?

  5. After 20+ years, sultanas are still called ‘Soul Teddies’ in this house, thanks to toddler Sebbie.

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