Mighty Red Pen

November 25, 2007

Word spurt!

Filed under: At home with MRP,Kidspeak,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 10:16 am

For those of you who have been breathlessly following the linguistic saga of D., now 20 months, the moment we’ve been waiting for seems to have finally arrived: the word spurt.

After months of vocal jargon babbling, D. is suddenly treating us to an evergrowing potpourri of words. Many of these have to do with food, natch: apple (which usually means apple, but also potato, tomato, or onion), pear, cookie, cracker, pizza, and more pizza. And newton for Fig Newtons.

I realized we were in the midst of the word spurt when, driving down the highway, he got in a total panic pointing out a digger by the side of the road. But instead of calling it a bus (which has for the last few months meant anything from truck to van to fire engine to an actual bus), he actually called it a digger.

Which leads to our new favorite game: get D. to repeat the word you just said. Even S. (age 4) joins in the fun: “Say hippo! [lion, bear, baby, fish, daddy, etc.]” It’s hours of fun — try it with your nearest toddler.

He still refers to horses as neighs though. Something to work on.


  1. “He still refers to horses as neighs though.” Too cute.

    Comment by Molie — November 26, 2007 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  2. Yes, evidently, he’s too busy perfecting his newest word: boogies.

    Comment by mightyredpen — November 26, 2007 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  3. I think neighs is a cute word!

    I’ll never forget the first time my little cousin (now in her 20s) went to the zoo and came home talking about the braziers she saw. (zebras)

    Comment by Blue — November 27, 2007 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

  4. Oh, it doesn’t end there. Sheep are baas, cows are moos, ducks are quacks, and monkeys just wave their arms. It’s all very interpretive over here.

    Comment by mightyredpen — November 28, 2007 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  5. “Something to work on.”

    No, no, no–am I soon enough to stop you? Don’t correct these things–they last such a short time anyway! Enjoy them, because they will go away. Don’t hurry it up!

    I’m still mourning the loss of “jamamas” 5 years ago. I almost slapped my husband when he corrected our son with “pajamas.”

    You are in for such a treat, being a word geek and watching a little kid learn about language. I used to love when my daughter would say “pick up it”–got me thinking about word order, and pronouns w/ prepositions. All sorts of stuff.

    And watching them spell, and wondering why on earth we *do* spell something that way. It’s as good as a Gallagher routine.

    And the really fun time was when my daughter was making up entire words. We still use “fenifidy”–which means “stuff to do.” In a sentence: “On Saturday, when you and Daddy have lots of fenifidy, can I watch a movie?”

    Comment by TootsNYC — November 29, 2007 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

  6. TootsNYC — Don’t worry! I’m wouldn’t stand in the way of the neighs for anything! In fact, one of the reasons I’m so excited that he’s finally really talking is that I’m interested to see what he does with language.

    My oldest is now 4 years old and I was just the other day thinking how much I miss “piders” and “poons.” He still says “lellow” for “yellow” and he gave us “pijeebays” for “pajamas.”

    We used to have a nonsense word around the house which was pronounced “boo-twass” — it was the corrupt version of a word my oldest learned from another kid who had a dad that speaks Russian. It was a great word and could be applied to anything: bootwass pizza, bootwass shark, even bootwass Mommy.

    Comment by mightyredpen — November 30, 2007 @ 8:54 am | Reply

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