Coodoo Monster

What language does/did your toddler speak?

My oldest daughter had her own unexplainable dialect: Cereal was “lie-lah” and cousin Shamee was “Bean”, etc…. You get the picture. My son replaced the “ey” ending of any word with “doo”. Movie became “moodoo”. Cookie became “coodoo”.

Here’s the deal. I’m working on a Master’s project with the Applied Linguistics program of Heritage University here in Washington state–and I need your help! LOTS OF HELP. I’m looking for 3000 unique parent responses in the next month or so. We are looking at the underlying rules that govern language acquisition in toddlers.

Do you remember any words your children came up with as they began to experiment with language? Would you be willing to share? Please? Do you know anyone else who might be willing to participate in this study?

Words and language DO NOT have to be English–just include translations if you send me anything in Swahili, okay?

There’s a copy of the survey I’m handing out to people here in the physical world on the “Language Acquisition Study” tab up there at the top of this screen, just to give you an idea of the information I’m looking for, but you can send it to me in any format you like–comments work just fine!

Thanks in advance!


26 responses to “Coodoo Monster

  • kimkiminy

    I don’t have kids, but I’m told of a couple from when I was a tot:
    Hamburger = “Hye-ger”
    Grapes = “Grease” (That one freaked out a babysitter when I kept insisting I wanted grease)

  • Vicky

    I only have some from my own toddlerhood.

    Medicine = see-bim-bim
    Valerie = Yowa (rhymes with flower but with more of an “uh” sound at the end)

    Those are the only ones off the top of my head but there was about 20 of them written down in my baby book. Too bad I have no idea where that book is now šŸ˜¦

  • mlmomof3

    I am sending this to all the people I know…trying to get it networked out. I’ll also do it.

    Caleb still says:

    Ambulance = Am-lance

    Caylee =

    Auntie Tracy = Auntie T-C
    Snickers (like the candy) = ‘kickers
    Monster = mo’ser

  • ahappylifestudio

    Chocolate Milk in our house has kept it’s name of Wakii… Chocolate in Spanish is chocolate (pronounced cho-co-LA-tay) and the kids made it into Wakii.
    Zaymes became maymes.
    Let me think about it I know we have all sorts of weird ones… ewh the dog just burped in my face… stink

  • Emmy

    Wow, 3,000 in such a short period of time, that’s ambitious! Sounds like an awesome project. Have you read any of Pinker’s work? He’s my favorite linguist guy, and so good at reducing down science to explainable bits yet still with the integrity of the work.

  • Grace

    I have 2 toddlers now, both girls, aged 4 and 2. They both say “La-loo” for ‘love you’ and “Leh-low” for hello and yellow. Mostly, I’ve noticed that they tend to drop hard consonants at the beginning and ends of words, which I hear is fairly typical for toddlers. So words like “booty”, “boom”, and “boots” are all pronounced “boo”. Our favorites are when they start putting a sentence together and they drop a lot of letters, so a sentence like “the computer is broken” would come out like “da compoo is oke”, which, when you think of it, is actually an entirely different meaning. Another favorite is that they call Grandpa, “Pee-pah” – go figure on that one.

  • Freedom Smith

    One of my girls could not say the “er” sound and to this day, we sometimes say, “gurls” with a particular sound. I remember them things such as pasgetti.
    My children called the cold filtered water in the fridge, “freezing fresh” for years. They called the antibacterial cleaner, “germ stuff.” They added a Y to both my sons names and still call them those names at times. My son called my mother, Meme and my father, Pawpaw. So, all my kids call them that. My daughter had a rag baby and she held it when she sucked her thumb and she called it “suck baby.” They called cloth diapers, “bypees.” (bye-pees). My daughter liked to drink warmed up rice milk in her sippy cup every morning. She called it her “milky.”

    If I think of anymore, I will let you know.

  • taniawillis

    hey! nena sent me. šŸ™‚

    i’ll have to go back through their baby notes and see, but one that i’ll never forget is both my girls said “tank tee” instead of “thank you”

  • taniawillis

    oh, and “ya you” instead of “love you”

  • ironyonhighheels

    What a funny task šŸ™‚ Even thought it’s probably a LOT of work in that short time I can imagine you will have a chuckle or two.
    I can provide two German versions:

    Tontons – Turnschuh – sneakers/jogging shoe
    Kassurel – Karusell – carousel

    The latter probably only confusion of letters lol

    Have fun with your project

  • hennchix


  • Kate

    I linked to you from my blog so hopefully you’ll get some more responses.
    Here’s my list:
    cow-cow = chocolate milk
    pengicorns = penguins
    cheerios = cereal & cheerios

    I’ll be back with more later.

  • Shandrae Hansen

    Came here from my sister’s blog. These are the ones I can think of off hand:
    “merote” for “remote”
    “pack pack” for “backpack”
    “that,that,that” for “What’s that?”
    “cantaloupe” for “envelope”
    “luh loves” for “I love you”

    I know I’ve written down more; I’ll have to go look them up.

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