Sunday, July 20, 2014

Child-Speak: Made Up Words of Childhood

Bethany, Heather, Carrie
I miss the days when my three daughters were little.  Now they're grown and raising my eleven grandchildren.

One thing I used to love is how they made up words for things they didn't know the real name for. I always called it, "child-speak".

I remember once overhearing a conversation between Carrie, the oldest, and Heather, the youngest. They were watching TV together on the couch.

Carrie asked Heather if she would tickle her back for awhile. Heather said she would, IF she could borrow a clo from Carrie.

Carrie seemed all right with that. She knew just what Heather was asking, because she said, "Okay".

Whatever a "clo" was, they had made an equally beneficial barter and both girls were satisfied. The more I thought about it, the more curious I became, until finally, I had to ask, "Girls? What's a clo?"

Carrie matter of factly stated, "A clo is a clo, mom. You can have a lot of clothes, but just ONE of them is a clo."

(Hmmm ... how stupid of me).

Here's another example of child-speak. Sesame Street had an animated typewriter guy on the word segment of the show.

He had this cute little song-sound that he made when he wheeled to the left or right across the TV screen, "Noo-Nee Noo-Noo", or something similar to that.

But I digress … in the following scenario, I hadn't seen him yet.

We were all in the car headed to the library and a tiny foreign car pulled up beside us at a red light. One of the girls pointed to it and yelled out, "Hey look!  Look!  A Noo-Noo car!" 

The other two understood perfectly and they were excited. As I said, I had never seen the little typewriter guy on Sesame Street, so again I had to ask ...

What follows is yet one more child-speak word, an invention of three little girls who had to play inside on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  

I found them in the bathroom mixing a bowl of ... something kinda-sorta green.  When I asked what it was, they all proudly replied, "Hey Mommy, we invented Permagosh!" 

Inventing Permagosh


From "Barking Spiders 2" (the sequel)

Mommy's on the couch.
Daddy's in his chair.
I'm in a corner on a stool ...
yeah, they put me here

'cause I did somethin' naughty
that I'm not supposed to do.
I invented Permagosh
mixing things with their shampoo.

First a real long worm of toothpaste,
then a cloud of shaving cream,
then two glugs of mouthwash
('cause I love the color green).

I stirred it in a mixing bowl.
Boy it smelled real good!
It was even looking better
than I ever thought it would!

Could it be a cure for cancer?
Take the itch from skeeter bites?
Or maybe, heal a sunburn
when it hurts to sleep at night? 

Two shakes of baby powder
made it WAY too hard to stir,
so I added Mommy's perfume.
Permagosh smelled just like her!

Eww ... then the bowl tipped over.
Permagosh was on the floor
and when I turned around,
my mom was by the door.

Now mommy's on the couch.
Daddy's in his chair.
I'm in a corner on a stool ...
yeah, they put me here.

Enjoy your Sunday, my friends.
~Hugs, CJ

“A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write.” ~CJ Heck

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