Kids' Most Adorably Hilarious (or Offensive) Mispronounced Words

LOL 187

My 7-year-old said "shum" for "thumb" for a really, really long time. My now-5-year-old called it a "fum." I don't know why I loved these mispronunciations so much, but I did. SHUM. FUM. It was weirdly sad when they stopped -- I almost wanted to encourage them to go back to their slushy babytalk versions.

I was thinking about verbal kid-isms recently when my youngest expressed his frustration with a U.S. map jigsaw puzzle. The pieces didn't fit together very well, and he got mad about halfway through when he bumped it and all the states slid apart, earthquake-style. "I don't even like Nopelahoma!" he said, storming off.


Sadly, my kids are flying past the biffed-word stage -- who approved this "growing up" business? Where can I file a complaint? -- but I have fond memories of some of my very favorite mispronunciations.

First, there was "fire truck." I don't know if all kids go through a period of slurring "fire" and "truck" together so it sounds like a very bad word, but both my boys did as toddlers. We probably shouldn't have encouraged them as much as we did. ("Say 'fire truck,' honey! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA. Let's get Grandma on the phone!")

Then, the mythical animals. I remember a hippoblotamus. A buffalope. Elemphant. Crockerdile. Woofs (wolves). Wooster (rooster). And totles, pronounced exactly like the "I Like Turtles" kid:

Body parts were interesting for a while, since they all ended in "ee" sounds. There was, of course, the aforementioned shum/fum, but also beebees for breasts. ("Why you gots dose beebees, Mommy?") My youngest called his elbow an elbee for a while. My now-7-year-old referred to his little toe as a "wee wee wee" -- as in, wee wee wee, all the way home.

An elevator was an elebator. Library was liberry (and actually, it still is). Envelope was embelope, balloons were bawoons, and for a very long time the thing I typed on for work was a picuter. Picuter! COULD YOU DIE. Man, I'm so going to miss these kid-isms when they're all gone.

I asked my Twitter pals to share some of their own kids' funniest/cutest mispronunciations, and here are some of the fantastic examples:

Lorelai says “feetball” instead of “football”. I die every time. -- Erin

"Private seat" for privacy. As in, "I'm going potty. Can I get a little private seat?" -- Celinda

My son thinks "movie theaters" are "movie see-you-laters." I've yet to correct him. -- Valerie

My son used to say "momotamus" for hippopotamus. My husband adopted it as his band name. -- Robyn

My youngest is 6 and we still say we are having pant-cakes for breakfast. -- Snoopymom

My 5-year-old calls breakfast "breptist" and only recently realized that goggles aren't "googles". I blame my oldest for ruining that one. -- Nonsoccermom

Grocery cart = grocery carpet. Adele = Madell. We've corrected him many times but secretly still glad he says them. -- Jessie

My 6-year-old tells me that things are "ridick-lee-ous." She also calls her favorite candy "Reese's penis butter cups." -- Cindy

Cait calls mozzarella "monsterella". And I will cut anyone who corrects her. -- Caly

Habidopter (my now-10-year-old) and helihopter (4-year-old). We were sad when those went away. -- Chelle

Cutest: daughter's "sundle" for snuggle. Funniest: son couldn't pronounce frog and therefore called Kermit a "silly fuck." -- Juliloquy

Current fave: parentheses are "the C's", eg, "I wrote my name & then put my room number in the C's." Makes more sense, actually. -- Scott

When Rowan was about 1.5-year-old, he called sandwiches "sumbitches." Man, I wish that one stuck. -- Jen

Gobbles. "I need my gobbles to see under water!" -- Crystal

My favorites are "Lightning the Queen" instead of Lightning McQueen. And of course, lollypops are "rollypops." -- Courtney

My 4-year-old mispronounced the name of his classroom assistant spectacularly the other day. Poor Mr. Cant. -- Amy

My 2-year-old daughter said thank you as 'F you' clear as a bell. Hand her a French fry? F-ck you! -- J Anne

The girl uses "nake-nake" for naked. May she never stop. We recently stayed in an RV which the boy insisted on calling the "Harvey." -- Cherie

My 4-year-old pronounces pistachios "mustachioes" and we've started calling him Mr. Mustachio because we're loving parents. -- Marcoda

What are some of the pronunciation goofs you remember your own kids doing? Do you miss the days of creative wordplay?

Image via Linda Sharps

family, language


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nonmember avatar jenn

my daughte r has a moderate neurosensoral hearing loss so she misheard many words and then said them as she had heard them. we had some funny ones! bitches for fishes and the like but the best of all time had to be Porn on the Bob for corn on the cob. first said in the produce aisle. "oh mom can we get some porn on the bob! I love porn on the bob! " the stock boys shoulders were shakong as he tried not to laugh and I had tears streaming down my face from laughter.

Foley... Foleygirl24

My son used to drop the first "s" in sneakers. And then when we happened to see some African American kids with those light up shoes in line at the the post office one day he yelled "Mommy, look at those 'neakers!" I almost died of embarrassment, but thankfully their dad understood once I explained he was saying "sneakers".

moons... moonshooby

Until recently, Daisy called breakfast "breskit". When she was thirsty she was "toaty". Her sister learned how to tell time on a "cock" and always wanted to catch a "square", which took awhile to figure out she meant squirrel.

nonmember avatar Lydia

My 2 year old daughter says "my cooty" for coyote, which is especially funny/embarrassing when she asks people like her preschool teacher or strangers in the elevator, "What does a my cooty do?"

nonmember avatar Jess

Oh my shit, those are fantastic! I am crying at work because I'm laughing so hard!

amand... amandabananda

My 2 year old say "Chameleon Tired" for Canadian Tire and also tells time on the 'cock'.  My DH took her to a park with a large clock..and she said 'Look at the big cock dadda!'.  He had to leave he was so embarrased lol

GypRo... GypRoseLee

My Seven year old granddaughter use to say oboko mabama for Barack Obama and still says geenus for genius.

nonmember avatar Sarah

We used to always say "look at the naked baby" when we were changing my youngest, so she thought that naked was naked baby - she would ask when we were out and she saw a man with no shirt on - "why is that man naked baby?"

nonmember avatar Ang

My daughter's favorite things to spot as we were driving around were "clocks" and "flags" - but no "L" in either one! We did a lot of "Wow, that is a nice FLAG" when we were in public.

MamaD... MamaDV1012

Baby suit for bathing suit (one of my favorites!), fambily for family, gamote/bagamote for remote, TB for T.V., Mark the King for Martin Luther King, bruh-bur for brother, paw-paw for Grandpa even though she has always said Grandmaw. 

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