She Says… Words They Are A’ Changin’

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about how although Owen said a lot of words really clearly, he still had a few that he pronounced quite strangely? Liz, my friend from Goddess in Progress (and in real life too!), commented and said:

As long as you speak normally, he’ll totally fix his own pronunciations, and if you’re like me, you’ll actually be a little sad when he does. I was so bummed when my kids stopped saying “pack-pack” for backpack.

She was so, so right. In the last few days, Owen has started correct several of his previously-mispronounced words. And although it’s wonderful that he’s becoming more understandable to people other than me, it pulls at my heart strings a little. So I wanted to write down the way he pronounces several words right now, so I can always remember them. Though I like to think I will always be able to hear his sweet little toddler voice in my ear.

yap-poo = vacuum
kihr-kohl = circle
nook = milk
yox = socks
bock-ghi = broccoli
yee-amp = lamp
nyeh-nyeh = mitten
yee-oh-yee-awl = cereal
cah-kee = coffee

His vocabulary continues to grow at an astronomical rate. He is absolutely loving playing with foam letters and numbers in the bath and now can find “O” for Owen, “D” for Dada, and “M” for Mommy. When I tell him what other letters are (“R”, or “E”, for example), he can give me words that begin with those letters (“wocket! (rocket!)”, “eh-fen! (elephant!)”). His obsession with names continues. He yells out names of his friends at school, his aunts and uncles and cousins, and I find the letter that their names start with and stick them to the wall of the tub.

It is funny to me that he picks “favorites” as he’s learning these new things.

FAVORITE NUMBER: 9
He is totally into the number 9. He can find 9′s on clocks and in books and even finds 6′s and turns them right side up and says “Nah-yeen”. Also loves saying “TEN!” when I sing a little number song that ends with 10.

FAVORITE LETTER: O (obviously)
The kid finds O’s everywhere. In books, on signs when we’re driving, in magazines on the coffee table. He is SO proud to point them out and when I say, “What is O for?”, he taps his little finger on his chest and croons, “Owwwwwennnnn”.

FAVORITE SHAPE: Oval
Once he learned the difference between a circle and an oval, he’s been all about ovals. He often still gets them mixed up, but loves, loves, loves finding them. Lately we’re expanding beyond ovals and triangles and circles, too. Yesterday he picked up his gloves and ran over to me, pointing at this shape, shouting “eh-gon! eh-gon!”.

It took me a minute to realize what he was saying, but he was saying HEXAGON! It’s actually an octagon. But hey, the kid is 18 months old. We’ll cut him a break.

What are your favorite mispronunciations that your kids say or said? Did they correct themselves naturally over time?

16 responses to “She Says… Words They Are A’ Changin’

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! :-)
    There have been plenty of great mispronunciations that I rather miss. Though my current favorite is more of a grammar error. Daniel is convinced that the singular of “wax” is “wack”, and that the singular of “trapeeze” is “trapee.” (Say it out loud if it doesn’t make sense in print…)

    I also had to smile about Owen’s obsession with the number nine. My kids had a similar obsession at that age with the color blue. Anything they saw that was blue was cause for celebration. From the backseat there would be shrieks of “BOO!!! BWOOO!!!!!!!”

  2. Last year when we visited my parents in Arizona, we kept pointing out the sajuaro cacti for the kids. My 2-year-old insisted on calling them “samaros” (rhymes with tomorrow) and it was so cute, we took video of him saying it. I think he still calls them that (though he doesn’t need to much here in VA). He also pronounces Pinocchio “Pyo-kee-no”. It’s good you’re writing it down because it disappears from our memories so fast!! I can’t think of many things my 2-year-old said at 18 months, and I’ve forgotten just about all the cute mispronunciations my 5-year-old said. Get it on video and write it down!

  3. What a smart kid! My oldest niece used to call my mom “Dama” (grandma). She was really sad when she finally corrected herself and started calling her “grandma.” ;)

  4. He’s brilliant. Truly.
    My first, Julia, used to say “Tau-berries” for strawberries, and wanted “Jews in the Frija-freyda” (Juice in the Refrigerator).
    She also ate a lot of “Gutra-Nane” bars (Nutrigrain bars) which we thought was a healthy snack 17 years ago ;)
    My son, second child, I can’t remember what the hell he said when he talked (when did he talk, anyway?) BUT, he was reading, fluently and with expression, at age 3. Sounds like Owen might be on that track.
    We did a lot with words that start with the “whatever” sound as a good passing-time-in-the-car game (this was before DVD players and iPhones) Okay, words that start with “F” – that’s ffffff, like “fffudge” and “fffinger”. Then take turns coming up with “F” words.
    Nancy

  5. When my oldest was a toddler, he called motorcycles “maka makas” and while he’s long since self-corrected, my husband and I still call them that occasionally.
    He was also obsessed with numbers (and went on to become a really strong math student), especially one combination: 16-4-30. Who knows why?
    His preschool had a building being constructed nearby, so daily excursions meant many construction-related words: cement mixer (“cement ma-mixer”) and bulldozer (“bull-dah-doze”) are two that still make me smile.

  6. I’m sad that I can’t remember!!! And it wasn’t even that long ago! I’m going to have to keep better track with Miles once he starts to talk! Ethan doesn’t mispronounce too many words anymore, though he does have a little accent sometimes (courtesy of my mother’s Boston accent). And I do remember that he used to focus on certain letter sounds — he has a friend at school, Carter, and he used to really punch that last “R” sound, “Carterrrrrrr.” He also used to call me “Mum-mum,” instead of “Mommy.” I have no idea where it came from, but I thought it was so cute! Now I get the regular “Mommy,” or the withering “Mo-om,” when he’s just so annoyed with me. :)

  7. Kate, my BFF gave me a book that is meant for exactly this — documenting how the say it! I wish I could remember the name of the book. Anyway, that’s amazing he is talking so much!!

  8. I love the way my toddler speaks, too, and I’m sure we’ll miss his strange pronunciations when they’re gone. My favorites include mock (milk), bish (fish), la-la (water), noddy (smoothie), why-gert (yogurt), and of course, nana (banana). He also used to call me maMA with an almost french accent (the stress was heavily on the second MA), but that’s given way to Mommy. I still love hearing him call my name, but I miss being maMA!

  9. I’m in absolute awwww of his vocabulary skills at his age and how EARLY it began! Unreal!

  10. man he is SO FREAKING SMART. seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    my 1 yr old only says mama, dada and cat (“dat”) and only knows what the latter means.

  11. Ohhhhh my daughter is nearing four so there aren’t too many words that are still mispronounced, but some of my favorites from the last few years were baby suit for bathing suit and kiss miss for Christmas. Makes you realize how quickly the time goes!

  12. Love it – so smart! Elle is at a stage where she’s starting to correct some of her mispronunciations, too – “goldfish” used to be “gookies” and are now more frequently “golkis.” Some of my favorites, though, are “ninonaur” for dinosaur, “Tekata” for our babysitter Jessica, “semase” for “sesame” and “Mi” for my mom, who we call Grams – she’s starting to call her “Mis.”

  13. I swear I think I just saw an 8 or 9 month old Owen on sesame street. If it wasnt him it was his TWIN. Elmo was talking to him.

  14. @Brandi, Ha! No, Owen WISHES he was on Sesame Street, but alas, we’ve never been invited. His head would probably explode :) That’s so cute! Wonder how I can get him to be that kid…

  15. I am amazed at all of the stuff that Owen says… and the picking out of the numbers, letters & shapes is awesome! Eli will finally say his name when we ask him, which is super cute. And… Eli’s favorite letter is also O. :)

  16. I’m super impressed he knows hexagon!! I can asure you that there are 10th graders in this world that don’t know what a hexagon is!! ;)

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