One of the things I’ve always looked forward to about having kids around is the fantastic developments in vocabulary they would introduce me to.
I’m not thinking about all the pre-teen and adolescent jargon and slang that J-Bone will be slinging about with his fellow students in the years to come. I mean the inventive approach to pronunciation of everyday words.
He seems to have the most fun with names. For example, Thomas The Tank Engine has (according to J) friends with the names Dong (Gordon), Aled (Edward) and Annie (Henry). These have remained stubbornly mangled despite months of reading the (disturbingly peevish) books. Even J’s own name eludes him, although it is perhaps a bit too much of an explosion of consonants for his infant mouth to handle.
J-Bone hasn’t quite got to grips with the velar stop, either voiceless (c as in cat) or voiced (g as in guitar), reaching for t and d sounds instead. This leads to a little bit of a guessing game at times, but is fairly consistent – ‘dapes’ for grapes, for example.
Some of the best words he comes up with are the cute, slightly mispronounced words like ‘dangle-langle’ for dandelion or ‘bungle-bee’ for bumblebee or ‘onky’ for hungry.
However, one clever back-formation he’s come up with is ‘naught’, which he uses to mean angry, or perhaps more accurately ‘the mood that might result in naughtiness’.
He will fold his arms theatrically before telling me: ‘You’re making me NAUGHT!’
I quite like the idea of using that one myself.