I have a confession: I have no idea what kids are saying, like, 99% of the time. Even older kids. I pay attention and concentrate really hard, but usually I just wind up nodding and smiling and hoping I didn’t just give a kindergartner permission to cut her own bangs (don’t worry, that hasn’t happened
The one child I do understand is my two-year-old son, Joshua. It takes a little bit of guessing sometimes, but usually I can figure out what he means. However, out of sympathy to those who suffer from my affliction and have no idea what he is talking about, I present to you the Official Josh-to-English Dictionary, Copyright 2015.
Ada – Cousin Adalie, who taught him many of these words!
Aye-aye-aye – He just likes to make this noise for no reason. Maybe he is channeling Ricky Ricardo.
Baby – You guessed it…it’s baby. For a long time he thought “baby” was Jenna’s actual name, Dirty Dancing style. But now he knows that all small, crying humans are babies.
Bah – This is either a ball, a balloon, or a sheep. Keeping giving him stuff until he stops saying it.
Bah-bah – Bye-bye! He especially likes to say this after crawling to his room and shutting the door.
Ballllllllnnnnn – Balloon.
Bampaw – Grandpa. As in, “Grandpa, stop trying to make a living and come play basketball with me NOW.”
Bakkaball – Basketball. As in, “Grandpa, stop trying to make a living and come play basketball with me NOW.”
Bar-bar-bar – He is barking like a dog. Clap for him.
Beeb – Bib. He is very fashionable. Especially in Jenna’s “Lil Diva” bib.
Bee-vuu – Love you! That one is my favorite :)
Boks – Blocks. By the time you get the blocks out, he will have moved on. Good luck.
Boom! – Boom! He wants you to give him a fist bump.
Boopaw – Football
Cat – Cat. That one is boring.
Caw! – Car!
CHEEEEEEESE – He wants you to either take his picture or give him Cheetos. Use your best judgment.
Daddy – Daniel. Or me. Or any adults.
Danoo – Daniel. Yes, he sometimes calls Daniel by his actual name. We want to stop him but we’re so tired.
Dare-ease! – There he is!
Dayton – Cousin Peyton. Usually said more drawn out, like DAAAAAAYYYYYYYYTONNNNNNNNNN.
Deena/Dennan – Jenna
DOH!!! – No!!! (He has seen too many Simpsons episodes.)
Dosh – Josh
Dow Dow Dow Dow – Down down down down. This word cannot be said once.
Dutchdow! – Touchdown! I felt like I had to teach him a football word. But I’m putting my foot down after this one.
Eee-wheee – Cousin Ellie, who always brings him toys!
Essss – Yes
Gank-goo – Thank you!
Geemee – Grammy. He says this approximately once a year for the sole purpose of driving my mother insane. Attaboy, Dosh.
Gogo ball! – Let’s go, Vols!
Hah – Hi
Hah-Fah – High five!
Hidosh – Hi, Josh!
Kekky – Cousin Kelsey. Usually said while glaring at me, because I am constantly saying, “DON’T STEP ON KELSEY.”
Krah-krah – Crackers. Saltine crackers, to be exact. Heaven help you if you bring him Ritz instead.
Kuh-wah! – Color!
Maw – Mamaw.
Mau – Mickey Mouse. This is given as a command, as in “BRING ME THE MOUSE.”
Mommy – Me. Or Daniel. Or any adults.
Mo’? Mo’? – More? More? More food, more milk, more entertainment, more money.
Nanananana – Nana. She requires Josh to say her name several times in a row.
Ohdough – Oh, no!
Ohmah – Oh, my!
Papapapapa – Papa. He also requires Josh to say his name several times in a row.
Paw – Papaw. Usually said while giggling. Papaw is funny.
Peeeeeeeeeeas? – Pleeeeeeease? He thinks saying please automatically gets him whatever he wants. (He’s not wrong)
Pooooon! – Spoon. He gets very excited about spoons.
Poop – Poop. Heh. I taught him that one.
Puppy – A puppy. Also a cow, a sheep, a horse, and a cat.
Puh – Up or help. If you pick the wrong one, he gets mad. Exercise caution.
SAHWAH – His aunt Sara. This word is usually said with great intensity. Sara commands respect.
Saymee – Miss Aimee, his physical therapist.
Shoooooooo – Shoe. Bring him your finest footwear.
Teeeeen – Uncle Steven
Uh-oh – Uh-oh. This word in association with either a crash or long periods of silence is bad news.
Uppatow – Upstairs. This is really code for wanting to see Grandpa. As in, “Grandpa, stop trying to make a living and come play basketball with me NOW.”
Vooooooom – Vroom. He says this when playing with his cars and will stop playing until you also say it.
Wheeheedo? – Where did he go?
Whodah? – Who is that? Usually asked the second a person leaves the room, but loud enough for them to hear it. Awkward.
WOUND WOUND – He wants to push his toy ’round and ’round. This word is only said while shouting. Josh does not whisper.
I think that’s it! Of course, by the end of today, he will have likely changed them all. But hopefully this will help you the next time you talk to Josh or any other kid. But my best suggestion is to do what I do: When you see a child coming toward you, run. Run like the wind.