Parents Share The Best Phrases Their Kids 'Invented' When They Were Young
Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Fun Fact: My moms "grandma name" is Nani.

She is called Nani because when Lilo and Stitch first came out, a very young nephew was obsessed with the film. Little man didn't do a lot of talking, but he took one look at my mother (who is pear-shaped and bottom heavy in the best way) and shouted "Nani!"


Moms a sucker for a cute kid who is excited to see her, so the label stuck. She's been Nani for 20 years.

My dad LIVES for the moment when people ask why and he gets to talk about her butt - something he will honestly take any available opportunity to do. They've been together for 40 years and are still completely gross for each other and if my marriage ain't like that, then I don't want it.

Reddit user No-Hippo1283 asked:

"Parents of Reddit, what phrases do you still use that your kids 'invented' when they were young?"

Little kids inventing phrases and names for things and having the family just run with it is one of the best parts of having kids in the family!

Grandparent titles are just one way kids enrich the lexicon, but let's go ahead and start there since it's one of the most common.

What Do You Call Yours?

Abuelo Old Man GIF by Cuco Giphy

"Grandpa in Spanish is 'Abuelo' but my kid would always call my dad 'Olo.' "

"Thus we never refer to him as abuelo, only 'olo.' "

- ThatReaperGuy

"My mother would always greet my niece by saying 'Hello Darling.' "

"My niece couldn't pronounce darling, so she would reply to her 'Hello Wahwee' and then it sort of stuck. Now instead of Granny my mum gets 'Wahwee' by all the grandkids."

- _corbae_

"My grandpa has been 'Bumpa' for 20 years because one of my cousins couldn't pronounce grandpa right when he was like 3."

- 00zau

Drowsy

"My uncle says 'drowsy trousers' instead of 'pajama pants' because my little cousin was playing with rhymes and near-rhymes and came up with that phrase."

"He and I agree it sounds cooler."

- DBSeamZ

"Drowsy trousies 😉"

- beauxbeaux

A Moral Victory

Breakfast Burrito Cooking GIF by 60 Second Docs Giphy

"All of my relatives refer to breakfast burritos as ‘eggy weggy tacos’ which is a moral victory for four-year-old me."

- Cw2e

"Same kind of thing here."

"A fried egg on a bagel in any form is an 'eggel bagel' and French toast with syrup is 'sticky froast' while the same with powdered sugar is 'poofy froast.' "

"So on Saturday morning a perfectly normal thing to say is 'do you want your froast sticky or poofy?' "

- Alt_aholic

"Reminds me of 'peeber meeshmof' in my family."

"When I met my wife I asked if she's ever had a 'peeber meeshmof' and she's like 'wtf??' "

"I realized then that 'peeber meeshmof' might not actually be the name of the amazing sandwich I love. So I called my mom."

"She says one of us, she can't remember who, said 'peeber meeshmof' instead of 'peanut butter and marshmallow fluff' and it stuck. Now that's just what we call them."

- Nokomis34

Some Foreign Country

"My young son tried to ask my dad for an English muffin, but couldn’t remember what they were called. He knew it was something about another country or foreign or whatever."

"So he called them 'China Buns.' "

"We still call them that today and he’s 18."

- Chairish

Tea Time

thrive love & hip hop GIF by Robert E Blackmon Giphy

"My son, when he was little, commented that 'bathwater is just butt tea.' "

" 'Making butt tea' has meant taking a bath ever since."

- Dragoness42

"And I'm never going to take a bath again."

- Stoghra

Wanting A Poon

"I’m the child not the parent, but when I was learning to talk I used to say 'poon' instead of 'spoon.' My parents still use it to this day, saying sh*t like 'hand me a poon' or 'you want a poon for that?' "

"It never fails to make me uncomfortable because I know what 'poon' means these days but I’m not actually sure my parents do. & I’m not willing to correct them."

"They would absolutely mess with me about it if they realized, but they would be way more in my face about it if it they were actually doing it on purpose. Plus a family friend has made a joke about it & they just didn’t engage which they absolutely would have if they knew."

"They still joke about how I offered to help & 'cut the cheese' for a party when I was in elementary school, they are very obvious when they are messing with me, absolutely no subtlety."

"I really wish they knew & were f*cking with me so they would stop saying it around people that aren’t really close with us & probably think we’re all weird perverts when they hear it lmao"

"Plus, little do they know, I’m bisexual & do indeed want a poon."

- regular-kahuna

"My Nana asked the lovely young waitress at a cafe for 'a little poon please.' My husband and I nearly died laughing."

- LiquorishSunfish

Focus

"My brother was just learning how to sound out words and start to read. We were sitting in a McDonald’s eating when my dad points to a word up on the wall, and tells him to try and read it."

"He stared intently at it and slowly pronounced 'mac…nug…get!' "

"He was so focused, that he didn’t notice that he had tipped the little cup of ketchup he was holding and it had spilled all over his lap. So from then on, whenever anyone spilled food on their laps we say they 'pulled a McNugget.' ”

- WankSpanksoff

How You Become Jewish

K-Pop Daydream GIF by PENTAGON Giphy

"When my son was in third grade near the Christmas holiday his teacher approached my wife (who volunteered at his school part time) and asked if we were Jewish."

"She replied no & was told that our son thought we were. When questioning my son why he told his teacher we were Jewish he said he wasn't paying attention when the teacher was going through the different religions asking the kids to raise their hands."

"So by the time he realized what was going on the only thing left was Jewish."

"Now our favorite saying anytime someone is not paying attention is 'That is how you become Jewish.' "

"His answer wouldn't have mattered anyway; he was raised Lutheran but we are not very religious."

- Driverwanted

Made Of Windows

"My son could never remember 'transparent' or 'see-through' so he called anything clear 'made of windows.' ”

"He wanted to put his puzzles in the box made of windows (Tupperware container), and wanted to drink out of the clear cup made from windows."

- sixthandelm

Let's Go The Other Way

"Going the opposite way, I sometimes use words my first-generation immigrant parents invented."

" 'Defrog' is what the button on the car dashboard with the wavy red lines does (defrost/thaw/de-fog?). And we sometimes got 'Kentucky Fried Kitchen.' "

- coilycat

"Haha, I do this with my immigrant parents too."

"My mom for some reason has trouble with the letter S at the beginning of words, and we still call smoothies 'moothies' to this day to poke fun at her."

- gentlemako

"I love this!"

"We do similar things in my house, since my husband is also an immigrant and non-native English speaker; he speaks 99.99% perfect, fluent English, but once in a while he'll just substitute the complete wrong word."

"My favorite was the time a jacked-up pickup truck passed us on the highway and he commented on its 'ridiculous suspenders' and it took me about 30 seconds to realize he meant suspension."

"But now all jacked-up trucks are 'suspender trucks,' obviously."

"He's also been known to accidentally switch languages when he's tired. I was beyond confused when he told me I'd look pretty with 'lint' in my hair."

"It took several minutes of synonym-charades to put together that he'd accidentally used the Afrikaans word (lint) rather than the English word (ribbon)."

"Cue recurring jokes about how we'd better save the dryer lint for wrapping Christmas presents, since it's so pretty."

- int3gr4te

Alright, now that you've gotten all of Reddits linguistic adorableness, it's your turn to share.

What words or phrases in your world exist thanks to kids?


Let's get our learn on, shall we?

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