Sunday, December 11, 2005

 

Babelfish

Anyone whose read Douglas Adams' "Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy" books will know exactly what a Babelfish is and what it does. For the unitiated it is a small fish which when inserted into the ear becomes a universal translator for intergalactic languages. Good eh?!

Babelfish also happens to be a useful internet tool for making basic translations from and to various Earth languages. Not quite as useful but it has it's moments.

However, I bet Babelfish (the website) still doesn't translate Toddler.

Audrey's speech skills are what I would consider to be very good. Among her peers at the party yesterday I have to admit, even setting aside doting parent syndrome, she is able to speak clearly and in a way that can usually be easily understood. There were two three year olds at the party and I couldn't understand a word they were saying!

Usually with Audrey, if there's a word we can't understand, we can normally figure it out quickly using a process of elimination, looking at our surroundings, or getting Audrey to say the word again.

However, lately, one word has got us completely baffled. She's been saying it for some time now - I would say several weeks to my knowledge - and we still haven't managed to work out what is means.

The word is "Poutshout" or at least that's what it sounds like. Audrey says it totally clearly, and when we ask her what or where "poutshout" is she recognises the word and will talk about it. So far we know that various things and people can be "poutshout".

Audrey says she is "poutshout".
The bath is "poutshout".
Our childminder's daughter is "poutshout".

Equally, some things and people are not, according to Audrey, "poutshout".

We thought maybe this word could be literal, so tonight I asked her about "pouting" and made a few faces which she enjoyed seeing us make. She seemed to know the deal with pouting, but it didn't produce any breakthroughs with the word.

Of course I realise it could be entirely made up, but it would be the first made up word Audrey's ever come up with - anything else she says, even if it's not correct, usually holds some resemblance to the actual word she's trying to convey. That's why I'm convinced it means something. I also don't think it's anything bad - everything she deems to be "poutshout" she tends to like or enjoy.

It's almost as if it means "cool" or "fun" - Audrey's cool, bath is fun, my friends are cool/fun, but like I said, usually her twisted or mispronounced words would sound close to the correct ones.

I'm at a loss, and offer "poutshout" up to you to see if you have any ideas. Maybe we should just accept it and start using it in everyday conversation. Hey, if we all use it enough it could end up in the Oxford English Dictionary!

Hope you all had a poutshout weekend!

Comments:
Interesting word she has there. I'm clueless about what it is she's trying to say.... be sure to let us know when you realize it's meaning! :)
 
Love the word! I might have to start using it myself...but sorry, no clues to offer, especially since I speak mostly in American! Good luck!
 
SS - Don't worry, we'll be working on it and let you know as soon as we figure it out!

Lady Amethyst - It's a fun word that's for sure. Yes, that American language is a tough one to decode sometimes - doubtless, as with many English words, you'll alter its spelling completely - I give you "pootshut" as a possibility. ;-)
 
Ok, so it is a good word, right? No clue...have you called her and her bath and her friend anything the same?

As you say, it could be totally made up. Maya called her pacifier an "owo" (pronounced o-whoa). We couldn't figure it out for the longest time and when we did, we had no idea where she got it from. But now that's what we call it sometimes. Except Nadia has a different word for it: patatoe. Sounds more like pacifier. So Chris and I go back and forth between owo and patatoe. LOL
 
Priya - Yes, "poutshout" is definitely a good thing. We can't put our finger on anything remotely close to a word it could be...

Owo is a great word for a pacifier - it kind of mimics your mouth movements if you use one! Kids are so cute!
 
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