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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Words on Wednesday: I'm going to dress up as a bitch

This is one of my favourite children's speech stories. When my now 7 yr old was 2, she uttered the above words at Halloween to inform us of her plans. Unfortunately, she found the word 'witch' too difficult to pronounce, and as was her tendency at the time, she simply inserted one of her favourite consonant sounds in place of the one she couldn't do.

Her preferred sounds were the bilabial plosives: 'b' and 'p' (feel free to use these examples, as I do, for initial language acquisition). This resulted in the similarly amusing description of Christmas as 'pisser'. Imagine our delight with the little one pointing out 'pisser trees' and 'pisser lights' everywhere we went...

What mispronunciation stories do you have?


  1. This was really sweet and funny! When she was very small my youngest daughter (PSB) used to refer to the story of Adam & Eve as 'Adam & Steve'... bit of a modern take on it!

  2. "Look at that (t)ruck!" from my little girl who liked to replace her ts with fs.

  3. Love it! There's a reason there was a show called "Kids Say the Darndest Things."

    When I was two I absolutely couldn't say "firetruck." It always came out "tirefu.."


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