Are you listening?

What Kids Say Around the Family

Of course, children begin learning language at home and they make some of their most endearing errors there. Here is our collection of language errors and mistakes associated with language; most were taken from the e-mail circuit. Let us know if we missed any that should be here.


I wanted to share a story on your section about kids,I wasn't sure how so I guess I will send it this way. My daughter is older she's 13, but we were looking online for a new home phone. My daughter sees a picture of a rotary phone, and says "Let's get one of those old time rotisserie phones; those are cool!" I laughed so hard I couldn't even speak to tell her why I was laughing. She gave me this weird look like, "What?" (Thank you, Kelly Osberg)
My four-year-old son was playing doctor and his stethoscope wasn't long enough to reach his stuffed animals unless his face was almost touching them. He kept trying to listen to their hearts and lungs and the stethoscope kept slipping out of his ears until he was screaming in frustration. “You can do it," I told him. "You just have to get really close to your patients.” “But Mommy," he said, "I don’t have any patience left.” (Thank you, Faith of Cornell University)
I was making dinner one day and my daughter Bri yelled out, "Mommy I'm hungry!" I replied, "Hold your horses!" She looks at me all innocent and replied, "But mommy I dont have any horses," with a really confused look." Moral of the story: make sure your child is familiar with an idiom before using it with him or her. (Thank you, Michelle the Mysterious)
Lillith Speaking (from Catherine Moxham of New Zealand)
  • Lilith, now nearly 4, was most offended when her dad called her a "freckle-nose". She indignantly declared "No! I'm not a nose-freak!"
  • And then there was Miss Lilith at the age of two suddenly declaring that we get soup from the SOUP-ermarket.
  • Miss Ten was helping cook dinner and was most amused when I nearly collapsed laughing because she asked me if she should put some origami in. (Oregano is what we needed.)

Rules for Surviving Childhood
written by kids ages 8-15

  1. Never trust a dog to watch your food.
  2. When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don't answer him.
  3. Never pee on an electric fence.
  4. Don't squat with your spurs on.
  5. Don't pull dad's finger when he tells you to.
  6. When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.
  7. Don't sneeze when you're eating crackers.
  8. Turn off the dust buster before you pick up the cat.
  9. You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
  10. Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
  11. If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.
  12. Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick.
  13. Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat.
  14. When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone.
  15. Never try to baptize a cat.
Thank you, Susan Lister • September 2009

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin and Ryan. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
"If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait'."
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, " Ryan , you be Jesus!"

A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
"Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.
"He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said, "Why did God throw him back down?"

A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

Authors unknown / Contributor: Susan Lister • February 2008

My friend asked our grandson when he would turn 6.
He replied, "When I'm tired of being 5."

Seeing her first hailstorm, Mary Sue, age 3, exclaimed, "Mommy, it's raining dumplings!"

Announcing to daughter Lori that her aunt just had a baby and it looked like her uncle, she said, "You mean he has a mustache?

One-Liners from Susan Lister • February 2008

Rob Chaney recently wrote that his son asked if a cemetary is where dead people live.

I can recall when my baby sister implored my father not to turn out the lights in her room because she couldn't see how to go to sleep in the dark.

She was about the same age when, in answer to the question of whether she knew what the stripe down the middle of the road was for, she replied, "For bicycles."

But it was my son, around the age of 4 who came running into the kitchen out of breath and announced, "There's a tree-knocker in our backyard!" We all knew exactly what he meant even without hearing the pecking on the wood

My nephew Richard insisted for several years that it an underbrella that you take with you on a rainy day. He also referred to the binoculars as the beach-lookers when he couldn't think of the actual word.

Contributed by Dr. Goodword (Dr. Robert Beard) • March 2008

"Oh, I sure am happy to see you," the little boy said to his grandmother on his mother's side. "Now maybe Daddy will do the trick he has been promising us." The grandmother was curious. "What trick is that?" she asked. "I heard him tell Mommy," the little boy answered, "that he would climb the walls if you came to visit."

When his grandmother visited, 2-year-old Kevin saw that she would cater to his every whim. His mother commented that his grandmother was "a real pushover." The next morning when Kevin's mother asked him what he wanted to do that day he said, "Well, let's go downstairs and push over Grandma!"

A little girl asked her mother, "Can I go outside and play with the boys?" Her mother replied, "No, you can't play with the boys, they're too rough." The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked, "If I can find a smooth one, can I play with him?"

A woman was trying hard to get the catsup to come out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang, so she asked her four-year old daughter to answer it. "It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added., "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

My home was filled with lots of antiques. When my grandson was growing up I would tell him not to touch certain things because they were antiques. One day when he was about 4 years old, he looked me and asked, "Well who is Aunt Teak and when am i going to meet her?"

Author-Contributor: Sharon Lewis (February 2006)

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