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Nathan’s growing vocabulary

DSC01529This week as I was jotting down notes for Nathan’s daycare, I decided to include a list of some vocabulary updates for our carer’s reference. After all, it’s been over two weeks since she saw him and there are a number of new words he’s picked up since then.

So I thought to jot them down here too for memory’s sake. Nathan will turning 18 months old in one week. He develops so quickly and learns so much every day that it’s hard to pinpoint exact moments when he learns something new. But here are some fairly new words he’s recently added to his vocab over the past couple of weeks…

Poo-poo = Poo (i.e. #2)
Pappy = Nappy
Wice = Rice
Joop/Toop = Soup
Fok = Fork
Po-po = Chinese term for grandma (my mum was really pleased with this one)
Tock = Clock
Tak = Stuck
Twak = Truck
Tar/Kar = Car
Pok-pok = Poke (referring to the pom-pom poking game I made for him)
Noma = Thomas (as in Thomas the train)
Doys = Toys
Bop = Drop
Doh = Door
Dwoh = Draw
Waiht = Write
Weht = Wait
Waip = Wipe (he will actually grab a cloth and wipe a surface where he spilled something or his nose after he sneezes)
Top = Stop (he will hold up his finger very firmly as he does this – something he picked up at daycare I think, as I don’t do this)
Aiyoh/Aiyah = new expression picked up in Malaysia

And of course he has already been calling us mummy and daddy for a while. But sometimes he will call out “niiiiiiii” to his dad, mimicking my way of calling “honeeeeey” to hubs… the exact same tone and inflection used is uncanny and very comical.

Other long time words he has already been using:

Up = when he wants to be picked-up, carried or taken out from somewhere
Mum-Mum = eat/food
Mik-Mik = Milk
Na-na = Banana
Shoo/Shoos = Shoe/shoes (I always think of Jimmy Choo when he says this)
Haaai = Hi
Baaai = Bye
Bek = Bag
Beht = Bird
Wower = Flower
Bok = Book
Bo-bo = Ball
Dak/Dakee = Duck/Duckie
Teti = Teddy
Dok = Dog
Behbee = Baby
Bah-beh = Bubble
Tick = Stick
Nai-nai = Nite-nite/Good-night
Ais = Ice (he enjoys sucking/munching ice, a rare treat which started one time when I gave it to soothe a cut on his lip)
Pahpee = his term for “peekaboo
Japechay = his term for “TV” (not sure how this one came about – maybe he was trying to copy us saying “watch TV”)
Uh-oh = an expression that comes out whenever he drops something on the floor

Words I know he understands but he has not spoken (in my hearing at least):

Chair (he will listen to us when we tell him to “sit on your chair”)
Bathe/bom-bom (we use both terms interchangeably)
Sleep/oi-oi (we use both terms interchangeably)
Head back/up (during bath time when we’re rinsing his hair)
Kiss (when we ask him to blow a kiss or give us a kiss)
Kai-kai (Chinese term for “going out”)
Water (a point of frustration as he asks for and drinks a lot of it every day)
Phone (also a point of frustration because it’s a favourite ‘toy’ he looks for)
Pen (sometimes a point of frustration when he wants one to draw with)

Words he says out loud when reading specific books together:

Ror = Roar – as in “roar like a lion
Nei = Neigh – as in “a horse goes neigh
Wibbit = Ribbit – as in “a frog goes ribbit
Wo-wo = Woof-woof – as in “a dog goes woof-woof
Fwok = Frog
Wabbit = Rabbit
Pish = Fish
Dok = Dog
Bo-bo = Ball
Teti = Teddy
Behbee = Baby
Mum-mum = when he sees a picture of a baby eating in one of his books
Nai-nai = Good-night – when he sees a picture of a baby going to sleep
Tach = Touch – from a storybook “God made my hands, I can tach!
Tee = See – from a storybook “God made my eyes, I can tee!
Noose = Nose – from a story book “Good made my noose, I can smell”
Tess = Taste – from a storybook “God made my tongue, I can tessss!
Peek = Speak – from a storybook “God made my mouth, I can peek!

Whenever he can’t find a word for something he wants, the word/phrase he falls back on is “titi-titi-titi!” (which I surmised to mean something like “that thing, that thing, that thing!”) which he calls out whilst pointing frantically at the ‘thing’ he’s after.

His pace of learning is so rapid that I can hardly keep up with this list of words. I know there are probably other words I’ve missed out and by the end of the day, he will have added at least one if not several new words to his vocab.

Also, 10 words to avoid around kids


  1. Only a mother can catch the nuances in her child's speech.


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