I recently blogged about some of the words that Thomas uses that we don’t understand. There are also a number of other words that he uses, among his babbling, that only his mamãe and I understand and when he says them to other people we have to translate for them as if he was speaking another language, which he is in a way, called Thomasese.
Some examples: mnah mnah means ‘I want another one’ or ‘Do it again’. I think this one comes from the time he was eating tomatoes (he adores tomatoes) and we were trying to get him to say the word. His approximation was mnah and we all congratulated ourselves and him on his new word, but it turns out he didn’t realise we were teaching him the word for the food, but instead the a way to get another one. It is also a strange one because he can say mais and ‘one more’ which mean basically the same thing.
bise is his approximation of the word bike. Until a few weeks ago he was using mo but he has started to use a different word now. He uses it for both motorbikes and bicycles.
au au is not a problem for any speakers of Portuguese, but it is for English speakers. It means ‘dog’ and, in Portuguese, is the sound that a dog makes. All English speakers know that a dog actually says ‘woof’ and not au.
Amee is both Mickey and Minnie Mouse. If he wants to play with the clubhouse, watch the TV programme or wear the T-shirt, this is what he says.
me is a new one, and he has only been using it for a couple of days so I still haven’t quite nailed down what I think he means by it yet. I think it means ‘my’ or ‘mine’, in Portuguese meu or minha. I think he learned it when I was playing with a cricket ball with him and I kept saying ‘give it to me’. It now seems that he says me whenever he has something that he doesn’t want to share with anybody else.
There are probably some other ones, but they escape me at the moment.
It is interesting how these have developed to be full-blown words, at least for Thomas. Outside the family these words don’t mean anything, but inside it he can use them to communicate with us. I dare say that soon enough they will go the way of other words, but for now it is cool to have our own secret code.