Kids can be so resourceful when it comes to inventing surprising new types of naughtiness!!
Since I taught them some naughty words myself -- and since the lack of corresponding negative attention made the naughty words boring from day one -- I assumed that would be the end of it. * Sigh *, another parenting theory shot all to hell...
My little Leo was clever enough to figure out that while swearing in English would get him nowhere, he could get plenty of laughs (from other kids) and plenty of hilarious scolding (from authority figures) by using potty-words in French. I say hilarious because he's not really punished: he does enough things that are plenty worse, and we're kind of a laissez-faire, choose-your-battles kind of family. So he just gets lots of earnest suggestions (from his daddy) of funnier and more appropriate nonsense words he might use, and he follows these suggestions occasionally.
For my part, I mostly try to ignore the potty-words -- so as not to encourage him -- but it's tricky because they don't teach you these sorts of things French language textbooks. How can I help but be curious about this amusing facet of child language development?
Leo's favorite naughty phrase is "caca boudin pipi" (followed by hysterical laughter, possibly rolling on the floor, etc.). At first I wasn't sure what he was saying and I thought it was "caca Buddha pipi" (since he's learned about Buddha I figured he was a precocious blasphemer). Then listening more closely and looking at some relevant children's books I realized it was "caca boudin pipi" which led to the obvious question: What does that mean???
Here we enter the realm of pure speculation:
As you may know, "caca" is a French baby-word for feces, and pipi is pee-pee (or pee), same as English. Boudin is blood-sausage (in France it is anyway, not in Louisiana), so in shape and color it bears a mild resemblance to caca. Thus I assume the joke is the idea of people eating crap? And the "pipi" on the end is perhaps just thrown in for good measure? If anyone else has any info on the etymology of this intriguing phrase, please feel free to comment...
While I'm telling kid language stories, I have a follow up to Nico correcting me at bedtime story-time. We were again reading Rafara (hey this is a tricky little book!), and we were at the part where the monster was fattening up Rafara to eat her. I said he pinched her cheek to see if she was sufficiently doudou, which sent Nico into a fit of laughter since a "doudou" is a stuffed animal (it's not even an adjective!).
Nico corrected me: dodue (which means chubby). This was a new word for me, but rather than look it up, it was quicker to get the definition from Nico. He didn't know the word "chubby" though (we're the blind leading the blind at my house...), so after thinking about it a minute he resorted to an example:
"You see, Mommy, Buddha is dodu..."