Mad Gab

Have you played Mad Gab?  It's that game where you read a nonsensical string of words aloud, over and over, until a real phrase suddenly emerges out of the sounds.  Like this: "Ohm They Eaters Hiss Dumb"="Home theater system."

It's a fun game, and I'm good at it, probably because I feel like 80% of my daily life is a game of Mad Gabs.  This tiny girl is so talkative and engaging that I feel quite dull every time I have to bring her sparkling syllables down to earth by asking, "Wait, what?"  But I'm getting better.  Each of my kids have definitely had their own languages and I am slowly becoming fluent in hers.  It's fast-moving and B- and D-heavy (at the moment; though it's always evolving) and I can't resist that little voice saying, "I bubboo, Mahmee!"
Perhaps you'd like to try your hand at it?  I will try to be faithful in my phonetic renderings of these common phrases.

"Dan-doo bick me bup?"=Can you pick me up?
"Ah bip!"="Rumble strip!" (she always notices if we drive over this on the freeway)
"Det ME doo-dit!"=Let me do it!
"I-dite-do doo-dit!"=I'd like to do it!
"Dan-doo Belp me?"=Can you help me?
"I'd dike a durn!"=I'd like a turn!
"Don't, Bebby!"=Don't, Sebby!
"Ga-kye OAT me!"=Malachi hurt me!
"Dee doe doot!"=She's so cute! (usually referring to Junie)
"Dan-do belp me bine my nane-net?"=Can you help me find my blanket?
"Die dike-doo dit on-door bap!"=I'd like to sit on your lap!
"I die-do bee-bo deh ahba-deh-dah-doe!"=I'd like to peel the avocado! (this is tricky because she adds a syllable and calls them "abadedados" instead of "avocadoes")

I love the way kids have their own ways of Naming things.  It makes the language so useful and full of meaning: our word "Blanket," for example, could refer to so many different things, but "Nane-net" is only Daisy's beloved blanket.  Same with Sebby: when we hear "Bebby" we see not just Sebastian, but Daisy's Sebastian (who is sometimes a terrifying and capricious god, I'm sorry to say).  And I highly doubt I will ever make guacamole with anything but "abadedados" again.
And now you can speak Daisese.  It is a whimsical language which may be wholly different by next week, but I love it anyway.


  1. "a terrifying and capricious god"


    What an adorable girl. I read these all out loud.

  2. When my sister was young (not little), we played with plastic horses all the time, giving them names, personalities, everything. One of hers was French. Every word that pony spoke started with a z. Every. Word.

    I loved this post. There are so many words that have survived in our micro culture from those languages - and are still in use: blankliet (G's brother: blanket). Shreyshishase (Char- raisons), Chianchi (Char-sandwhich) - -

    Yeah. This is what makes life good. And I agree with Melissa.

  3. I loved this post. That was one thing I really missed when I quit teaching kindergarten--all the little cute voices with their own languages. I had one kid that called me "Mit-hu Hinky" and another that farted all the time and said to me "they cawing me zac the faw-doh" And it was all I could do not to bust a gut.

    Language development is fascinating!


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