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Words, words, words

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By Fiona Reid

HAGGIS, jetpack and sheriff are among the top ten words used by Scottish youngsters, according to a new study *.

How bizarre!

I expected mum, dad and please to be on the list at the very least. But they are nowhere to be seen.

Tellingly, the top word is ‘wee’, as in small. Also featuring highly are ‘phoned’ and ‘gran’.

But oddly, ‘loch’, ‘couch’ and ‘pandas’ make the list as well- none of which I hear very often in my house.

Even stranger, the top word for children back in my homeland of Yorkshire, is ‘doughnut’!

If I had to summarise the most widely used words by the Reid family, they would probably be ‘muuummmmm’, school, rabbit, late, hungry, bed, snack, homework, book and sister.

And if we’re talking phrases, then it’s got to be: ‘we’re going to be late’, ‘wash your hands’, ‘where’s your bag?’, ‘has anyone fed that rabbit?’, ‘who didn’t flush the toilet?’, ‘have you got any homework?’, ‘why didn’t you tell me earlier?’ and ‘will you hurry up’. Oh and ‘stop squabbling’ of course…

* Oxford University Press’ findings on children and language in association with BBC Radio 2



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