STOP talking like a baby!

Published on March 14, 2017

Do you know what baby talk is? It’s a cute way of saying things, usually used by young children. Sometimes English learners use baby talk without knowing it, and this can be very embarrassing! Don’t worry — I’ll tell you what the most common baby talk words and phrases you might be saying are. I’ll also explain some common ways baby talk is used by children, so you can understand English-speaking children and know how to speak to them. Take the quiz on this lesson here:


Hewo. My name’s Wonnie. What’s your name? What? My name’s Ro-… What are you? My name’s Ronnie. What’s going on? I’m going to teach you something today that is very, very important, especially for the ladies. Sometimes I know you try and be very cute. Cool. But there comes a point where you have to stop trying to be cute and actually act like a proper woman, whatever that means. It’s up to your interpretation.

So I’m going to teach you about what’s called “Baby Talk”. So, baby talk is what I was just doing to you in the camera. It has to do with your facial expression-your eyes are bigger, you’re smiley-and your intonation, as well as the vocabulary you lose… Use. So, when it is very, very good and fun and acceptable to use baby talk is if you are talking to a baby, yes. Children, not so much. There comes a point where your precious baby will become a child, and you need to actually start to speak to them like a normal person. Not like a dragon, but like a normal person. They grow out of baby talk. Also-I do this-we talk to our pets like they’re babies. Oh, doggy want a boney? Hello, kitty-cat, what’s going on? And the cat’s like: “Ah, this is great.” Dogs and cats probably think we’re a little crazy, too, and they’re like: “What? No, but I’m cute though.” Cool. “Give me the bone. Yeah, I’m cute. Give me the bone.” So, if you’re talking to a baby or a young child, or a pet – cool. Also, if you’re talking to your partner, not in class, but your partner, so your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your husband, your wife, your other boyfriend, okay – you will-I do-use baby talk. This makes us seem cute. Awesome. But we don’t want to seem cute at a job interview. We don’t want to go: “Hi. I’m Ronnie-wonnie. How are you today? He-he-he.” You’re not going to get the job, and people might think you’re a little strange. So baby talk is good for three people, three situations. Other than that, don’t use it.

You probably know some words that are baby talk or the intonation, but maybe there are some words that will surprise you. The number one are… One and two or the top ones are “mommy” and “daddy”. So, I hear a lot of grown men say: “My mommy works in the mall.” And girls say: “My… My daddy gave me a horse.” Okay, maybe your daddy did give you a horse, but please, ladies and gentlemen who are adults: “mommy” and “daddy” are children’s words. If a grown man says: “I love my mommy”, we’re going to think some strange things are happening with you and your mommy. As well, ladies, if you say: “My daddy is coming to see me tomorrow night”, we’re getting the wrong idea of what you’re doing with your parents. So: “mommy” and “daddy” are only for children. What you’re going to say is… Do you know? “Mom, mom, dad”, good. We shorten this to: “mom”. If you’re learning English in the UK, they spell it: “mum”, but they spell it with a “u”. And “dad”… Sorry. “Daddy” becomes “dad”. This is casually how we talk about our mom and dad. More formal… Again, this is baby talk. More formal we can say: “mother” and “father”. So, it doesn’t really matter which one you use, “dad” or “father”, “mom” or “mother”, just please don’t say “mommy” and “daddy”. It makes you sound like you’re a little princess or that you have a very strange relationship with your mother and father. Yeah, not too good. So, “father” is formal and so is “mother”. All right.

When I first started the video, I said: “My name is Wonnie.” Well, that’s not my name. My name’s Ronnie, but children have a hard time pronunci-… [Laughs] Pronunciating, like me. They have a hard time saying certain letters. For example, “r”. Do you have a hard time saying “r” as well? Cool. See? You’re learning. “R” is very difficult for babies to say, so don’t feel bad. They’re learning how to get the “r” out. So, instead of saying “r”, they’re going to say “w”. So, you will hear in TV shows, when people say: “Aw, you’re just a widdle boy”. “Widdle” is a replacement for “l” in this case or “little”. So, we would say: “little”, but they say: “widdle”.

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