The Baby’s Five Most Important Words and Phrases (and How to Use Them)

The Baby has been chatty of late. She has identified the key words and phrases of the English language, and has been using them with gusto. Now, many of you may be surprised to learn what the most significant words and phrases in the English language, as set out below, actually are (particularly as one of them would appear to be French). Please do not be embarrassed: few are able to attain the lofty heights of The Baby’s grasp on linguistics. The correct frequency and proper usage for the word ‘duck’, for example, is understood by woefully few people. In an effort to re-educate, therefore, here are the words you need to know, and how you should be using them.

1. Cat
The Baby’s unrequited love affair with the cat continues. ‘Cat’ was probably her first clear word, after the usual ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. The Baby likes to make sure everyone is aware of the cat’s location at all times. She will jab her finger insistently in the cat’s direction and yell, ‘Cat! Cat!’ Should The Baby’s cat location services ever be specifically called upon with an actual query about where the cat is, The Baby is beside herself with glee: ‘Cat! Cat!’ The cat tries her best to be inconspicuous. Sorry, cat, like a tiny Liam Neeson: The Baby will look for you, she will find you, and she will point at you.

2. The Toddler
Of course, The Baby isn’t actually saying ‘The Toddler’. That would be weird. But she has started to say The Toddler’s real name. She first did this on an outing to the common, whilst The Toddler was running around and hiding behind trees. The Baby pointed at her: ‘The Toddler! The Toddler!’ It had come to The Baby’s attention that, like the cat, The Toddler was trying to hide. As with the cat, The Baby wasn’t having any of it. Never attempt to go incognito around The Baby. She will identify you. Loudly and repeatedly.

The Baby also likes to use her new word to request that The Toddler partake in her favourite game: peekaboo. She shouts, ‘The Toddler!’ The Toddler looks up. The Baby covers her eyes and giggles. The Baby repeats the process. Just a few times. The Toddler obligingly plays peekaboo. She was personally requested, after all.

3. Duck and quack
Presumably these words came from Sarah and Duck (the recent addition of ‘sayer duck’ to The Baby’s repertoire would seem to support this). Ducks occur to The Baby at random times, following which she will spend a pleasant fifteen or so minutes happily hollering, ‘Duck! Duck! Duck! Quack! Duck! Duck!’ As The Toddler has recently discovered the cupboard where the juggling balls are kept, and has taken to using them as missiles, The Baby’s love of chatting about ducks doubles as good safety advice.

4. Frere Jacques
The Toddler has been singing Frere Jacques a lot lately. Being a good, doting little sister, The Baby has therefore decided this is her favourite song. She bursts into ‘rehreh jacka’ at regular intervals, and is delighted when people join in. If people don’t join in, The baby offers light encouragement. Which is to say she relentlessly screeches, ‘Rehreh jacka! Rehreh jacka!’

5. Catch
When throwing and catching are taking place, The Baby likes to be involved. She likes to ensure that it is clear that she is involved by shouting ‘catch’ whenever anyone else says ‘catch’. It should be noted that, for all the shouting of ‘catch’, very little catching actually occurs. Though Baby can claim a better catching record than The Toddler – she has occasionally caught balls with her face, at least. The Baby’s reaction to being hit in the face with a ball? ‘Catch!’

Little Hearts, Big LoveModern Dad PagesOur Little EscapadesBrilliant blog posts on HonestMum.comMy Random Musings
Little Hearts, Big LoveModern Dad PagesOur Little EscapadesBrilliant blog posts on HonestMum.comMy Random Musings


  1. I’ve always believed it’s important to speak and say the things you want your children to say when you’re in their company.

    Yes, I talk differently when I’m around them but that’s only because I feel it’s important for them to speak proper like! Do you know what I mean?

    On a serious note, we are all influenced by who and what is around us. Surrond our children with lovely things, then they’re going to have a great start in life.

    Thanks for sharing #ftmob

  2. So lovely to hear some of The Baby’s most important phrases – Duck was always a popular one early on with both my two as well and they are big fans of “sayer duck” too. The Cat and The Toddler are clearly both very important in The Baby’s world and how adorable that she plays peekaboo with The Toddler too. Sounds like she is enthusiastic about catching games too even if very little catching actually manages to go on! Thanks for linking up to #ftmob 🙂

  3. Alice says:

    I didn’t realise that my child was gifted, but now you have pointed out how few people really know the real frequency with which one should refer to small aquatic birds of the family anatidae, you have made it clear for me!
    What I am trying to say is that Stella also likes saying ‘quack’ a lot. I blame Sarah and Duck 🙂
    x Alice

    • Silly Mummy says:

      Yes, Stella is clearly a mover and shaker in the linguistics world – she knows her stuff. Love the partial Douglas Adams’ quote you have got in there too! x

  4. Alison says:

    I honestly, truly can’t wait for the words to start with Little Man. At the moment we’re getting ‘Uh oh,” and ”iya’. We’re getting copying and pointing and understanding the concept of peekaboo, so I’m fairly confident it’ll come but still… come on, Little Man, start talking! Lovely post. You make these children sound like such characters. In a good way. #SSAmazingAchievements

    • Silly Mummy says:

      Their peekaboo games are so sweet. Catching balls with one’s face is a really underrated skill – glad someone appreciates it! Thanks for reading.

  5. I would love to know how old the baby is. I want to know when I can (fingers crossed) expect to hear the word cat, and others. Our cats are always trying to hide from Little E too but she is too quick for them!

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

    • Silly Mummy says:

      She was one at beginning of August, so she will be 13 months in a few days. She is saying more clear words than The Toddler did at a year, though. Toddler did a few words between about 15 and 18 months I would say, and then really took off rapidly from 18 months. Toddler learnt signs before she started saying many words. Baby has just learnt the ‘milk’ sign and is very pleased with herself!

      I’m sure Little E will be yelling ‘cat’ at the cats soon. It probably won’t make them stick around more! Thanks for hosting!

  6. Kyles says:

    An impressive list to be sure. And it’s fabulous that you’ve got a cat detection service. Maybe you could market that to all the people will lost kitties! Watching language develop is such a joy. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Fab fab fab post! I love posts about baby chatter, i can’t wait til H properly starts onthis. She has been saying duck, as well… So I’m very happy she’s not alone! She says it to her yellow bath duck, but now seems to say it at random. We’re not sure she might now call everything yellow, duck, or she’s requesting duck… x

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