toutou (too-too) noun, masculine
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE ... by Kristin Espinasse
I can tell you first-hand that, apart from tourists, the French town of Sarrians caters to rug rats, thieves, and cats.
Rug rats--rather "rug rat-ease"--being our topic for today, we'll skip the cat caper... though it is tempting to paint the scene: that of one "sticky-fingered" foreigner being chased by a minou* and a Maghrébine.
"I told you that kitty wasn't lost," Jean-Marc said, as we rounded a bend and slipped in to the Tourist office, unseen by the Maghrébine. I couldn't help it if that woman's cat was following me... admittedly after all the sweet talk disguised as soliloquy. (For the record, I did not steal the cat.)
Inching our way out of the tourist office, the coast now being clear, I saw the following hand-written sign posted against the municipal door: "Bar à Toutous". Beside the delightful sign, a couple of thirst-quenching quarts of water were thoughtfully set out for the town toutous... which brings us back to today's topic: "Rugrat-ease".
Inspired by the French signage (specifically the wee word "toutou"), I offer you a glossary of French kiddy talk or "langage enfantin": Please feel free to add to this list, using the comments box just below... and thanks in advance!
AUDIO FILE: You can now listen to our son, Max, pronounce the entire list, below:
Download MP3 or Wav file
Petit Lexique de Langage Enfantin / Glossary of Baby Talk
areu ("areu areu") = goo-goo: faire areu areu = to gurgle
le bibi (biberon) = baba (bottle)
le bidou = tummy
le bobo = boo-boo (minor injury) le coco (coquille) = egg
le coin-coin = quack-quack (duck)
cui-cui = tweet-tweetfaire cui-cui = to go tweet-tweet
le dada = horsey (horse)
le dodo (dormir) = beddie-bye (sleep)
le doudou = blankie (blanket, or other security object)
glouglou = gobble-gobble
hop-là! = upsy-daisy! (small accident)
le joujou (jouet) = toy
le kiki (quéquette) = wee-wee (penis)
le lolo (lait) = milk (also means "boob")
la mama (maman) = mama
la mémé (grandmère) = nana (grandma)
la menotte = little hand
le minou (minet) = cat
le nanan = yummies, sweets, num-nums
le ninin (ninnin) = security object (stuffed animal)
la nounou (la nourrice) = child-minder
le nounours (ours en peluche) = teddy bear
le papa (père) = daddy
le pépé (grand-père) = grandpa
le pipi = wee-wee
le popo (caca) = poo-poo, doo-doo
une quenotte = tooth
une risette = a little smile
(faire une risette à la gentille dame) = smile for the nice lady
le sent-bon = perfume
la tantine = auntie
la tata (tante) = aunt
le tonton = uncle
le toutou = dog
le zizi = wee-wee
When we had all 7 golden retrievers (we now have just Mama Breizh and her son, Smokey). Oh, how the puppies loved baby talk!
Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you regularly enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am commited to sharing a sunny update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France, while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!
♥ Or click here to send the amount of your choice
To purchase our memoir, THE LOST GARDENS click here.