I could hide out under there
I just made you say underwear …
– Barenaked Ladies, “Pinch”
Our youngest, three-year-old Trevor, applies a certain, consistent logic to the new words he’s learning in order to figure out what they mean. For example, out of the blue he will proudly announce, “Mom, I know why we say toothbrush – because we clean our teeth with it, and because it’s a brush … toothbrush!”
He applies this equally to simple and compound words, so that the results are often unintentionally nonsensical and funny, e.g. “I know why they’re called suckers … because you suck on them, and because they’re ers!”
So last night we’re enjoying a small dish of ice cream, and he begins: “I know why we say ice cream … because it’s really cold, and because it’s cream – ice cream!”
“That’s right, Trevvy!” says Jodi, and I ask, “Trevor, why do they call it chewing gum?”
“Because you chew it, and because it’s gum!” he says proudly.
“And why,” I ask, “do we call it underwear?”
He stumbles a moment, working it through in his head.
“Because it goes under your pants,” he says, “and then it’s like it’s gone!”
* * * * *
Blogger’s Note: If you aren’t laughing, don’t worry – it took us a moment, too. Homophones are great fun, aren’t they?
Additional Note: On a mostly unrelated note, this morning, Trevor approached Emma, placed his palm on top of his head, and said, “Emma, this is how tall I am. I’m this tall!”