Thursday, May 10, 2007

I feel so good if I just say the word

Some words Nolan can say with the utmost clarity. The really important ones he's got down cold. "Mama," for example, or "milk." (And, strangely enough, "daffodil.") Others, sometimes he can say the vowel sounds but not the consonants, or he substitutes consonants he can say for the ones he can't manage yet.

Because I spend so much time with him, I am (usually) able to consult the Nolan-English/English-Nolan dictionary in my head and come up with a translation. There are times, however, when even I cannot figure out what the heck he's saying. (Even when I use context, like they taught us in 3rd grade!)

So I thought I'd give y'all a chance to play Nolan Interpreter:


For each word given in "Nolan," pick the correct English translation.

1. "Brulella"

A. Vanilla
B. Umbrella
C. Brunhilda
D. Banana

2. "Elfadent"

A. Elephant
B. Alphabet
C. Accident
D. Element

3. "Dit-dee"

A. Ditty
B. Itty-Bitty
C. Kitty
D. Pretty

4. "Hininder"

A. Highlander
B. Cylinder
C. Calendar
D. Hindenburg

5. "Lai-bop"

A. Lamb chop
B. Mmmmmmm-bop
C. Light bulb
D. Lollipop

6. "Wahmen"

A. Watermelon
B. Ramen
C. Women
D. Whoa, man

7. "Dental"

A. Dental
B. Central
C. Gentle
D. Gentile

8. "Epup"

A. Step up
B. Get up
C. Ketchup
D. Hiccup

9. "Pee"

A. Pee
B. Pretty
C. Please
D. Peek

10. Wow-uh

A. Wow, huh?
B. Flower
C. Water
D. Shower

Scroll down for answers.

And while you're scrolling down, an anecdote:

Last night, while I was putting Nolan to bed, he asked for his giant giraffe stuffed animal. (He says it "Gee-raf" ["G" like in "gulp," not "g" like in George] in case you're wondering.) It's almost as big as he is, and it's wearing a skirt, rain boots, and, inexplicably, a blue ribbon that says "1st" on its neck. We didn't buy it, it was a (very very nice, don't get me wrong) gift.

And it occurred to me that we've never given the giraffe a name. Some of his animals have names - Grover (obviously), Sigfried the German lion (Siggy for short), Wolfgang the wolf (Wolfy for short), and Comfy Cozy Cow. But many of them (and there are MANY) have no names and are referred to by their generic animal designator. "Bear," for instance, or "Froggy." So I thought maybe, since he seemed to be growing rather fond of the giraffe, it was time to give it a name.

"We've never named your giraffe, Nolan." I said. "Should we give her a name?"

"Wanda." Nolan said.

Just like that. "Wanda." Clear as a bell.

So the giraffe's name is Wanda, apparently.


1. - B
2. - A
3. - C
4. - B
5. - D
6. - A
7. - C
8. - C
9. - C
10. - Trick question. It could be B or C OR D, since he says the same thing for all of them.


1-3 Correct: Well, what can you do? You don't have kids.
4-6 Correct: Not bad for someone who doesn't spend every day with Nolan.
7-9 Correct: You are a parent. And a linguist. And you spent way too much time on this.
All 10 Correct: You are me. Or Nolan. Nolan, you're not on the computer, are you?

Thanks for reading.


Electric Mayhem said...


And seven out of ten. Not bad, CAJ.

Erica Mulherin said...

Oh my god I agree- that was HILARIOUS! Alas, I scored a whopping 2, and I love the name Wanda. That's awesome.