Five phrases that sound wrong when said by kids

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There are some words and phrases that sound wrong when uttered by children. Now, I’m not talking about swear words – that’s a given. We all remember and secretly laugh about their first expletives.

For the record, my three kids’ first profanities were two Fs and an S. FFS, indeed.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand, here are some of the not-quite-right-for-a-child things I’ve caught my lot saying lately.


All three of my children are good at saving their pocket money. Sure, being in a pandemic and having a healthy fear of going into shops helps in this regard. But, to give them their due, they’re focussed on squirrelling it away for things they really want.

But it sounds really odd when they refer to the humble pound by its slang name. Speaking of the things they would otherwise spend pocket money on…

Rip off

Youngest recently got into a book that presents a new twist on a popular fairy tale. Last night, she was subtly showing me the page advertising the entire series.

“That’s a rip off of Aladdin,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. I can’t believe she didn’t use the words ‘homage’ or ‘intertextuality’. Tut, tut.


Both boys have taken to calling me ‘mate’ lately and I have to admit that I hate it. The trouble is, they know it annoys me and therefore carry on regardless.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, however, so I’ll have mine by crashing their parties when they’re older and being an embarrassing parent. Well, parties are for enjoying with your mates…

That’s the way the cookie crumbles

I don’t know where youngest learned this rather harsh phrase, but she uses it regularly to quite arresting effect. The other day, for example, she was playing with some animal glove puppets and her favourite – a cat – was lying face-down on the floor.

I asked what had happened. “She was defeated by a beast… but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.” Needless to say, I quietly backed out of the room at this juncture.

Fire up

Although a necessity in these difficult times, remote learning has much to answer for. One such example is my kids’ parlance relating to online lessons. “I’m going to fire up the computer” being a particular dubious favourite, courtesy of the eight-year-old.

I don’t know where he learned this phrase but he sounds like Gene Hunt talking about his beloved Audi Quattro in Ashes to Ashes. Let’s just hope he doesn’t follow it up with “You’re surrounded by armed bastards” eh?

Which phrases that sound wrong coming from kids have you experienced?


  1. Eddie

    I find it funny when the kids start doing this, a couple of years back we had a few power cuts where we live, they had one whilst at their grandparents and picked up from grandpa a rather poor pun esk joke that they should “stick another quid int meter”. A few days later we had one and she suggested I go and stick another quid int meter .

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