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French Baby Talk - Le language enfantin

Learn how to talk like a baby, in French

French has quite a bit of "baby talk" or "kiddie speak" - words and expressions which are usually used by children or when talking to children. Even if you don't talk to kids in French, this informal language is important to recognize, as baby talk can also be found in jokes and in conversations with good friends.

Note that, as in English, much French baby talk consists of a single syllable repeated twice.

en français    in English
Enfantin Vient de   Baby Talk Normal
  
un bobo owie, boo-boo wound
    * avoir bobo - to have an owie, be hurt
  
le caca cacare (Latin) poo poo feces
    * faire caca - to go number 2
  
le dada     horsie, gee-gee horse
         
le dodo dormir beddy-bye go to sleep
    * faire dodo - to go to sleep, to be asleep
    * faire un gros/petit dodo - to take a long/short nap
    * Au dodo ! - Go to bed!
  
le doudou dormir blankie blanket
  
des joujoux des jouets toys
    * faire joujou - to play
  
le lolo le lait milk
    * Note: les lolos is also a familiar term for breasts
  
la mamie, mammy
la mémé
grand-mère granny grandma
  
la menotte la main hand
    * Note: les menottes are handcuffs
  
miam-miam manger yum yum eating, food
  
le nounours ours en peluche teddy teddy bear
  
le panpan spanking
    * faire panpan - to spank
  
la papatte la patte leg, hand
  
le papi, papy
le pépé
grand-père gramps granddad
  
le pipi pee pee urine
    * faire pipi - to pee, to go number 1 (used by adults, too)
  
le prout le pet fart flatulence
    * faire (un) prout - to fart
  
la quenotte canne (old Fr) tooth
  
faire sisite s'asseoir to sit
  
la tata
la tatie
tante auntie aunt
  
le tonton oncle uncle
  
la toto auto car
  
les totos (m) head lice
  
le toutou doggy dog
  
le zizi weenie, peter penis


Idiomatic expressions that include baby talk

Caca d'oie
Yellow-green
En peau de toutou
Of mediocre quality
Métro-boulot-dodo
   Rat race
Suivre/Obéir à qqun comme un toutou
To follow/obey as meekly as a lamb.

  

Did I miss any? Please let me know on the forum!

Teaching Resources for Kids     French Vocabulary

French Baby Names

  

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