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    #1

    Unfamiliar baby talk...

    Hello,

    I'm still trying to read through my copy of "ıdle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow" by jerome K. Jerome, but I keep running into unfamiliar words or sentence types. My current problem is with the baby talk in the book:

    There she goes, now, gazing rapturously at herown toes, and murmuring " pittie "—two-footten of conceit and vanity ; to say nothing of other wickednesses.
    They are all alike. I remember sitting in a garden one sunny afternoon in the suburbs of London. Suddenly I heard a shrill, treble voice calling from a top story window to some unseen being, presumably in one of the other gardens, "Gamma, me dood boy, me wery good boy. Gamma; me dot on Bob's knickiebockies."

    Can I have some help with the parts in red, please? No amount of googling yielded a result as to the meaning of the words "pittie", "two-footten", "Gamma (probably a proper noun)", "dot" and "knickiebockies".
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 30-Jun-2015 at 16:25. Reason: Sorted out formatting (removed extra line breaks)

  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    • Join Date: May 2015
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    #2

    Re: Unfamiliar baby talk...

    These aren't real words, it's mimicking young toddlers who can't pronounce the real words. Notice the grammar and syntax is also that of a young child just learning to speak.

    pittie = pitty, from pitty-patty (onomatopoeia for the slapping sound bare feet make), also used in children's games where parents/children count toes
    two footen = either an archaic way of saying 'two footed', or he's using just using poetic license and making up a word (this one isn't baby talk)
    Gamma = Gramma/Grandma
    Dood = good
    wery=very
    dot=got
    knicklebockies= knickerbockers (old-fashioned stye of pants primarily for young boys whichhad short legs tucked into socks just below the knee.)

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
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      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 255
    #3

    Re: Unfamiliar baby talk...

    Thank you ver much, Skrej. You're a real life saver! :D

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