how-to-draw-boo-boo_1_000000001891_5“Mommy! I need a band-aid for my boo-boo!”

I can guarantee that this is not a sentence that will ever be heard by a British mother… unless of course she moves her kids to the States. As a translation, I would like to offer up:

“Mummy, I need a plaster for my cut.” Or scrape. Or sore bit, bump, bash, bloody knee/finger/whatever.

But not boo-boo. Boo-boo is a bear. Everyone knows that.

Except I suppose it is also a mistake. As in “oops I made a boo-boo“. But certainly not an injury.

In defence of the the boo-boo, I would say it is only really applied to younger kids. And it sounds quite comforting and sympathetic when you say it out loud. “Have you got a boo-boo?” has less dramatic impact than, say, “Oh, have you cut yourself?” Yet there is a silliness about it. It’s baby-talk (which may be how it came into use, I guess) that makes it hard to endorse as a grown adult from another planet (sorry country).

And what about poor old plasters? I love that word. It has history! It dates back centuries and always makes me think of Mr Wodehouse in Emma. If he didn’t apply a mustard plaster at any point in that book, then I am sure he should have.

But over here, I am converting to band-aid. Nothing to do with charity, Bono, Geldof and the one with the moustache from Ultravox, but the (wait for it!) proprietary eponym. Love that term. And when Child 2 skidded over at the outdoor pool on Sunday and left two and a half toenails on the concrete, he might not have been crying about his boo-boo (he is 10 after all) but I was certainly in need of band-aids to sort him out.

 

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