KIERAN HOWARD: Mange tout, Dad! Mange tout!

Does anyone else's toddler use cockney rhyming slang, or is it just Louie?

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 9:00 am
Kieran fears watching too many episodes of Only Fools and Horses has turned Louie cockney (BBC)

The other day he brought me over one of his toy phones. He loves us making endless calls on them.

He’ll say ‘hello’, talk absolute gibberish for 10 seconds and then say ‘bye, bye, bye’.

This happens repeatedly until he loses interest.

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If at any point I don’t join in though, he’ll shout ‘bone, bone, bone!’

I initially thought this was merely his cute way of saying ‘phone’.

Then a colleague reminded me that ‘dog and bone’ is rhyming slang for phone, which immediately left me wondering if I’ve been exposing him to too many repeats of Only Fools and Horses.

I’m wondering if Del Boy’s had a slightly unexpected side-effect on him.

My theory was strengthened the other day when he was going up stairs to bed.

He climbed the steps, shouting ‘apples, apples’.

Now, he does love fruit and he probably just randomly wanted one at that very moment.

But it was a little peculiar that he should demand it just as we were ascending the ‘apples and pears’.

Anyway, we’ve come up with some more slang for him.

Baby’s dummy is now ‘mummy’, golfer’s caddie is ‘daddy’ and chocolate spread is ‘bed’.

Let me know if you can help add to the list.


If you’re a window cleaner, don’t expect an easy ride when Louie’s around. lucky enough to pay a visit to Actually, if you’re ever unour door, expect the opposite.

He will likely make your stop as uncomfortable as possible.

He’ll put you under the closest of scrutiny throughout your stay and he won’t admit defeat in any stare-off competition either.

If there’s any windows on which he’s on the other side, I’d suggest you either hide, come camouflaged as a tree or return later when he’s in bed

and his curtains are firmly pulled to.

Our mini security guard discovered the glass specialists last week while round at Nanny and Grandad’s house.

It wasn’t the first time they’d been since he entered the world, but he’d never bothered taking the time to notice them before.

He’d previously failed to spot them because, at the time, he’d always been too engrossed in toys, food or trying to hide in the freezer.

On this occasion though, he was on a break from playing, had just eaten his weight in Quavers and didn’t see the point in cryogenically freezing himself.

He strolled into the lounge and immediately clapped eyes on the window cleaner.

To Louie, here was a man he’d never encountered before who was trespassing on his grandparents’ land.

This stranger was holding a bucket full of water, peering through the window and randomly scraping at the glass.

So confused was Louie by such an odd development, that he decided to drag over his wicker chair and stand on it for a closer inspection.

That was where he remained until the suspected intruder had finished his work and journeyed to the back of the house.

Naturally Louie followed to make certain nothing untoward occurred as he moved from window to window.

Despite the cleaner trying to engage with him to get him on side, the little man was having none of it.

And most unlike our livewire, no words left his lips as he remained totally fixed to the spot.

He simply monitored the cleaner’s every move and made sure he didn’t put a foot out of line.

I don’t quite know what was going through his head, but I suspect he thought this man was a burglar testing out the windows as a possible point of entry.

It remains a mystery as to whether he also thought the bucket was to carry all of the stolen items afterwards.