An Adult Baby's or Age Regression Writer's Guide to Creating Childish Dialog
Writing good dialog is a difficult art. Fortunately, there are reference books available for most of the well known dialects that make it relatively easy for the aspiring writer to research and get a "feel" for the speech he is trying to duplicate. In the case of Babytalk, there aren't any materials readily available. The consensus of opinion seems to be that a youngster should be trained out of Babytalk as soon as possible and that publishing a book describing the vagaries and vocabulary of Babytalk is a waste of paper. It is my earnest hope that this resource will be of some assistance to either Adult babies or Age Regression writers wanting to duplicate baby speech.
Pre-speech Vocalizations and Sound Effects
Organization and Formatting of Infant Dialog
Word Choice Criteria
Adult Words & Infant Idioms
Descriptive Words &
Sentence Structure Pre-speech Vocalizations and Sound Effects Regressive Speech Occasionally one wants to create a scene in which the protagonist is fully aware while he is undergoing regression and attempts to make a final statement or plea for mercy. This can be simply achieved by elongating the words with repeated vowels and substituting "w" for the initial "l" and "r" sounds. The "th" sound may be replaced with a "z" in some cases, but often that substitution makes the dialog difficult to read. Drop the final hard consonants from the words and insert periods to indicate difficulty in enunciation. For example; Take the final statement, "No! Stop! Don't turn me into a baby! I'm sorry! I'll be good! I promise! Please? No! Make me a man again, for the love of God! gaaaaa…maga-goo..napa….baaaaaa….waaaaaaaaaa!!!" and apply the changes. This becomes after transformation, "Nooooo…stooooop!….don..tun..me..inna..baaabie!…'mmmm sowie!…i..be goooo…i..pwomisss…pleeeeease?…..nooooooooo!…maga..me..a..mannn aga…fo..zee..wuv..o'..gaa!… gaaaaa…maga-goo..napa….baaaaaa….waaaaaaaaaa!!!" Organization
Pre-speech Vocalizations and Sound Effects
Occasionally one wants to create a scene in which the protagonist is fully aware while he is undergoing regression and attempts to make a final statement or plea for mercy. This can be simply achieved by elongating the words with repeated vowels and substituting "w" for the initial "l" and "r" sounds. The "th" sound may be replaced with a "z" in some cases, but often that substitution makes the dialog difficult to read. Drop the final hard consonants from the words and insert periods to indicate difficulty in enunciation. For example; Take the final statement, "No! Stop! Don't turn me into a baby! I'm sorry! I'll be good! I promise! Please? No! Make me a man again, for the love of God! gaaaaa…maga-goo..napa….baaaaaa….waaaaaaaaaa!!!" and apply the changes.
This becomes after transformation, "Nooooo…stooooop!….don..tun..me..inna..baaabie!…'mmmm sowie!…i..be goooo…i..pwomisss…pleeeeease?…..nooooooooo!…maga..me..a..mannn aga…fo..zee..wuv..o'..gaa!… gaaaaa…maga-goo..napa….baaaaaa….waaaaaaaaaa!!!"
Organizationand Formatting of Infant Dialog
Proper organization of your infant's dialog will allow the writer to express much more complex ideas with pseudo-babytalk than could an average infant. The trick is to appear to be writing in babytalk while one is actually using a modified form of adult dialog. Several techniques may be employed together to create the illusion that one is reading actual infant speech. For example, childish spelling may be used that harkens back to the phonetic spelling used by young school children, i.e., "luv" could be used in the place of "love". Deliberate misspelling make also be employed to demonstrate the baby's inability to form sounds with his vocal apparatus. (See the Pronunciation section for examples.) Sound words such as bang or boom can also heighten the feeling that one is listening to a small child. If the baby is talking to himself, then capitalization may be dropped to make the dialog appear more childish to the eye. Another useful technique is to use adult dialog in parallel with baby dialog. The writer can describe a scene in which the adults are talking in normal dialog while the infant is either thinking to himself or trying to communicate with the adults. The contrast of the adult dialog with the baby's poor linguistic efforts will make the babytalk seem that much more clumsy.
All these techniques can be employed together to produce a convincing simulation of infant speech. Increasing the number of techniques while reducing and regressing the perceived vocabulary of the speaker can be combined with the description of the diminishing perspicacity of the protagonist to produce a satisfying depiction of rejuvenation into infancy.
Word Choice Criteria
The vocabulary of small children is extremely limited. For example: At 9-12 months the average vocabulary is 4-5 words. At 15-18 months the average vocabulary is 5-10 words. At 2-3 years the average vocabulary is 300 words. They begin making short sentences at this point and construct short phrases like, "What's that?", "Where's dolly?", "No want!" and "Mommy go!". The average toddler of 3 has a vocabulary of 450 words, can match 3-4 colors and knows the difference between big and little. Care should be given to the appropriate word choice for the age which you are describing. The following lexicon may be used as a resource to common baby usages.
An Abbreviated Lexicon of Infantine Words
Adult Words in Common Use by Babies
cookie candy juice
Sound Effects Words
Bang! Ding, ding! Crash! Bow-wow!
Beep, Beep! Vroom, vroom! tweet, tweet!
"All fall down!" Idiom: He, she or it has fallen over or down.
"All gone!" Idiom: vanished, finished, completed, not present
"Go pee-pee!" Idiom: To urinate
"Go poo-poo!" Idiom: To defecate
"Go walkies!" Idiom: To go for a walk
Additional Words that an Age Regression Writer May Find Useful in Describing a Nursery or Baby Furnishings
baby buggy: noun, (US), A baby carriage.
babydoll dress: noun, A very short infant or toddler dress with little to no waist, usually made with puffed sleeves.
baby seat: noun, a specially constructed seat for infants and small children that is secured to the safety belt of an auto.
babble: noun, 1.To utter indistinct, meaningless sounds. 2. To make a continuous low, murmuring sound.
bassinet: noun, A small basket-like bed for infants.
binkie: noun, (US, infantile), A pacifier, named after company that made a popular brand of pacifiers.
Birdseye: noun, A type of fabric used in infant wear whose weave is characterized by repeated small diamonds with small depressions in the center, the appearance of this pattern is that of a stylized bird's eye.
blanket sleeper: noun, A sleeper made with a soft, heavy velour material, see sleeper
blathering: verb, To speak nonsensically.
bootie: also bootee, noun, A soft, usually knitted shoe for a baby.
bottle-feed: verb, To feed, as a baby, with a bottle.
breast-feed: verb, To feed (a baby) mother's milk from the breast; suckle.
bunting bag: noun, An insulated, one-piece garment that encloses the legs together, with sleeves and hood. Usually zippered down the center of the front.
burp: noun, A belch, verb. burped, burping., burps. intransitive verb, To belch. transitive verb, To cause (a baby) to belch, esp. after feeding.
carriage (baby): noun, A four wheeled conveyance with bedding that allows an infant to be transported laying down.
cereal feeder: noun, A baby bottle fitted with a nipple with an oversized hole or X-cut nipple to allow pasty foods such as puréed cereal to be sucked through the nipple. Made with a sliding bottom fitting that allows the caregiver to apply pressure at the bottom to assist the baby's feeding.
changing pad: noun, A waterproof pad used under an infant while changing a baby's diaper
changing table: noun, A table or platform for changing a baby's diaper.
cot: noun, (Brit.), A crib
cradle: noun, A small, low bed for an infant, often furnished with rockers, verb,-dled., -dling., -dles. transitive verb, 1. To place or hold in or as if in a cradle. 2. To care for or nurture in infancy.
crawler: noun, A long-sleeved, one-piece garment, usually front-opening, with elastic cuffs at wrists and ankles.
crawling: verb, To move slowly by dragging the body along the ground without the use of the legs.
crèche: noun, (Brit.), A foundling hospital, a day nursery, a daycare center.
creeping: verb, To move on hands and knees with the body close to the ground.
crib: noun, (US), A small bed enclosed on the sides by lattice or bars.
crinoline: noun, A stiff fabric used to make skirts in infants and toddler dresses.
daycare center: noun, (US), nursery for the care of infants and small children during the day.
diaper: noun, A piece of cloth or other absorbent material, folded and pinned around a baby to serve as underpants, -verb, to put a diaper on (a baby).
drooling bib: noun, A terrycloth or absorbent cloth bib used to soak up a baby's drool.
dry nurse: noun, A nurse employed to care for an infant without breast-feeding it.
dummy: noun, (Brit.), A pacifier.
empire waistline: an extremely high waistline used in toddler's baby doll dresses. The waistline is usually set halfway between the hip and the shoulders. This has the effect of making the wearer's torso appear proportionally shorter as well as exposing the undergarments of the wearer. Since the underwear of small children are frequently rhumba panties or diapers, the psychological effect of such a high waisted garment is to make the child appear much younger to the causal observer than her actual age. If the child's limb proportions have developed beyond early childhood, the short skirt length will make the child's legs look longer and expose the fraud. In the later case, the garment would give the child a ridiculous or absurd appearance of superannuated infancy.
feces: n. Solid waste, excreted by an animal. Usually referred to as potty, crap, po-po, ca-ca, number 2, etc.
feeding bib: noun, a plastic or fabric bib used during a baby's feeding.
feeding spoon: noun, A small spoon with a protective rubber coating used for feeding infants.
fitted diaper: noun, diaper manufactured with an hourglass shape to fit the curves of the body.
flannelette: noun, A soft cotton cloth with a nap, used chiefly for diapers, baby clothes and underclothing.
formula: noun, A liquid food prescribed for an infant and containing most required nutrients.
French Romper: noun, synonymous with Onesie
gate (child or baby): noun, A protective gate mounted across a door way, stairs, etc., to prevent access by small children.
gibber: noun, To speak rapidly and unintelligibly.
gurgle: verb, To make a bubbling sound.
high chair: noun, An elevated chair with an integral tray and safety strap used to hold an infant for feeding.
hooded towel: noun, A square towel, with a triangular flap at one corner which is used to cover the head.
infant: noun, A very young child who has not learned to speak; (newborn to ~12 months)
infant school: noun, (Brit.), A kindergarten.
jabber: noun, To talk rapidly and unintelligibly.
jumper: noun, 1. A one-piece garment consisting of an overall-like upper part and a skirt, joined at the waist. 2. A padded seat that hangs from a door frame with a clamp attached to three spring-loaded straps used as an infant exerciser.
jumpsuit: A one-piece outer-garment, usually with long sleeves and legs with snapped seams at the legs and crotch.
kimono: A sleeved, robe-like garment that opens in the front. Usually ties at bottom with a drawstring.
kindergarten: noun, (US), a school that educates with games and toys children from the age of 3 to 6 years.
lapped shoulders/collar: a style typically used in infant T-shirt where the shoulders are formed by two pieces of overlapping fabric so that the collar can be opened fully by pulling the front and back of the collar open.
layette: A set of clothing and equipment for an infant. Usually consisting of gowns, slip-on shirts, snap side shirts, onesies, drooling bibs, washcloths, towel and booties when bought as a set. Generically; an infant's wardrobe.
mess: noun, feces, verb, To defecate, usually into or on an object. Soil.
messy: Soiled, containing or marked by feces.
nappy: (Brit.) A diaper.
nickers: n., a pant-like garment that extends from the waist to the top of the knee.
Nuk: noun, A manufacturer of orthodontic baby bottle nipples that simulate a human breast. Generically, an orthodontic nipple.
nurser: noun, A baby bottle.
nursery: noun, 1. A room or area set apart for the use of children. 2. A nursery school. 3. A place for the temporary care of children.
nursery school: noun, A school for children who are not old enough to attend kindergarten.
onesie: noun, A one piece garment similar to a T-shirt, with extensions that connect with snaps or velcro pads under the crotch.
overall: noun, A one piece garment consisting of a pair of pants with sections to cover the front and pack of the chest. These sections are connected by straps which pass over the shoulders. Usually made with snaps running the length of the inseam of the legs from one cuff to the other.
pacifier: noun, A rubber or plastic nipple or teething ring for a baby to suck or chew on.
panty: n., a garment, usually an feminine undergarment, covering the abdomen from waist to hip. It is usually loose fitting, but drawn with elastic at the waist and leg openings.
pinafore: noun, A sleeveless gown that fastens in back, often worn as an outer covering.
perambulator: noun, (Brit.), A baby carriage.
playpen: noun, A portable enclosure in which a baby can be left to play.
play-yard: noun, see playpen.
prate: noun, To chatter
prattle: noun, 1. To make infantile meaningless sounds, 2. To speak simply and artlessly.
prefold diaper: noun, diaper manufactured with padding in the center to eliminate the need to create an absorbent center fold.
potty: noun, (US, infantile), A small pot for use as a toilet by an infant or young child.
potty chair: noun, (US, infantile), A chair fitted with a small pot for use as a toilet by an infant or young child.
preschool: noun, adjective, A nursery school, Of, pertaining to, or designed for a child of nursery school age.
receiving blanket: noun, A lightweight blanket used to wrap a baby esp. after a bath.
romper: noun, 1. A type of overall with a billowing lower half. 2. A type of short sleeved, legless overall where the bottom section is pulled up between the legs and fastened to the waist.
rhumba panties: noun, A type of (waterproof) panty with rows of frills on the bottom. Usually made in the pull-on style, but sometimes found with side snaps. Generally considered to be a baby girl's attire
rhumba tights: noun, Similar to rhumba panties, but with stocking legs. Usually waterproofed with plastic liner in the crotch area.
rubber duckies: noun, A usually opaque waterproof pant used as a diaper cover.
rugrat: noun, (US, slang), A small child whose chief method of locomotion is creeping or crawling on the floor.
sleeper: noun, A one piece garment of simple construction, usually with long sleeves, sometimes with foot coverings. Usually made with snaps (young infant) or zipper (older baby) running down the inseam of one leg from the foot up the crotch to the neck.
shortall: noun, A one piece garment, similar to an overall , but with short legs. Usually has a snap crotch.
side-snap shirt: noun, a type of T-shirt that opens from collar to bottom hem on one side of the chest which fastens with snaps.
stroller: noun, A four-wheeled conveyance used for shopping which carries the infant in a sitting position.
sunsuit: noun, A pair of shorts that include a form of light chest cover, possibly a overall-like piece or a halter top. Usually made with without snaps, but if present, they run the length of the inseam of the legs.
swaddle: noun, A band or cloth used for swaddling. -transitive verb-dled., -dling., -dles. 1. To wrap or bind in bandages; swathe. 2. To wrap a baby in swaddling clothes.
swaddling clothes: noun, Strips of cloth wrapped around a newborn infant to hold its legs and arms still.
teething ring: noun, A ring of hard rubber or plastic upon which a teething baby can bite.
toddler: noun, A very young child, older than an infant, but still considered a baby, "one who toddles"; baby between the ages of 1 to 3 years old.
topping and tailing: a method of washing a baby where the baby's body is cleaned without removing the baby's clothes entirely; a type of sponge bath.
walker: noun, A wheeled frame device used to support an infant learning to walk.