My Son’s Favorite Word That I Unknowingly Taught Him

He picks up a lot from watching me, I am also a standing eater. Although I usually get more of the food in my mouth.

He picks up a lot from watching me, I am also a standing eater. Although I usually get more of the food in my mouth.

I don’t live in his mind, so it’s probably a little assuming of me to say it’s his favorite word. It definitely reveals way too much about our home life.

Baby Daddy and I had been trying to figure out for a while what word Eli was trying to say. He would say this word over, and over again, with increasing volume and intensity, and we couldn’t figure out what he meant. One evening when we were handing off, we discussed these words. There were two: one that sounded like ba-ba-doi and another that sounded like yeh-pa-dee.

As we talked it out we realized what one of them was. Yeh-pa-dee. Say it out loud. Yehpadee. Still stumped? I’ll give you a hint: It’s a game show.

I’ve been trying to get on this game show for years, and I watch it every night. When Eli’s doctor asked if he had any screen time, I proudly told him no…. and then remembered that we watch this every evening promptly at 7 o’clock. When I told the doctor what show it was, he seemed amused and wasn’t concerned about Eli’s exposure to this side of television.

Still don’t know what the word is?


My son says Jeopardy.



We never did figure out what that other word was, but he stopped saying it, so I’m guessing he found a different way to get the point across.

I’m slightly pleased that Eli knows the word Jeopardy but also just barely abashed. It’s a big word for a year-and-half-old kid. It’s pretty impressive. It also is now how to he refers to any television. If the TV is on in the background, it’s “Jeopardy” to Eli. Even the TVs in the electronics department of stores are “Jeopardy! JEOPARDY!”. I don’t really know how to explain to others why my child is shouting the word Jeopardy every time we walk into a Costco.

There are worse words he could be repeating. There are more personal things he could be sharing about our family to random people—and I know those moments are sure to come down the road, in that magical, awful, golden age where children are little truth mongers. Jeopardy is a cute, harmless word for him to know. What Eli picking up the word Jeopardy shows me is that I have to watch how I talk and what I talk about in front of him, and that I needed to start last week.

The Steph You Should Know: If there is something you do every single day with your baby present, trust me, they’re picking it up. Which gives me a lot of (probably false) hope for early potty training.

My kid? He says Jeopardy. Maybe one day he’ll be the next Ken Jennings. (A mom can dream.)

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