What do you call it again?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had living abroad is building up an international vocabulary, in English. I studied in the UK so I speak English (GB) I married a Canadian so I often have to translate English (GB) into English (CA) and when I am online, well, I find myself translating into English (US). Confused?

Well, throw that into the mix with French. Here is a quick glossary of baby terms that vary wildly at times …

English (GB)  –  English (US)  –  French


  • Dummy   –  Pacifier   –  Sucette
  • Nappy  – Diaper  – Couche
  • Pram/push chair  –  Stroller  –  Pousette
  • Bodysuit  –  Onesie  –  Body
  • Sleeping Bag  – Sleep Sack  –  Gigoteuse


What have I missed? What did I get wrong?



13 thoughts on “What do you call it again?

  1. Sini

    I have heard also word tétine for pacifier 🙂

  2. Jocelyn

    I call a pacifer a binky, lol or binx for short!! But I think that’s more a nickname, rather than another word for it, does that make sense??

    1. MonicaSvenmarck

      I second the name binky. Binky was always the casual form of the word for pacifier. Grew up in the US and the only other word I’ve heard used there is dumdum. 🙂

  3. Martra

    You’re totally right if you said sleeping bag I would have a completely different idea of what you were talking about vs sleeping sack. Onesie vs bodysuit I’d know mostly because of BabyGap =). I think it so silly to call a pacifier a dummy! We call it a nuk or a nukie.

  4. Piglet in France

    How I wished I’d seen this when I was trying to buy baby stuff! I had to google the stuff on the hospital list to see what it looked like 🙁

    I’ve also heard sleeping bag called Turbulette in French (not sure on spelling though).

    Also, how about pyjamas? Some people here call there dors bien (sleep well?), others pyjamas… I never know which one to use.

    Took me a while to realise that a onesie is a onesie or bodysuit outside of France – I kept harping on about needing bodies and was met with blank (and worried) looks!

    1. mummyinprovence Post author

      It’s crazy trying to figuring out what the French are mean – every site seems to have a different name for the same think and then try to translate it into all the different words in English across the world … well, we could write a dictionary!

  5. Bill Dorman

    Oh, and then you can break each one of those down into the different dialects ie in the US you have the North & South & West.

    Do you ever wonder how the use of English changed so much and the accents involved. I mean back in the day if the US and Australia were essentially descended from Britain and Europe why do we talk so differently, huh?

    See how worldly I am; I can even comment on a baby site…:)

    1. erica

      I have some Scottish friends and I can’t understand them half the time anyway 🙂 but they call a onsie a babygrow.

      1. mummyinprovence Post author

        Hahaha accents throw yet another spin into the mix!

    2. mummyinprovence Post author

      Hey Bill, wow, so flattered to have you here! Always love having a Daddy on my site!

      Yeah, language evolution fascinates me! having learned English English from England I always maintain that my English is right even if I do add American words!!!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Annie Andre

    This is too funny and too familiar. I have the added problem of i speak french canadian, so i have to do
    French canadian, French France, english u.s. and english Canada. It all seems to work out though, except my husband gets really confused. Got to keeps him on his toes…

    1. Ameena Falchetto Post author

      It CAN get super confusing huh? I am always having that issue with my MiL and ultimately we end up using a French word or resorting to an US English word!


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