76 Times Kids Cracked Adults Up With Their ‘Alternative’ Names For Common Things

All those in favor of renaming ‘cough drops’ to ‘medicine beans’ and ‘knives’ to ‘kitchen swords,’ raise your hands and say, ‘Aye!’ Some of the biggest advantages of being a kid include unlimited naptime, having little to no responsibilities, and being able to speak your mind. For example, when you don’t know a word, you simply unleash your imagination and work around it in the most creative way possible.

Kristen Mulrooney is an editor at the humor publication The Belladonna, and one of the most interesting humorists and parents you can follow on Twitter. Her anecdotes about her life as a mom-of-three are hilarious and relatable. Recently, she went viral after sharing how her 3-year-old daughter called cough drops ‘medicine beans,’ and inspired other parents to share their own stories about the creative workarounds their kids had for some words. Scroll down for their awesome tweets, and get ready to have a good giggle. Oh, and don’t forget to upvote your fave stories.

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Bored Panda reached out to Kristen with a few questions about her post, how to help kids remain creative and confident as they start school, and what advice she’d give new parents if they’re feeling overwhelmed by everything. Read on for the full interview!

This isn’t the first time that Bored Panda has featured writer and satirist Kristen’s fun and witty Twitter threads. You’ll find our previous article about the Mystery of the Missing Apple Cores right over here

More info: Twitter | Instagram | KristenMulrooney.com

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Bored Panda was incredibly curious to learn what went through Kristen’s head when she first heard the term ‘medicine beans.’

“I loved how confident my daughter was when she said it, and rightfully so because I knew exactly what she was talking about,” Kristen, who runs the humor publication The Belladonna, shared with us.

“She’s the youngest of my three children and I’ve spent the last five years watching these three little people acquiring language. It’s so fascinating to see how they sort it all out and develop workarounds to manage the gaps in their communication.”


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Meanwhile, one thing that we’ve noticed is that it’s quite difficult to stay as courageous and creative as when we were kids. There seem to be so many things to worry about when you’re a teenager or a grownup! We were curious about Kristen’s approach when it comes to helping kids stay creative and confident, as they start attending school.

“I’m a former teacher and I’ve surprised myself a little bit with my outlook on school as a parent—I’m finding I’m less concerned with good grades and more focused on my kids finding something that inspires them,” she told Bored Panda.

“My oldest is seven years old, which still seems so young, but it’s the same age I was when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I try to take his interests seriously because they might be a huge part of the adult he grows into.” That’s the type of optimism and encouragement that we love to hear about. Have a think back to when you were around that age, dear Pandas. What did you want to do back then? (And, perhaps slightly less importantly, do you think it’s too late for yours truly to become an intergalactic astronaut?)


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Finally, we were interested in Kristen’s advice for new parents who might be struggling with everything and might think they have no clue what they’re doing. Feeling overwhelmed, however, is something that most parents face.

“I hope all new parents understand that the rest of us are overwhelmed, struggling, and clueless too. The hardest thing for me was feeling like there was something wrong with me because everyone else seemed like they had it together. I write about parenthood because when I was a new parent, it helped me so much to understand that it isn’t easy for anyone. And it becomes a lot easier when you give yourself a break,” Kristen explained to us.

Writer Kristen’s thread was a wild success. At the time of writing, her post had gotten over 1.6 million views and more than 48.4k likes on the social media platform. But the numbers, though they’re very impressive, are just the icing (aka ‘Christmas glue’) on the cake.

The real victory was getting all of the other parents to open up about their own lives and share stories about their family life. The words and phrases that these parents’ kids use to describe the things that they have no clue what they’re called are beyond hilarious.


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We fully support the idea that there should be a petition to allow for a bit of flexibility in how we speak. For example, we’d love to talk about ‘nexterday’ instead of ‘tomorrow.’ Why call someone ‘bald’ when you can go for the charmingly elegant ‘spoon-headed’? And who needs a knife and fork at the dinner table when you can ask for a fork and a ‘kitchen sword’?

These are all brilliant names for things, and we wish that this sort of verbal playfulness would be a tad more widespread at schools, universities, and workplaces around the world. This is the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that inspires people to start writing and creating. And we need more of it in real life.

The last time that Bored Panda reached out to Kristen, we had a chat about writing high-quality, humorous content on Twitter and how parents can get their children to eat something new.

“I’m an editor for humor publication The Belladonna and I always tell our writers that the secret to quality humor is being super specific and super universal at the same time,” she explained to us that writing in a relatable way is what’s important.


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“I think that’s especially true for tweets. If you can paint the funny scene, that’s great, but it really takes off when people can relate to it and have their own funny scene they’re eager to share, too,” Kristen shared some great advice for anyone who hopes to stand out on Twitter with their comedic posts.


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The mom told Bored Panda that two ways that parents can get their kids to try out new foods are ‘bribing’ them and making things as playful as possible.

“My three kids take some convincing with vegetables, but they’ll fall for the ‘you’re a dinosaur and this broccoli is a tree’ bit every time,” she shared with us during an earlier interview (and we hope all of you Panda Parents are taking notes—the broccoli/tree tactic really works).

“Asparagus is an easy one because I can turn it into a science experiment. They’ll shovel asparagus into their mouths after I tell them it makes your pee smell funny,” the mom joked.


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Kristen is based in a small town near Boston. She is the winner of the 2022 Erma Bombeck Humorist-in-Residence program, and her writing has been featured in a wide range of publications, including The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, House Beautiful, The Weekly Humorist, Popular Science, and elsewhere.

She has also co-written Gilmore Girls: The Official Cookbook, and her writing has appeared in the anthology Embrace the Merciless Joy: The McSweeney’s Internet Tendency Guide to Rearing Small, Medium, and Large Children.


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One of the best things about parenting tweets is that they show the wide range of ups and downs of family life: there are numerous challenges when raising a child, but all of the funny and wholesome moments more than make up for it.

However, some parents fall into the trap of thinking that they need to be ‘perfect.’ Already exhausted from ‘regular’ parenting, they overwhelm themselves further by putting a lot of additional stress on their shoulders, worried that their children might be ‘lagging behind’ everyone else’s. Whether that’s in terms of education or skills.


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As we’ve covered on Bored Panda some time ago, this desire for ‘perfection’ and total control can backfire quite a bit. Not just for the parents, but for their kids, too.

A childhood independence expert explained to us a while back that it’s a mistake for parents to try to protect their munchkins from ever feeling uncomfortable, frustrated, lonely, or scared. If they do this, their toddlers may grow up to be completely unprepared to deal with the challenges that real life throws at them. They might not be able to handle the unpleasant surprises they’ll have to deal with at school, work, and in other parts of their lives.


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As such, one of the best things that families can do is to encourage kids to be independent, confident, and resilient. You still love them and give them all the support that they need. However, you don’t rush to their aid the moment things get just a tiny bit tough for them.


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Which of these word workarounds made you laugh the most, Pandas? Were there any phrases that you’d prefer to use instead of the real names that people call things? What alternative names have your own children come up with for various things? We’d love to hear from you, so share your thoughts in the comments!


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Source: boredpanda.com

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