Oliver-Honest MumMy American Boy-Photograph by Kirsty Mattson.

I was actually going to name this post as ‘The Americanisation of my son’ with maybe the use of ‘z’ not ‘s’ in Americansation to be, well a little ironic.

But then I decided (My) American Boy would be catchier and those googling Estelle’s classic featuring Kanye might just stumble on my ramblings and come to appreciate the cultural imperialism of the US over kids in Britain today. You still with me? This gets better, don’t worry.

So the other day, I noticed Oliver, just 4 (going on 14 or maybe even 44 he’s that frustratingly mature at times) calls ‘films’, ‘movies’ (*gasp) and probably not surprisingly with the amount of quite frankly brilliant American erm films he watches along with these other terms:

airplane as well saying aeroplane

cookies for biscuits (guilty too)

Truck (lorry)

Garbage truck (dustbin truck)

Sprinkles (hundreds and thousands)

OK it’s not an incredible amount of Americanised words but it’s recently become obvious to me. The list of films he loves and returns to are American (and that’s more an indication of the US dominance over the struggling British film industry than anything else)-the US majors dominate kids’ films so the list usually involves Despicable Me 1 and 2, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Tangled (you get the ‘picture’)…

And let me add these are magnificient films, emotive, cathartic, stimulating movies (I love this word too). (My son’s hair is also inspired by the American Gap style and I love a boy with long hair).

…We do also watch Cbeebies of course, good Old Aunty Beeb informing whiles entertaining (always and forever more) but the ones currently having the biggest impact on his ever expanding vocabulary seem to be US derived or maybe it just seems that way as they’re more unusual so apparent.

Let’s not forget kids are sponges, soaking up all that is around them.

There’s nothing wrong with any of this of course but it’s fascinating to me, in the same way my son is picking up the Greek language (I’m originally Greek) daily, the media is influencing him in ways I never previously considered.

At least if we do ever move to LA one day, (as we often discuss), he’ll fit right in with the other kids ‘in class’.

Right I’m off to watch a movie now!

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18 Responses

  1. Tom Briggs

    There are so many Americanisms creeping in, aren’t there? Hope your post-naming strategy got you loads of traffic! 😉

  2. Mel

    Haha, that’s quite funny! My kids had a Columbian accent after spending their weeks days with our lovely childminder. all their Vs were pronounced B: DVDs were DBDs, etc. I used to love that! x Mel

    • honestmum

      @Mel aw that sounds lovely, I adore how kids are absorb so much, my eldest took on a Greek accent too when he was much younger from all the time spent with his Grandparents x

  3. Tory Knowles

    Ha ha! This made me laugh, mainly because when we bought Arthur the ubiquitous cookie jar sorting toy that sings a song. My mum insisted on renaming it the biscuit tin! But like you most of the films he returns to are American, apart from Harry Potter. For Harry I’m eternally gratefully for the injection of ‘Englishness’!

    • honestmum

      @Tory haha, renaming the cookie jar-love it! Yes Harry Potter has done a lot for the British Film industry and is quintessentially English!

  4. Notmyyearoff

    Little z was saying “zee” for ages because of an alphabet app on the iPad. It’s so amusing what they pick up isn’t it? He’s also picked up a few very northenly things but says “baaaarth” (bath) like a complete southerner!

    • honestmum

      @Notmyyear off aw love that, see Oliver (despite now living up North) says barth like a Londoner yet grass (like a Northerner)-my parents’ Greek accents used to rub off on him when he was a baby which was adorable. I love exploring the impact of location, family and the media on kids at these crucial formative stages!

  5. Margarita @ West Coast Mama

    He is such a sweet looking boy! I wouldn’t worry too much, this all makes him “worldly” and ready to be an “international playboy” at a moment’s notice!

    Funny tidbit: My daughter (we’re Canadian in Canada) was watching Thomas the Train Engine on youtube, and it was the British version, and she was freaking out that it was ALL WRONG. That’s NOT what they sound like in real life! 😉

    • honestmum

      @Margarita haha that’s hysterical, thanks for your fab comments-can totally see Oliver becoming an international playboy come movie star!!!

  6. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    This is quite fascinating and makes me consider the content that my children will (and do) view. I’m such a Brit, and enjoy the English english language immensely. Letter ‘zed’, not ‘zee’ here when we sing the alphabet. I also heard a rumour that ‘Santa’ is American (as opposed to Father Christmas), but this could be inaccurate.

    • honestmum

      @Fiona really interesting, I googled it and apparently the Dutch presented Sinterklaaus to American colonies and they changed it to Santa. American content is influencing our children, that’s for sure.

    • honestmum

      @Mummytoboyz that’s so funny-apparently before 8 kids who move countries, take on accents-seems TV can influence too!

  7. Ebabee

    Ha, ha… just the other day I found myself asking A “When did you become American?!” Apart from using American words, she even talks to her toys in an American accent which is pretty hilarious actually!!

  8. honestmum

    @Anya good to hear not just mine then and of course reading will influence too-thanks for the compliment, photographer Kirsty captured him so well x

  9. Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer

    I’ve noticed the same with mine – especially the 8yo now he’s reading the Wimpy Kid books. He’s often throwing words like ‘Baloney’ and ‘Garbage’ around (as well as being a bit too defiant!) 😉 Your boys are gorgeous 🙂 x


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