Passionate About Genesee County
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Pet Names for Your Children That Won’t Teach Them Bad Words or Scar Them for Life

Unless you have somehow been blessed with little non-human offspring who never, ever, ever do any wrong, you have probably wanted to call your child a name before. Obviously, we teach our children that name-calling is not a nice thing to do, but life happens. Children aren’t perfect. Moms are absolutely not perfect. And sometimes, pet names or goofy names are just plain fun.

Another awesome piece by Adrienne Hedger! / From

So, the purpose of my tirade today is to help you out when you might be tempted to call your child a brat, or a worse four-letter word that rhymes with “grit.” It may feel necessary, but it can’t be taken back, and in all seriousness, we don’t want to give our children a complex or harm their self-worth.

With that in mind, here are some more playful names that you can add to your everyday Mom Lexicon:

“Sneaky Snook”

Used in a sentence: “I saw you take the last cookie without asking, you Sneaky Snook!”

This one originated in Jake and the Never Land Pirates, which makes it familiar to my kiddos, and they get a kick out of it. It’s one of my favorites. And, it’s just odd enough that we use it all the time, in any situation. Being playful, being silly, or when steam is coming out of my ears.

In the same vein: “Codfish”


Used in a sentence: “Why are you being such a pest today?”

This is my all-time go-to moniker when I have an urge to say something much nastier. “Pest” is much better than calling your child a jerk or a bully or a meanie-head. (Not to mention, I’d much rather overhear my little doves calling other children “pests” on the playground than something with more weight behind it.)


Used in a sentence: “Come back here, you little imp!” (Especially while your toddler runs away from you in the parking lot)

No, this is not necessarily a Game of Thrones reference, though I’m sure thinking of Peter Dinklage’s character every time you use it might bring a smile and add another layer of meaning to it. I have always thought of this word accompanied by the face of a trouble-making but good-natured little cherub, ready to get up to some mischief.

I think my children have sufficient sass to be on a level with Tyrion Lannister. / Photo from

I will sort of understand if some people take this far too literally and accuse me of calling my child a demon, even if I absolutely don’t agree with that assessment. I will not be seeking any exorcists. It’s a cute little three-letter word that trips off the tongue.


Used in a sentence: “Put that down, you little so-and-so!”

Am I the only exceedingly nerdy person who really loves old-fashioned and old-timey phrases? I certainly hope not. I feel like I’m living in a Jimmy Stewart or Debbie Reynolds movie when I break this one out.

In the same vein: “Jackanapes” (which is singular, despite what my husband tries to insist), “rapscallion,” “hooligan”


Used in a sentence: “Please be a good little Wombeast and pick up your toys.”

Sofia and Wilbur the Wily Wombeast / Photo from

This is another Disney-originated nickname that we throw around in our house. (I am not being reimbursed by Disney — I’m really just this Disney-centric.) In an episode of Sofia the First, Sofia befriends a seemingly gruff and crotchety creature called a Wombeast. The lesson here is that he’s just lonely and hungry. Sofia, of course, discovers that he is a lovable, sweet guy. That kind of sounds like my loves-to-growl threenager.

In the same vein: “Neverbeast” could be used, with the same inference, because Gruff from “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast” is growly but is really a teddy bear on the inside.


Used in a sentence: “You’re not supposed to climb up the slide, you crazypants!”

I pull this one out pretty often with my 3-year-old Wombeast, as mentioned above. He’s kind of the embodiment of the name “crazypants.”

Really any two-syllable word could replace “crazy” in this name. Noisypants. Sleepypants. Crankypants. Sillypants. Why is it that adding the word “pants” to the end of something makes it instantly funny? (Am I no better than a little boy??)

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