Etymology of a bus

February 12, 2009

My mom was half homeschool mom, half errand runner during our formative years. We spent quite a lot of time in the car, so much so that we became absolute fiends at some of those great riding-in-the-car games. One of our favorites was counting woodies (that is, those cars with the faux wood strip across the side, most popular in old station wagons). Woody counting got to be a pretty competitive endeavor.

But I am losing my way here. Before we were old and mature enough to keep ourselves occupied with travel games, we entertained one another by waiting for someone to say something, then jumping at the opportunity to make a correction to that person’s statement. Ben was often a prime target for such corrections, since he was just learning how to talk in the first place. On this particular occasion, both Shannon and I got to censor him. Double whammy.

Gazing out the window of our burgundy van, Ben noticed a big, yellow, you-guessed-it-already bus. Thrilled, he exclaimed in his little kid voice, “Look, a bup!”

I was on it. With my adorable lisp, I corrected him, “Ben, it’s not a buuuup, it’s a buth!”

Fortunately, Shannon was old enough to know how to pronounce words and to have outgrown any lisps she may have had. She turned around in her seat, gave us a smart, knowing look, and said, “No, it’s a BUS.”

Now that the story is in writing, it doesn’t seem too exciting. Nonetheless, I still get a kick out of it every single time.

Thanks to Shanny for this suggestion!



  1. no worries, sarah. shannon may have been the right one that day, but i’m convinced you and i scored way more that-is-freaking-adorable points.

  2. It might have been a “you had to be there” moment — but it still makes me smile everytime!

  3. My family, being linguistically inclined, had a discussion one day about why the plural of “bus” is “buses.” To this day, we’ll still point when we see a bus lot and say “Look! A fleet of bi!”

  4. I love it! And I’m not surprised, either. 🙂

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