Wednesday 25 July 2018

Can you guess the correct meaning of these words? A vocab lesson from my moony son

Moon showing the afternoon

Anthony makes great observations. His latest one made me smile. He looked up at the afternoon sky and said "I can see the moon - in the day! It is very bright, yes, it's very moony this afternoon."

I loved this. At first I thought this was a funny way of adding a suffix to a word. I'm pretty sure Anthony had already been taught about adding -ed, -ing and recently -s to words. I thought it was incredibly sweet to add -y to moon to describe the clear afternoon as characterised by the moon. Just like it being cloud-y or sunn-y.

Of course, I was disappointed to learn that more commonly 'moony' actually means something else. I don't think using words oddly is in any way related to Anthony's autism, like other difficulties such as generalising.  This is just part of learning and growing a vocabulary.

When he actually uses the wrong word this is a case of catachresis, the (accidental) application of a term to something which it does not properly denote. Effectively getting the meaning wrong.

Here's a couple of examples of 'misused' words that I found that apply quite well to Anthony.

Anthony has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), so would you say he was very restive?

No? Well if you think restive means peaceful or rested you'd be wrong. In fact Anthony is very restive. It means unable to keep still or silent and becoming increasingly difficult to control.

When he's restive might he be noisome?

Generally no. If you thought it meant being noisy then that would apply to Anthony. He can make a complete racket when he's constantly moving he's only seven and rarely works up a sweat. Maybe when he's older he might be noisome, which actually means to omit an odour, but then I'll just have him run around in the shower for a bit.

And is he enervated?

Yes? Well sometimes, but not if you are thinking it means energised. Enervate means to cause someone to feel drained or weakened. Anthony can actually be enervated. One of things people often get confused about with kids with ADHD is thinking they have piles of energy.  Anthony does, but imagine constantly being forced by your body to be on the go - it can be exhausting when you just can't stop.

And finally moony

As an autistic boy, Anthony sometimes struggles to interact with his the world around him. So, I smiled when I looked up moony online to find that it describes someone as dreamy and unaware of one’s surroundings, for example because they are in love.

A bit like me around my kids sometimes ;-)

This post highlights the #wetalkmakaton sign of the week - "Moon"
This is not sponsored - we just love Makaton, it helps our family communicate


  1. It is part of him learning and using vocabulary. That should be encouraged as much as possible. I taught a lot of kids that are non-verbal and I always encouraged to say something even if wasn't right.#TriumphantTales

  2. This was a really interesting read. He sounds like such a lovely boy. Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales

  3. So sweet. Moony sounds like a lovely word. #DreamTeam

  4. For a second I thought you were going to point out the other moony meaning. I love this one. Dreamy. That's pretty darn lovely. It's fab hearing all the different words and endings children come up with. Thanks for joining us for the #dreamteam x

  5. I think sometimes the day is very moony. Nice post. #KCACOLS

  6. Thank you for helping to educate those of us, like me, who don't have all the terms down, and want to better understand so we can be better people in the world. Good read! #KCACOLS xoxo

  7. A great lesson and it makes sense when you explain like this. #KCACOLS

  8. What a lovely word! And, I'm sure it has special meaning to you and Anthony.

  9. This is very creative us of language! My daughter said something similar a while ago, starting from "the sun is very sunny", to "the night is very nighty" and "the door is very doory"! All very logical! #kcacols

  10. I love how you've broken down these words and the definition of moony is very sweet. I'm like that too! #kcacols

  11. These are really lovely words - shows just how much things change when you have a child with special needs. It's the little things that you don't really think of, too! Thanks so much for linking up to #KCACOLS. Hope to see you again next time!

  12. I have one with ADHD and Autism, and the words he makes up are amazing. Just a treasure trove of wordiness. So sweet and thanks for sharing #KCACOLS


I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

Have a look at our most recent posts:

@rainbowsaretoo Ann H on Google + rainbowsaretoo pinterest rainbowsaretoobeautiful bloglovin Instagram rainbowsaretoobeautiful