Vocabulary of a two and a half year old

When I have nothing else to do, I spend 2 hours recording the vocabulary of my 2.5 year old daughter. Why am I doing it? For no other reason than curiosity. Well, also, I was wondering how long it would take before I could speak as fluently in Telugu as she does in English? I mean, how many words do I have to master ( grammatical construction aside). Turns out as many as 402!

While indulging in this amusing pastime, I also learnt that:

A 2-3 year old’s vocab is usually anywhere between 200-300 words

To provide perspective, here’s what somebody has put up in wikianswers:

Grade 1 Student = 1,000+ words

Normal Person (Graduate) = 5,000 to 6,000+ words

University Professor = 15,000+ words

Spelling Bee Winners = 30,000+ (as claimed by them)

College Dictionary (Abridged) = 50,000 – 70,000

Total Words in English Language = 250,000+ (Growing)

Dictionary (Un-abridged) with derivatives = 450,000+

Shakespeare used 60,000 words

Anyway, she’s got a long way to go, especially if she’s going to be standing on the Spelling Bee podium. But as of now, I’m quite a proud mother, since I attribute a large part of her vocab learning to my own conversations with her ( she’s spent most of her time with me after all!).

Here’s the whole ( unabridged list) of words N knows and can use accurately in English ( she also can do a little bit of Hindi, and a few words of Assamese). Highlighted some of the ones that are non-typical. My favorites are : massage and pedicure 🙂

Body parts
Eyes ears nose head teeth chin mouth tongue cheek hair bum hand arm fingers nail leg feet toe stomach armpit moustache

Fruits
Banana apple orange pineapple mango watermelon grapes papaya

Vegetable
Tomato Potato beans carrot

Food
Rice daal roti curds milk shakes ice-cream water juice

Clothes
Pant half-pant t-shirt jeans panty socks shoes

Animals
Hippo rhino tiger lion mouse monkey zebra giraffe crocodile chicken duck pig gorilla camel turtle elephant cat dog dinosaur crab rabbit sheep lamb cow buffalo horse goat octopus shark fish

Birds
Pigeon crow parrot peacock ostrich

Flowers  Tree plant pot gardening

Daddy mummy friend teacher grand-father grand-mother aunt

I want to do where is you a tell that throw Dance sing play clap eat jump sleep drink exercise rhyme big hug little small tall fat thin how smile sad happy angry scary thing school kiss love please thanks sorry special thunder rain light darkness good bad why what know shop playground swing see-saw sand box Sofa chair bed table phone bangle bindi chips less more give take baby girl boy man woman enough tomorrow today get up down come here there everybody not yes no one two three four black red green yellow orange blue brown black white pink in at and but because pull push downstairs tennis basketball cricket football spicy TV movie cartoon sweet salt sugar curtains glass plate spoon fork Talk her him Book yoga waterbottle computer laptop god airport plane car seat bus truck cycle scooter basket mirror bottle sticker fridge kitchen bedroom butter burger pizza paneer cheese road jam jelly peanut-butter Doll toys teddy ball blocks clock window sky sun moon stars oil bath shower bucket candle birthday balloon cake gift bag dots doctor also door kite butterfly tea coffee paper comb dress cap uniform toothpaste toothbrush soap shampoo Bread noodles soup massage pedicure restaurant pressure-cooker specs break pillow crayon colouring camera call blackboard write behind look wall fan floor bangles lift towel hanky sandals scratch knife hurt fell around paining drum cover remove bike wash laugh pluck ground fallen cloth mosquito well fever cough piano skin so do clip slowly careful mischief tear break hole naughty shout scream howl step only lie truth stamp beat scold photo feel umbrella mouth snake scared happen okay boots tears jacket sweater shorts hair-band disturb trouble nosey diaper powder swim swimsuit necklace purse lipstick nailpolish touch racquet teach learn stick nailcutter shave find with earrings

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One thought on “Vocabulary of a two and a half year old

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