A gladly is my proposed term for a mishearing, misremembering or just total lack of understanding of some word or phrase by a young child. Some gladlies are mondegreens, but not all are.
The first comes from a food blog by a New Zealander now living in Australia. She used to call her daughter ‘My darling Clementine’. At the age of 3½ the girl got a little confused and started calling her mother My Darling Lemon Thyme. So that is what the blog is called. Check it out. It’s a good ‘un.
The second came from a young acquaintance of mine many years ago, but about which I have only just heard. The daughter of a friend was so pleased that she could ride her bike properly that she went around telling everyone that she could now ride it without the fertilisers on the back.
Finally, a young man I know insisted, at the age of about 3, that what we know as guinea pigs are actually called piggynigs.
In order to avoid any anguish amongst my readers I’d better spell out why I call these things gladlies. It comes from an old and very possibly apocryphal story about a kid who called his/her teddy bear Gladly. When asked why, s/he said, “Because of the song we sing in church, Gladly My Cross-eyed Bear.