History of the word ‘Doudou’


  Most children at some point in their early years become attached to a favourite teddy or comfort blanket.  For us it is ‘Dog Dog’ a now slightly greyer and smellier version of his former self, and ‘cow’ a comforter or ‘doudou’.  Lucky for us our little boy only requests the companionship of dog dog and cow at bedtime and first thing after waking, but they come as a pair – one is no good without the other!  I am sure many of you can empathise then when on a recent holiday in France I managed to leave dog dog and cow under the blankets in our hotel room, and only an hour into the long journey through France did I realise what I had done. This is when I recommend that you always buy two or three copies of your little ones most cherished thing – at some point they will get lost whether it be thrown out of the buggy or inadvertantly left behind.  As well as that at some point you will want to wash your <strong>doudou</strong>.  Numerous times have dog dog and cow been taken down off the washing line still wet, or worse still caused tears as my little one has watched dog dog and cow go round and round the washing machine!  I digress – thankfully however, using my best French I managed to explain to the hotel on the phone my situation (at least they understood the word doudou!) and both dog dog and cow were posted first class to our destination! Not ‘cow’, but a similar, cleaner ‘rabbit’ doudou:– 

History and meaning of the Word ‘Doudou’

I thought it would be interesting, therefore, to have a look into the history and meaning of the word ‘doudou’.  As a parent I think of the word ‘doudou’ to mean a soft piece of fabric (usually with the head of a teddy, rabbit, cow…) which is used as a comforter for babies and toddlers. As the name suggests it does have its origins in French – well Creole French (French spoken in the West Indies) from the word ‘doux’ meaning ‘sweet’ and is also used as a term of endearment or girlfriend or boyfriend.  Surprisingly I did find that it has also been used as a baby name. The Website ‘Speak French’ describes a doudou as a ‘blankie’ and states that it is not derived from the word ‘dormir’ to sleep but from ‘doux’ meaning ‘sweet’ as above.  The word ‘dodo’ however does come from ‘dormir’ and means to go to sleep or nap. So I have learnt a little something today, if not at least to buy another dog dog and cow!