There is no R in Percy

When I gave birth to a boy I was determined not to allow him to become one of those nerdy kids infatuated with Thomas The Train. Not my boy. The show is weird and boring and decidedly uncool.

So I don’t know how we got to this point…where Kainoa is the proud owner of all things Thomas and I find myself searching every corner of this house for Thomas’s friends, Spencer, Toby, Henry, and the “sometimes accident prone” Percy to appease my crying son.

I’m also convinced that the makers of this show knew small boys sometimes skip the R sound in words. I find it a little to convenient that “Percy” is often mispronounced by three year olds everywhere. Do you know what word comes out when Percy is missing his R? Think…slang term for a female body part. Yes, we just went there.

Naturally, it is my son’s favorite train. He talks loudly about Percy without the R wherever we go…in the grocery store, at Grandma’s house, on a walk, at the beach, with his friends, down a slide…you name it. Seems we’re always talking about Percy without the R in this house.

And I cringe every time.

I knew Thomas the Train was a bad idea.

There are many words that I can’t stand…but there are no words I can’t stand the way I can’t stand when there is no R in Percy.



  1. says

    I have never thought of that, but when I finally got it, (it’s late, cut me some slack), I sucked an MnM into the back of my throat and nearly died laughing!

    Incidentally, my three year old constantly tells me that he’s horny. I’m the only one who knows that he’s trying to say “hungry”, so I try to make sure he’s always well fed before we go out in public.

  2. says

    My son loves Thomas and we’ve had to cut back how much he watches it. Its driving me crazy, so we have tried to find all the other kid friendly train shows. Needless to say that means we’ve watched alot of The Polar Express. Its terrible the things our kids say and what they mean, that often make us want to not go out in public. My son says “Daddy a**” which really means Daddy ask. I think about all the people who hear him say that and what they must think of me? Kids you got to love them! ;)

  3. says

    Boy, I’ m glad the boys a) find Thomas the Train boring as hell, and b) don’t talk much, as so not to embarrass me in public :)

  4. says

    I so feel your pain. My 1 1/2 year old has been walking around all day saying ‘book’ only is sounds a lot more like duck…only with an f. It’s fun for the whole family.

  5. says

    Grandson Seth says “booby” for Beauty, Movie and Booty – so he’s either singing about it with Macy Gray, watching it at the theater, telling mommy to “shake it”. I can’t wait until he tries to say “truck”.

    But worse, I think, is when they CAN pronounce the bad words, and do so…with gusto.

  6. says

    hahahahahahaha I know what this is like. We used to always ask my little brother what he ate his food with. A fork with out an R. My mom hated it and we just laughed.

  7. trash says

    Obviously I am dumb AND stupid (although officially no longer deaf) because I just don’t get it! I have tried all the different permutations of Percy without the ‘R’ I can think of and I STILL don’t get it.

  8. says

    Thomas is huge everywhere. As far as I remember, we didn’t have Thomas when I was growing up … or at least Thomas didn’t have his own tv show (I think there may have been a Thomas the Train book). all we had was Sesame Street, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, and Captain Noah (people in Philly know this).

  9. says

    This is too funny… it took me a minute or maybe I was in denial trying not to say it outloud. With four kids, I know all about those embarrassing moments when they are so confidently talking and saying all the wrong words.

  10. says

    Haha, oh no! I simultaneously cringed and laughed reading this.

    We were out to eat recently, and my almost two year old, Remmy, loves utensils. She screamed, “Fork! Fork!” over and over. And of course, without the R.

  11. says

    Sad to say that it took me a while to figure out the word that he was saying! I get it now! Yikes!

    It’s happened to me when the girls were younger and I’m sure that it’ll happen to me again when my son is older, but it’s still funny!

  12. says

    My boyfriend called couldn’t say truck for years, and was obsessed. His poor mother still talks about how he screamed in the middle of Saks look mommy a truck (but no t and an f instead) over and over.

    Hang in there Rs will come soon

  13. says

    We have successfully avoided Thomas the Train and now I am even more thankful for that!

    My son has his own set of words that lead to much embarrassment when out and about!

  14. says

    I’m laughing my “there’s no r in Percy” off. LOLOL

    Bud is also infatuated with trains, and while he has the Thomas toys he does not watch the show. Because my brain would probably fall out of my head if I had to watch it. He likes to watch YouTube videos of real trains. That’s bad enough, but luckily his Daddy does it with him.

  15. says

    I’m sorry, but that’s hilarious! I like ______, where’s _____? I love to play with ______, ______ is so cool…oh the list goes on of funny phrases that he could say with Percy without the R!

  16. says

    This reminds me of the best Thanksgiving ever when my 3 year old nephew replaced T’s with F’s. Trucks are so much more amusing than I thought they ever could be.

  17. says

    Man, I’m the total opposite – I need a son so I can have a reason to watch Thomas the Train, I look like a total dork at 27 watching Thomas alone at home on the weekends…

  18. says

    Oh, he’s adorable. My stepson, who is now 4, used to be obsessed with Thomas the Train as well. We have tons of Thomas videos, a Thomas train set, books, clothes, you name it. But now he’s grown out of it and we don’t have to listen to the Thomas songs anymore. Hallelujah!

  19. says

    Here is what you do, take all the trains and tell him that there was a horrible accident and they all died. Then bring our some bright and shiny new rockets and BAM, no more playing with Percy without the R. Sure he will cry for a few days, maybe weeks but he will get over it and then there will be all those rockets to play with.

    But by doing this, you maybe making a life choice for him. ;)

  20. says

    That show is just plain creepy. Thankfully it doesn’t entertain my son yet, he just gets bored by it. Maybe if I’m really lucky, he won’t ever get sucked into the Thomas world.

    Wishful thinking?

  21. says

    Ever heard of Ass Cream?

    That’s what we eat here at our house. I don’t have the heart to really sit down and correct them. It’s a classic!. And if you want red sprinkles…..then you want Red Ass Cream!

    I even have it on video!
    Loved this post!

  22. says

    Aw! My kids never got into Thomas, thank goodness, or I’m sure I would have heard that a time or two. Instead, I got to hear fork without the R. That’s always fun to explain!

  23. says

    one time my son was singing, without the r, “percy, percy, i love percy, i love percy, percy percy percy…” while grandma was visiting. my husband and i were laughing so hard we were bawling, it was so freaking inappropriate and hilarious.
    thank goodness the thomas phase has started to end… my 3 yr old loves disney “cars” now instead…

  24. says

    Oh … I get it now. I had trouble figuring out what the problem was without the R. DUH.

    I hate Thomas the Train. I’m so glad my son never really got into it.

  25. says

    HAHA that is awesome. That is just as good as us getting a stuffed Monkey for my oldest, his favorite toy, and when we asked him when he was old enough what it’s name was he said “Monkey” So now he walks around saying “Mommy, where’s my monkey? Do you want to hold my Monkey Mommy? I’m in my room playing with my monkey mommy” NICE!!!!

    My oldest is into Thomas too, and he has a little Percy, but I never realized until now that he says it without an “r”

  26. says

    My son is two, and recently became infatuated with Thomas, Chuggington, and all things locomotive. I don’t know what it is with boys and trains…but they are one powerful drug.

    So my son had a few “Thomas” trains before he/we really knew much about them…or that any of the trains besides Thomas had names. One day he asked my husband what Toby’s name was, and my husband told him it was “Bob.” So “Bob” it became. Now, every time we read a Thomas book to Kellen, we have to change Toby’s name to Bob, or he gets irate. LOL. Maybe we should do the same thing with Percy before we run into the “R” issue (although, we just moved to Boston, so he’d probably just fit right in).

  27. says

    Aw, I remember when my daughter was learning to talk and every word she said sounded like a curse word, except they were curse words and she cursed like she was raised by sailors…nevermind, I like your story better…

  28. says

    Isn’t it great? The convictions we have BEFORE children…and how those little beings can create a whole new reality for us once they’re here?
    Talk about “peer” pressure! (Or maybe it’s “baby” pressure!)

  29. Lisa says

    Welcome to the world of a speech therapist! We hear Every! Single! Mispronounced! Sound! in Every word-even if it is “ok” (like not saying R’s for a 3 yo is just fine).

    -Even when we are not listening
    -Even when we are off work
    -Even when reading and the husband has the tv/radio on…

  30. says

    One of my favorite things about little kids is the way they talk. <3 Of course, I had to say Percy, without an r, a time or to to figure it all out. ;)

  31. says

    It took me a minute too! But wow – too funny! Thomas the Tank Engine has been around a long time – my baby brother loved the show and the trains as a kid, but thankfully he was able to say Percy with an R !

  32. says

    It took me a few minutes to figure out what was so bad about Percy w/o an r…

    then I remembered my sister saying “fork” without the r… then the light switch went *click*!

  33. says

    My son loved Thomas too. We bought ALL the trains and an oversized train table. Less than a year later, he was over it. I still need to get rid of those damn trains.

  34. says

    I agree. Thomas is a dimwit, Percy is a whiner, and Sir Topham Hat is totally whipped by his wife. The more I think about it, the show presents the male persona pretty accurately. Huzzah for PBS.

  35. says

    Oh my gosh, this is HILARIOUS! Lucky me, my kids never got into Thomas the Train. Thank goodness, ‘cuz I think I might be a little uncomfortable with Percy without an R, too. Especially in public…. but what a GREAT story it makes. One that you’ll have a blast reminding Kainoa about one day. Thanks for the laugh. I ADORE your blog!

  36. says

    i know this comment is like days after the fact but i was laughing so hard when i read this because yes. those damned thomas people MUST have known. nothing i love more than hearing my darling son talk about baby cats all day. in church.