So it turns out that the little silicone thing you pop into a baby’s or a toddler’s mouth to keep them calm has three different names according to your geographical location. Curiously these words actually might say a lot about their culture of origin:
THE PACIFIER (USA)
Let’s face it - this is a name for a handgun. You can just imagine Clint Eastwood standing over a two-year old’s cot and saying “OK kid, I’m givin’ you five seconds to quit bawlin’, otherwise I’m gonna stick this here pacifier into your mouth, pull back the hammer and….”. Maybe they should call the baby’s squeezy toy the “Subduer”.
THE DUMMY (UK)
This word could only have been created in the Victorian age when the unseemliness of a wailing brat would have been totally incomprehensible to a respectably repressed Pater and Mater. They probably thought that it was due to some sort of mental retardation. Out for a stroll in the park with their perambulator, they must have been completely mortified when little Edmund began his wailing. “Oh for God’s sake Winifred, why the does child have to make such an infernal racket in civilized company? He’s obviously backward. Why don’t you stick something into the little cretin’s mouth to shut him up and keep it there until we ship him off to boarding school?” Thus the dummy was born.
THE SOOTHER (Ireland etc.)
It’s actually a good name for the object in question but there’s just one problem. Why is it that the country that uses this word is the one country that can’t pronounce it right? Yup, we do have a hard time getting a hang of the old “TH”. So this little article becomes “sooder” which sounds like something horrible that you’d buy in IKEA just so you can give it to your mother-in-law as a gift.