I'm translating a French text and they used the word "sousou" :

"Tiens, quelques sousous pour t'acheter un bonbon."

-> "Here, some ? to buy a candy"

A "sou" is a coin and "sousou(s)" (s added for plural form) is a slang-like childish expression for "sou". Sousou doesn't exist in french but if you ask anyone about it they know the expression... Is there something somewhat equivalent in English?

I really want to keep the kind of childish feeling of the word, I was thinking of something like "cocoins" but would an English speaker ever use that word? Any better idea?

Thanks !

  • Sorry, "cocoins" is not going to be understood by any English speaker. We do use some reduplication in baby talk, but it's things like itty-bitty; we don't repeat a syllable at the beginning of a word. – stangdon Jan 18 '17 at 18:09
  • 3
    Try coiny-coin. This concept is called diminutive but English is not consistent in how it diminutive-izes words. – LawrenceC Jan 18 '17 at 19:07

One extremely common (apparently more so in AmE than BrE, but well-known everywhere) idiomatic usage is...

Here's a little something for your birthday.

Note that although that Longman's dictionary definition says used when you are telling someone that you have bought them a present, it's also often used to discretely/indirectly refer to a small amount of money. That will be the sense in most written instances of, for example, [Here's] a little something towards [some cost the addressee needs to pay].

Note that in practice, "little" is normally a reference relative to the speaker (the amount he's giving doesn't seem like much to him, but it might be very valuable to the recipient). So it's usually used by, for example, indulgent grandparents giving money to children. Because of those implications you should be careful when addressing an adult, as it may be seen as "patronising" (as is French sousou, I believe).

  • 1
    I'm feeling that this can't really be used in my case, and I'd like to keep the childish feeling of the expression ! Isn't there any declined word for "coin" used to sound dumb or "cute" or to talk to babies? Something like Coinies..? – sixolar Jan 18 '17 at 17:48
  • 2
    @sixolar: Most parents are well aware that children are virtually incapable of understanding what "money" actually means, so I think they'd tend to avoid it in much the same way they'd avoid talking about, say, "sex" or "death". These are adult concepts, so childish terminology isn't really appropriate in most contexts. – FumbleFingers Jan 18 '17 at 18:02
  • @sixolar you could say "coinies" and people would understand that as baby-talk for "coins" but it would be very odd. – lll Jan 18 '17 at 18:34
  • @sixolar: But note that among adults, we have facetious/facile terms like beer tokens, lolly that to me at least always imply a somewhat lighthearted/childish attitude to the filthy lucre. – FumbleFingers Jan 18 '17 at 18:43
  • @sixolar Use baby talk: "A wittle something for your birthday" – Laurel Jan 18 '17 at 21:36

Here in England we would say "Here are some pennies to buy some sweets". Sweets in British English is candy in American English and pennies can refer to any coins of any value including a single 1 or 2 pound coin.


No English speaker would say "cocoins*" and think of a childish expression for coins. You could rework the sentence a little and refer to an "allowance". Many English speaking children, especially as they become pre-teens, get a weekly/monthly/etc amount of money from their parents so they can learn how to spend and save. Few save a lot and most spend it on movies or candy. The word "allowance" connotes a small sum of money for youths, often spent freely on simple things like candy.

*I happen to think of chocolate money.

  • The term "allowance" really doesn't sound childish, I'd like a term that you use when talking to a baby, kind of like "popo" (or poo?) for poop or whatever.. Maybe money have no expression like that in English? – sixolar Jan 18 '17 at 17:47
  • I think you're right and that there is no equivalent expression in English. The best bet is "a little something" that the previous user said. Why are you giving money to a baby anyway? – lll Jan 18 '17 at 18:33
  • 1
    So the baby can buy candy. And then you can take the candy from the baby. – David Jan 18 '17 at 21:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.