There are so many other topics I could be writing about – gas prices, the joys of VBS, watching the changes that are occurring at my house. But instead I want to focus on something silly and completely irrelevant. 

I have come to love the word ‘naughty.’ 

There is something about it that has a suggestion of purposeful bad behavior and sexiness. 

How many times does one have to watch Super Nanny (more hours than I would like to count) to see that kids really do engage in purposefully bad 

In the naughty chair. Picture by Wax115


or naughty behavior.  I have to admit it is very powerful to have the “naughty chair.”  It is not a random act that gets them there. Jo will step in with harsh words when a child cannot behave in a proper manner and set them there. 

I love when Jo does that. Sometime my kids watch Super Nanny with me and realize I WILL uses her techniques. It is amazing how much better behaved they get when we watch an episode. (Mental note to self: the kids have been acting out more lately. Need to watch an episode or two.) 

Picture by jppi.


That purposefully bad part can work for adults as well. When a  former co-worker would say it “So-and-so is being naughty” in an almost but not quite leering voice, I knew someone was purposefully breaking an office rule and we found fun with it. Something was happening that should not! 

When I hear the word being directed at adults by adults with a definite tilt in the tone of voice, I know there is a deeper sexual meaning. “She is so naughty” really means “She is willing to do bad things.” Makes me wonder what those bad things are. Are we talking spankings, handcuffs to the bed post, leather and lace? 

Picture by Nacu.


Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I am not sure. Not sure I want to find out or explore that avenue. Hearing a reference with a wink and a nod and a subtle “isn’t that naughty” is enough. 

As much as I love the word, I am also stupefied why we adults need something so juvenile, so childish to describe our bad behavior. Do we say Gov. Blagojevich was naughty? He was and purposefully so. But instead we say it as it is. He broke the law and is now on trial. There is nothing sweet or cute about what he has done. 

That is the other element to ‘naughty.’ This bad behavior – done purposefully and joyfully – appears cute. The child with the smirk, the knowing look of ‘I am going to do something you do not like,’  is the one we rub a hand through the hair and cheer on. They have that certain moxie that they will need later in life. 

Perhaps naughty may never have that ‘bad, bad, bad behavior’ meaning to it ever. Perhaps it shouldn’t. We need the delightfully misbehaved to remind us to laugh a little. 

How have you been naughty?