back to article Shocked mum muzzles foul-mouthed toy mutt

An Oxfordshire mum who bought her nipper a singing puppy toy was obliged to contact the tabloids when the fluffy mutt let rip with a torrent of "f*cks". Leigh McPherson, of Banbury, coughed up 22 quid at Asda for the My Pal Violet, expecting it to provide innocent entertainment for four-month old baby Mia. However, one of the …


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  1. SuperTim

    Fame hungry moneygrabber!!!

    That does not even remotely sound like "F*CK". I would suggest that the "shocked parent" in question was more hoping to get a nice little payout or sell her story to the sleazier tabloids (yes I know that they tend to all be sleazy).

    I wonder if Max Clifford is involved at all?

  2. Matt Bradley

    Is she barking deaf?

    It is clearly singing "bark". I mean, what the bark is she on about??? I reckon she just wanted to get into the barking papers.

    Also. It is singing in a British English accent (with a bit of southern twang, if anything).

    Epic fail.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We got one of these stateside...

    A relative bought this exact model for our 6 month old daughter this xmas and the "Happy and you know it" song is one of the ones we selected for her to listen to... I have to say I hadn't noticed a torrent of f-bombs come out the cuddly toy... I've just recreated the verse in question "bark with me" and the US model at least doesn't have this ambiguity though I agree that the flash video above is pretty damning...

    The voice and music that ours plays vs the one in the video is near identical though so it's curious how this could have happened.

  4. McToo

    To these old ears...

    that sounded remarkably like 'bark', the third time I could definitely hear the 'b' enunciated. Still, it does get Ms McPherson into the 'super soaraway Sun' eh?

  5. raving angry loony


    Says bark with a definite "British" accent. Can't quite place which one ("southern" is as close as I get), but it's "bark".

    Anyone who thinks differently has a filthy mind full of smut.

  6. Haku

    Disability awareness

    They could always re-package it as Terry The Tourettes Terrier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A British English accent

      What the hell does that mean?

      There's English. Then there's a bunch of accented variations.

      Here, try this: "He talks French with a French accent." Stupid, n'est-ce pas?

      1. Paul 4
        Thumb Down

        As apposed to

        America English... Like Canadian French...

      2. Robert E A Harvey

        A bumb?

        Not now, Kato!

      3. thecakeis(not)alie


        ...the French accept "Parisian French" as a denotation of dialect. Just like Franco-Albertan or are thier own distinct varations.

      4. John G Imrie Silver badge

        He talks French with a French accent

        as apposed to, say, talking French with a Belgium accent or a Canadian accent, sheesh.

        1. Mark 65

          @John G Imrie

          Quite right, but he doesn't speak with a "French French accent" which is the way the original post was written. If it had said "with an English accent" it would suffice. "British English" sounds remarkably uneducated.

          1. thecakeis(not)alie

            @Mark 65

            Who sounds uneducated?

            Trust me, if you say to a native French speaker "Parisian French" they will understand. The French don't have the naming of dialects so wrapped up in national pride as you do. They are perfectly aware that other countries speak French. Along with that goes the need for differentiation.

            As far as this Canadian is concerned, you don't need to specify "Canadian English," buy you sure as hell do have to specify "British English." You Brits speak some sort of completely barst arckwards hooey. Your "slang" is incomprehensible tripe and you've a plethora of accents and dialects that sound like someone speaking "proper" English whilst simultaneously gargling and getting strangled.

            Unless you are speaking Canadian English with a northern Albertan dialect - I’ll have non ‘o that crap from the center of the universe - then you’re doing it wrong! That’s the One True Proper English, because regardless of where the language originated, we’re the ones who do it right.

            See how easy it is to a right proper nationalistic ponce? Now jog on ya nationalistic barstwards…

    2. Tim #3


      That's a f******g good idea

      1. kwikbreaks


        > That's a f******g good idea

        I thought it was barking mad

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm curious

      What does the four month old child think it said?

      Assuming that its mother has not been using the word "f*ck" around her (and it's a big assumption), then I don't think there's any problem.

    4. Mark 65

      Er no, just no

      "Also. It is singing in a British English accent"

      No, it is singing in an English accent. You do not have to specify British English the same as you wouldn't specify French French. It's the original and only variants need to be qualified.

      1. Black Betty

        Um London, West End, Cockney, Chav, Shire.

        Uppercrust Plum, at least three brogues. Shall I continue?

        All quintesentially Brittish, and none within a bull's roar of each other.

    5. Alex, Leeds
      Thumb Up

      Regional accents?

      Quite correct, 'British English' does surely does not need to be specified

      Saying that though, since there are so many regional accents I'm not really sure which one would be 'English'...? I suppose a generic southern one but of course you have cockney, west country, brummie, manc, liverpudlian, scouse, geordie etc. etc.

  7. Cameron Colley

    It's definately bark.

    Though I suppose in certain accents fuck is pronounced almost "farc" and the first b is a little indistinct.

  8. Rich_Herds_Cats

    Shirley not?

    This woman obviously needs to clean the wax out her ears!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Seems like a stretch

    A case of hearing what you want to hear, I'd say.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      I agree

      There is some variation between the 3 occurrences of the word. The first and last one definitely sounds a bit like farc. In some areas of the UK, like in cockney land, "fack" or "fark" is the usual pronunciation for the f-word in question.

      A casual listener would definitely have a double-take on that I think. If you listen more carefully, you can hear that it is supposed to be bark. The reproduction muffles it enough, though, to introduce some uncertainty.

      Made me laugh though.

      1. Peter Ford

        Your Account

        I argued the same thing for web sites which give you a 'Your Account' page - try that in the East End of London and see if you get a smack in the face...

  10. Poor Coco


    That recording was definitely NOT a "Yank accent". But I think I'll start using "bark" as a synonym for "fuck".

  11. The Librarian

    Sounds like...

    ..."bark" to me.

    Methinks Leigh McPherson is having a barking laugh.

  12. Tom 15


    Yeah, it does say bark but does sound a lot like fuck. Nothing to do with accent though?

    1. Ned Leprosy


      About the only certain thing is that it wasn't very clearly pronounced. I can see how the first and third occurrences could be mistaken for "fuck", though going on to conclude "that's definitely what it said" is perhaps taking it a bit far.

  13. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  14. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Here we go again!

    Is this another one of those "Let's get outraged to get our mugs in the red-tops." stories? The thing has cheap and nasty sub-standard components and a ton of fake fur on it, the words are going to come out funny!

    These always remind me of the old playground gag when I was 10 years old. Get someone to silently mouth "F**K YOU" and then tell the other person they are "gay" because they said "I LOVE YOU"!

    1. Annihilator

      Playground gag

      Is it more likely you got them to silently mouth "colourful" to make it look like "I love you"? Or that was certainly the one we used.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Playground Gag

        "Elephant Juice" was what we used to say.

        1. Daniel Evans


          Everyone knows it's "Elephant Shoes".

          1. Graham Marsden


            ... get them to read out the name of the "Isle of Ewes"...


    auditory illusion?

    Now, I've listened to this a few times, and whenever I expect it to sound like "bark", it sounds like "bark", and "fuck" when I expect "fuck" - just me?

    1. Annihilator


      Well that is the way to wreck a nice beach / recognise spech..

  16. mhoulden

    Any thoughts on what could replace the recording?

    How about the old classic "Ding dong bell/Pussy in the well"?

  17. Si 1

    Hear what you want to hear....

    I thought it sounded like "f***" until I read on and saw it was supposed to be "bark". I think the expectation of hearing the f-word made me think I was hearing it. A bit like Adam Buxton's Songs of Praise subtitles:

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up


      If you're not pre-conditioned by the story to hear "f***" then it's obviously "bark".

  18. JP19

    Seek medical attention

    This person needs to go see a doctor to have the impacted earwax cleaned from her ears.

  19. Jolyon

    Wrong kind of cynicism on the line?

    Fame hungry twit mum or viral marketing for irritating toy?

  20. JDX Gold badge

    you say potato...

    Hello I'm listener

    1. TheOtherJola


      Wait, did he say listenER or listenING?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stupid song

      Who the hell says Potato as Po-tar-toe?!

  21. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    Not as effective as the dog I saw in Focus around Xmas that farts to the tune of Jingle Bells, it waves its bottom in the air in time to the music as well, barking hilarious.

    Especially when me and my wife set around 20 off all at once :D

    1. Elmer Phud

      Not just me then

      I've been told off for being childish by my kids when I set all the toys off at the same time.

      It just has to be done.

      1. SirTainleyBarking
        Thumb Up

        Certainly does

        Like spelling rude words with jars of herbs and spices on the shelves in Tesco

  22. Badbob
    Paris Hilton

    Bark me!

    Really. Sounds like a small girl with a Hampshire/Sussex accent saying Bark to me. You can quite clearly hear the "B".

    Paris, because she enjoys a good bark.

  23. Stuart Halliday
    Thumb Up

    Sounds rude

    Sounds rude to me. But then I'm listening to it via a Tablet in my car...

  24. Andy Hards
    Thumb Down


    Couldn't hear it I'm afriad. I love things like this but this one just doesn soud like she wants it to. £22 for a crappy purple dog is a bt much though, even if you do get some unwanted extras. I saw a video the other day obout the things they oput in Disney movies that got past the editors and while one or two look like cocks I didn't see SEX in the dust as it swirled around and otheres were just as dubious. See and hearing what they want to hear. I used to play this game as a stoner teen looking up at the sk yand interpreting the clouds. Looks that one looks like a pig on a stick. That one is Concord playing a guitar and now its riding your mum etc etc etc .

  25. Anonymous Coward

    No lip-sync...

    ...could cause confusions.

    I saw a BBC doc about visual and audio illusions fairly recently. Possibly 'Horizon". A close up of a man's face as he said "bo" repeatedly. Then he spent 30 seconds saying "Vo", and then another saying "Fo"... It transpired that he had been saying the same thing all the time- just that the audio had been dubbed over the video of his face.

    It was a powerful example of how we take clues from one sense to support our other senses, without realising it. Had this little doggy had an animatronic mouth and had its lips together when it said "bark" then there is a good chance this confusion might not have happened.

    1. fnordianslip

      The McGurk Effect

      Exactly my thoughts.

  26. Phil Endecott Silver badge

    If you're happy and you know it..

    ...CLAP YOUR HANDS, surely?

    What is this messing with our traditional kids songs, eh? If there is something for the tabloids to get excited about, it is that they have "dumbed down" this famous song, not doubt in the name of some sort of Political Correctness. Presumably "clap your hands" is offensive to people with one arm, who are still able to Bark, or somesuch nonsense.

    BTW, was I the only person who asked at primary school, "please miss, I'm not happy, what should I do instead of clapping?", and was told, "just clap anyway"? Yes, only me? Oh well.

    1. Jonathan

      clap your paws

      it is a dog and does have paws.

      strictly speaking i do agree, the child is clapping their hands but then again its only a dog, they aren't that clever (though it has managed to learn a few sentences) and all it wants is for its best friend (yes, we do have one) to join in and clap along with it

    2. Anonymous John

      Kids shouldnt be exposed to words like that.

      ""Mummy, what does the clap mean? And why did you give it to Daddy?"



    3. LaeMing Silver badge

      I liked the comic I saw on TV once...

      Got the live audience thinking it was add-break entertainment time and had them in a rousing round of "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands... stamp your feet... etc."

      Finished up with "If you're a dick-head and you know it clap your hands" and pretty much the entire audience clapped along. Good times.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        reminds me of a story I heard

        about a none native English speaker who wanted to complement some one, turned to them and said "I want to give you the clap!"

  27. Dan 109

    re: Hear what you want to hear....

    This is very similar, if not exactly, the McGurk effect in action

  28. Mike Bell

    We've got one of those down the pub...

    ...His name is Andy and he has the filthiest mind in the county. I mean, just mention the word "handwash" to him and - in his mind - you've said "handjob". Usually makes for an entertaining evening out, though.

    Whatever his failings, however, he has not reported any of us to the tabloids. He might have a dirty mind, but he's not completely stupid. Unlike said Oxfordshire mum.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    The lady clearly missed the bit....

    at 0:11 on the video where you are encouraged to 'slap your balls' if you are aware of your happinness!!

  30. peyton?

    The woman is clearly an idiot

    Why post a vid that predisposes everyone to hate you as you make them watch your wasted attempts to get it to play the correct song?! It's not like you have to call in George Lucas - just crop the first half out!

    1. steogede


      >> Why post a vid that predisposes everyone to hate you as you make them watch your wasted attempts to get it to play the correct song?! It's not like you have to call in George Lucas - just crop the first half out!

      Heck, she could have just primed the dog before turning the camera on, it's not like the order ever changes on these toys.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they should have recorded....

    the HokeyCokey song...

    it might have been less controversial

    1. TheOtherJola

      Put your

      fucking arm in, your fucking arm out...

  32. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Woof Woof

    Clearly says Bark!

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as an involuntary owner...

    ... thanks to an Auntie's Christmas generosity.

    No amount of reprogramming this piece of shit would ever make me love it. It has been discretely removed from my child, after it started nagging her to connect to the internet.

    It now has no batteries. Soon I shall be reprogramming it with paraffin and a Swan Vestas.

    Sing doggie sing,

    "If you're happy and you know it BURN with me..."

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Just look at the picture in the Sun link

    a shining example of contemporary British womanhood. if ever I saw one.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    @Paul the retard

    English with and English accent? As opposed to a Scottish accent, Welsh Accent, American etc etce etc...

    Fucking moron!

  36. Anonymous Coward


    Sorry, the AC before Paul that should have been.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    the baby is too young to care

    You may as well start them early with a good vocabulary.

  38. Jonathan
    Thumb Down

    have got one of these for our 18month old

    and it most definitely says "bark" - and i should kow, i have heard it (and barked along!) at least hundreds of times.


  39. Jim 59


    Defintely saying "bark" with a strong south-east England accent. In that accent, "Bark" and "F***" do have a similar vowel sound.

  40. Tron

    Oh, I don't know.

    *** ** *** ** **** ******* **** fuck ** **.

  41. El

    Not the first time

    I swear my daughter's Zhu Zhu pet says "Fuck you!", but it's kinda hard to prove...

  42. Mr Young
    IT Angle


    Why is this article in the Bootnotes section? I know fine well that cuddly little purple doggy toy must have a voice chip and/or 8 bit processor in it!

  43. Blubster

    Dozy woman

    Will be seeing Jesus in a slice of toast next

  44. Chris Stephens

    Thats nothing, try this doll

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh well...

    At least we now have the worst chat-up line of the decade.

  46. XMAN

    If you're a media whore and you know it, bark with me

    It's quite clearly 'bark'. And listened to in context, any child would be insane to think it says the F bomb.

  47. XMAN
    Paris Hilton

    Video posted Jan 2010

    Why is this video showing up in the news in Jan 2011 when it was posted on Youtube back in Jan 2010?

  48. Martin Usher

    Victim of an Art Project?

    I've heard of people reprogramming this type of toy as a sort of fun project. ("Fun" means different things to different people.) Its not something to get worked up about.

    What would be interesting is if it gave forth a torrent of Mandarin saying something to the effect of "Help, I'm prisoner in a sweatshop, get me out of here!"

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Sounds suspicious...

    Let's see, Asda shopper raises dodgy claim about innocent toy... trying to supplement your monthly giro, eh dear?? (Note to fellow Americans: giro is British for what in the US is called a "welfare check", not the sandwich!!)

  50. MrXavia

    Definately 'Bark'

    Someone needs to clean their ears occasionally i think....

  51. Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

    Oh I'm soooo shallow

    The first time I listened it clearly said "f*ck" in a slight home counties twang, but after I read the comments it was obviously "bark". No question. Although...

    ... isn't it just rhyming slang - Bark(shire Hunt)?

  52. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Kid looks traumatised already!

    Nuff said.

  53. John Tserkezis
    Thumb Up

    I would never have believed it unless I listened to it myself.

    I'm Australian, and speak the dialect known as "wog".

    To me, it does indeed sound like "fuck", more so, I can't make out how it could sound like "bark" like it supposedly is. I'm guessing it's the dropped, shortened or supressed "B"s that bring it closer to "fuck". That said, I'm usually ok in deciphering english accents, more so here because the words leading up to it had an english accent.

    And yet, I still can't bring myself to admitting it sounds like "bark".

    I guess this is why you should never call your car "Pajero".

    When you're selling to a worldwide market, accents DO make a difference...

    Now excuse me while I got to the shops and see if it's available here... :-)

    1. bhtooefr

      And I'm American...

      ...and, while it's not a "Yank accent" at all, it clearly sounds like bark to me.

  54. Chimp


    That's truly disgusting. Who the fuck spends £22 on rubbish like that? It can't even say 'bark' properly.

  55. alien anthropologist

    Fuck should only be used..

    .. to describe said woman.

    So here goes. She is a fucking idiot.

    Too bad she has contributed to mankind's gene pool. We need less fuckwits in the human race - and that will be a Good Thing (tm) all round. From politics to religion and everything in between.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Attention whore alert

    Trying to get a buck out of this? What? No, I said BUCK, with a B like in Brainless.

    Hell, if she got any money out of that, I'd sue the company who made Simon Says: I swear that the sounds that come up with the lights all sound like the F word, although each at a different pitch. So "red yellow green blue" sounds like F**K f**K Ff**k ff**K. It makes it a lot harder to play too.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ┌∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐ <-- See what you want to see.

    Hear what you want to hear.

  58. kain preacher Silver badge

    Eh ??

    This yank is still trying to hear an American voice. Better question is why is this even news worthy ? Can I sue her for being stupid ?

  59. Andrew Jones 2
    Thumb Up

    re: Tesco

    If we are talking about things "that just have to be done" in Tesco -

    there is nothing more satisfying that wandering into Tesco with a "TV B Gone" in your pocket (needs to be a coat pocket so it is thin enough to allow the infra red to pass through......

    and switching off the bank of TV's in the electronics department :)

    Even more funny when people are browsing the TV's to see which they'd like to buy and as they are approaching them they are switching off.

    Also - shops that have a demo games console - switching off the TV as someone is playing the console is great fun.

    Sorry - I guess it's a case of "simple things" here :)

  60. Drefsab

    I can see her point

    I have one of these for my daughter, and the first time it came on in a noisy room I thought that's what it said as well, however when I made it play again I could clearly hear it saying bark just with an accent. I didn't storm off and complain, if I was that bothered I would just connect the toy to my laptop and alter the song playlist to skip that song.

    To be fair what I would love from this toy is the ability to put my own song's on there, ive tried accessing it but the mass storage device comes up but I cant figure out what the file system they are using is.

  61. Mips
    Jobs Horns

    American Accent?

    Well there you go then. Sure sounds like F*UCK to me even if you know how Americans speak. It is one Anglo Saxon word the do seem to know how to say. So how is it the rest of the "singing" is not with an American accent?

    I hate these sing along "developmental" toys anyway. Blame the lazy parents that's what I say.

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Remind me of the movie "Falling Down"

    Robert Duvals characters parting mumbled comment to his boss:

    "Fuck you sir, fuck you very much!"

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... the other track says "bump an egg", not "hump a leg".

  64. Andy Pullin

    I borrowed our little 'uns one for a listen......

    ...thinking I'd take it to work to give everyone a laugh............ but it says "bark". Or at a push "buck". Whatever it is, it doesn't start with an "f".

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