The Faery giggled in delight as she showed it to me, "It says little booga, Mum!"
Ahem. Booga is a word that gets used
And in Australia? Lil bugger isn't really a compliment. Sure, it can be a term of endearment we use to refer to our own kids, but it's usually accompanied by some tearing out of one's own hair, and wringing of hands. At the very least, a wink.
As for further uses of the word? Bugger that... Man, I am buggered... Need a new car, this one's engine is buggered... You get the idea. Where I come from? Bugger is an effective substitute for fuck, but with a slightly more comedic undertone. Not as harsh.
Bugger is not really part of a child's vocabulary - although my mother used this word frequently enough, then used to immediately chastise herself, and I'd be scratching my head because (as a child) I had no idea what it meant. She used to say it was an old-fashioned swear word, and left it at that. I did once look it up in the dictionary at home, but in my complete naivety didn't understand what an act of sodomy meant, so that was a futile exercise.
For a long time, I never really used bugger, even when friends around me were. I'd been successfully conditioned to think it was old-fashioned, and I didn't want to be old-fashioned. Then I spent time in London, and acquired a more British vernacular: Bugger... Bollocks... Mingin... It no longer felt old-fashioned and has stayed with me since. It gets used. A lot. Bollocks likes to come out at times too...
Anyhow, thanks to the wonders of social media, I didn't waste time in sharing the story of the Faery's sticker with friends back home. I mean, lil bugger being used as a positive term for a preschooler? Too funny to be true.
However, a good friend of mine assured me that lil sugar booga is an American term of endearment, so I had to do some online research of my own... and what do you know? Apparently little bugger can have the same meaning as whippersnapper and is quite a G-rated expression in America.
Well, you learn something new everyday...