Dog Latin or Pig Latin?


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pig Latin

Pig Latin is a game of alterations played on the English language game. To form the Pig Latin form of an English word the initial consonant sound is transposed to the end of the word and an ay is affixed (for example, trash yields ash-tray and plunder yields under-play). The purpose of the alteration is to both obfuscate the encoding and to indicate for the intended recipient the encoding as ‘Pig Latin’. The reference to Latin is a deliberate misnomer, as it is simply a form of jargon, used only for its English connotations as a ‘strange and foreign-sounding language’; it could also be because the transformed words sound similar to Latin.




The origins of Pig Latin are unknown. One early mention of it was in Putnam’s Magazine in May 1869: “I had plenty of ammunition in reserve, to say nothing, Tom, of our pig Latin. ‘Hoggibus, piggibus et shotam damnabile grunto’, and all that sort of thing”. The Atlantic January 1896 also included a mention of the subject: “They all spoke a queer jargon which they themselves had invented. It was something like the well-known ‘pig Latin’ that all sorts of children like to play with”. Thomas Jefferson wrote letters to friends in pig Latin, and also recorded his sexual acts in his diary in pig Latin. (see Hailman and Lewis in the references below)


Pig Latin is mostly used by children for amusement or to converse in perceived privacy from adults or other children. A few Pig Latin words, such as ixnay [1](nix),amscray [2](scram), and upidstay (stupid), have been incorporated into English slang.[citation needed]

[edit]Rules and variations

The usual rules for changing standard English into Pig Latin are as follows:

  1. In words that begin with consonant sounds, the initial consonant or consonant cluster is moved to the end of the word, and “ay” is added, as in the following examples:
    • beast → east-bay
    • dough → ough-day
    • happy → appy-hay
    • question → estion-quay
    • star → ar-stay
    • three → ee-thray
  2. In words that begin with vowel sounds or silent consonants, the syllable “ay” is added to the end of the word. In some dialects, to aid in pronunciation, an extra consonant is added to the beginning of the suffix; for instance, eagle could yield eagle’yayeagle’way, or eagle’hay.[citation needed]

Transcription varies. A hyphen or apostrophe is sometimes used to facilitate translation back into English. Ayspray, for instance, is ambiguous, but ay-spray means “spray” whereas ays-pray means “prays.”

[edit]Other languages

In Bernese German, a variety of Pig Latin called Mattenenglisch was used in the Matte, the traditional working class neighborhood. Though it has fallen out of use since mid 20th century, it is still cultivated by voluntary associations. A characteristic of the Mattenenglisch Pig Latin is the complete substitution of the first vowel by i, in addition to the usual moving of the initial consonant cluster and the adding of ee.

The Swedish equivalent of Pig Latin is Allspråket, which uses the same or similar rules but with the suffix “-all”. Additionally, the Swedish language game Fikonspråket(“Fig language”) is similar to Pig Latin. In Fikonspråket, speakers split each word after the first vowel, switch places of the two parts, put “fi” before the second part and “kon” after the first part. The word “kallingar” (underpants) thus translates to “fillingar kakon”. The word “fimp”, meaning cigarette stump, originated from Fikonspråket (“stump” = “fimp stukon”).

Hebrew has a children’s language called the “Bet Language”, named for the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The language is constructed by adding a “b” and the preceding vowel for every vowel in the word; so that “Ani” (“I”) becomes “Abanibi”. The Israeli hit song “Abanibi“, written in Bet language (lyrics by Ehud Manor, music byNurit Hirsh, sung by Izhar Cohen) won first prize in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1978.

French has the loucherbem (or louchébem) coded language, which supposedly was originally used by butchers (boucher in French).[citation needed] In loucherbem, the leading consonant cluster is moved to the end of the word (as in Pig Latin) and replaced by a l , and then a suffix is added at the end of the word (-oche, –em, –oque, depending on the word). ex: fou (crazy) = loufoque

[edit]See also


  1. ^ Definition of ixnay
  2. ^ Definition of amscray


This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate(October 2008)
  • Barlow, Jessica. 2001. “Individual differences in the production of initial consonant sequences in Pig Latin”. Lingua 111:667-696.
  • Cowan, Nelson. 1989. “Acquisition of Pig Latin: A Case Study”. Journal of Child Language 16.2:365-386.
  • Day, R. 1973. “On learning ‘secret languages’.” Haskins Laboratories Status Report on Speech Research 34:141-150.
  • Hailman, John R. Thomas Jefferson on Wine. University Press of Mississippi, 2006. page 12. [1]
  • Haycock, Arthur. “Pig Latin”. American Speech 8:3.81.
  • Lewis, Jan. Sally Hemings & Thomas Jefferson. University of Virginia Press, 1999. page 83. [2]
  • McCarthy, John. 1991. “Reduplicative Infixation in Secret Languages” [L’Infixation reduplicative dans les langages secrets]. Langages 25.101:11-29.
  • Vaux, Bert and Andrew Nevins. 2003. “Underdetermination in language games: Survey and analysis of Pig Latin dialects.” Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, Atlanta.

[edit]External links

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dog Latin

Dog Latin or mock-Latin refers to the creation of a phrase or jargon in imitation of Latin,[1] often by directly translating English words (or those of other European languages) into Latin without conjugation or declension. Unlike the similarly-named language game Pig Latin (a form of spoken code popular among young children), Dog Latin is more of a humorous device for invoking scholarly seriousness, especially when creatively used in nomenclature and naming conventions.[citation needed]Sometimes “dog Latin” can mean a poor-quality genuine attempt at writing in Latin.

Dog Latin is rarely put to a serious purpose,[citation needed] but it is used in the temporary naming of undiscovered (or not yet officially named) chemical elements. For example, the name given to element 118 is “ununoctium“, the IUPAC systematic element name, from unum, unum, octo, the Latin words for “one, one, eight”.

More often, correct Latin is mixed with English words for humorous effect or in an attempt to update Latin by providing words for modern items.




Examples include the following spoof of legal Latin, in the fictional case of Daniel v Dishclout (“Sam Weller‘s Budget of Recitations”, The Pickwick PapersCharles Dickens, 1838), describing a kitchen:

camera necessaria pro usus cookoree, cum sauce pannis, scullero, dressero, coalholo, stovis, smoakjacko; pro roastandum, pro rastandum, boilandum, fryandum, et plum puddings mixandum, pro turtle soupes, calves head hashibus, cum calipee et calipashibus. [1]

Dog Latin is often used in comic fiction for:

A notable instance of this is variations on the phrase Cogito ergo sum, such as “Regato ergo sum” (“I row therefore I am”, popular motto of university boat teams), and “Tesco ergo sum” (“I shop therefore I am”), or “Cogito ergo zoom” (I think therefore I drive fast).

Specific examples


In P. D. Q. Bach‘s Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice, the “Monk’s Aria” consists of four stanzas of Dog Latin along the lines of

Et in terra chicken pox romana; Sic sic transit gloria mañana; Sanctus estes Kefauviridiana.

On the other hand, the following verses contain only Latin words, but are in fact disguised English (by use of homophones):

Brutus ad sum iam forte / Caesar aderat / Brutus sic in omnibus / Caesar sic in at.
(“Brutus had some jam for tea / Caesar had a rat / Brutus sick in omnibus / Caesar sick in hat.”)[4]

A variant is:

Brutus et erat forti / Caesar et sum iam / Brutus sic in omnibus / Caesar sic intram.
(“Brutus ate a rat for tea / Caesar ate some jam / Brutus sick in omnibus / Caesar sick in tram.”)

Germans have the Dog Latin phrase:

Rex equus ad Germaniam et multo in plus.
(Literally “King horse to Germany and much in more.” In German: “Der König Pferd nach Deutschland und viel ins mehr.” Read aloud, it may sound like “Der König fährt nach Deutschland und fiel ins Meer,” or “The king is going to Germany and [he] fell into the ocean.”)

[edit]See also


  1. a b
  2. ^ Broad, William J. “Inside the Black Budget”New York Times, April 2, 2008
  3. ^ Are We Rome? Tu Betchus!New York Times, October 11, 2008.
  4. ^ Iona Opie; Peter Opie. I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild’s Pocket BookISBN 1-56402-046-0.[clarification needed]

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