Words & Stuff

u: Ubbi Dubbi, You're the One (Reader Comments)

(1 September 1997)

Carrie Cate supplies a code language (of unknown name) that her sister used to speak, involving spelling out words but adding "-ong" to each consonant. Her example:

"I hong o pong e yong o u cong a nong u nong dong e rong song tong a nong dong tong hong i song."

I particularly like "u nong dong e rong song tong a nong dong" -- it has a great beat, sounds a little like scat singing. Rama-lama-ding-dong! I think I'll call this language Grong, in honor of an obscure joke from Ursula K. LeGuin. As with the other code languages (as Carrie points out), Grong "sounds oddest (best) at high speeds."

(I have a feeling that Double Dutch involves spelling words out with consonant substitution too, but I'm not sure.)

In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, one of Stephen Dedalus' sisters briefly uses a code language that consists of tacking "-boro" onto the end of each word. More a play language than a code language, I guess; there's no indication that she intends to be incomprehensible:

"Goneboro toboro lookboro atboro aboro houseboro."

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Jed Hartman <logophilia@kith.org>