James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Jun 6 23:57:51 UTC 2001

In a message dated 06/06/2001 4:10:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
melonayse at  asks (via AAllan at AOL.COM):

> >>I was wondering if you could help me find some information on the origin
>  and use of the word "knowumsayin'." Do you know where I might begin?
>  Sincerely,
>  Ken Gordon
>  melonayse at<<

In spoken English, many common words and expressions get chopped down until
there are just enough phonemes to keep them recognizable.  Note that this is
happening to COMMON expressions that can be easily recognized from context.


know what I'm saying --> knowumsayin'  (the conversion of the final /ng/ to
/n/ is a different process)
give me ---> gimme
don't you want to --> doncha wanna
want-to-be --> wannabe (not to be confused with the Lenape, whom the white
man persists in calling the "Delaware")
Louisville (KY) --> Louavul (two and a half syllables)
New Albany (IN) (across the river from Louavul) is allegedly referred to as
"Nawbny" although that pronunciation, if it indeed exists, has not crossed
the Ohio into Kentucky

The classic example, which may even be datable, is of course the song
"Mairzy Doats"

This process occurs in languages other than English.  Two quickie examples:

Russian:  zdravsvwit'e (hello) --> zdras'e

Arablic/Spanish Jebel Tarik ("Rock of Tarik", Tarik was I believe the leader
of the Moorish invasion) --> Gibraltar

         - Jim Landau

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