"Murphy's Laws" and Polish puns

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Tue Jun 22 18:03:09 UTC 1999


Yes, so is Polish "ch" (i.e., "tenser" than English "h") but as for partial

Mock stuff in a languages which imitates the (usually) phonotactic
structure of another and ends up being something else (usually taboo) in
the first is a well-known tradition. My own favorites come from Picardia
Mexicana (Jimenez) in which bogus World War II Japanese General's and
Admiral's names are given. My particular favorite of all of these is an
"Admiral" named

Nojoda Migata

Sounds Japanese if pronouced quickly, particularly with no word-boundary
transition after "joda."

Is there a collection of these things? Interlingual "play"?


>Last night I was watching a program on high speed trains, and the British
>English voice over referred to "Sod's Law".  My husband informed me that it was
>the English equivalent to Murphy's Law.
>As for hooey, well, it's the same in Russian.  There is a mock Chinese name you
>can say which translates into the Russian "Stick [your] dick in the tea" (Sooey
>hooey fchai).  The "h" is actually tenser and somewhat voiced, sort of like the
>German "ch".
>Andrea Vine
>Sun Internet Mail Server i18n architect
>avine at eng.sun.com
>Romanes eunt domus.

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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