Fiji zigaboo

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Mar 30 03:21:13 UTC 2007

At 10:32 PM -0400 3/29/07, Wilson Gray wrote:
>FWIW, "zh," for all practical purposes, is non-occurrent in BE: French
>"Jeanne," the name of a friend of mine, is non-distinct from "John";
>"(Missouri) hoosier" > "hoojie"; "garage  rouge" > "garaj  rooj," etc.
>All this and more is alive and kicking in the speech of your humble
>correspondent, irrespective of the register that he may be using.

Is that true generally, or does it depend on the lexical item?  I
just checked Taj Mahal's version of Leadbelly's "Bourgeois Blues" on
my iTunes, and it's definitely ['bu zhwa] each time (and there are
many such).  I seem to recall Leadbelly's original also has it as
"boo-zhwa", sans affrication (and sans rhotic).


>On 3/29/07, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>>Subject:      Re: Fiji zigaboo
>>The HDAS files show a number of _zigaboos_ from the 1920s on as an
>>exact synonym of "jigaboo."  The ex. are notably Southern, far more
>>than "jigaboo." "Zigaboo" (occas. shortened to "zig") is no longer
>>   The alteration of  / J ~ z / has always stfruck me as unusual and
>>interesting.  Does it suggest a / Z / in the etymon ?  In some
>>dialect of Italian or another immigrant language ?
>>   JL
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