Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Dec 15 18:12:20 UTC 2010

On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM, Darla Wells wrote:
>On  2010/12/14 Wilson Gray wrote:
> > On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 2:19 PM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
> > > "It wasn't many years ago when the carnivals rolled into town, bringing
> > > mystery, excitement and kizarney - the bizarre dialect known only to the
> > > "carneys." "
> > > later in the article [col 2]:
> > > "Kizarney Is the carnival world's own style of pig Latin."
> >
> > Predates Snoop (Doggy) Dogg, seem like to me. What the shizzle, my nizzle?
> He could have picked it up from visiting the carnival. One show I travelled
> with played Compton at least twice a year and the kids would come out and
> pester the life out of us till we opened. The adolescents would come out and
> help set up and slough to make a few bucks. In many places, people would
> come out year after year and we had almost cult status. Snoop is about the
> right age to have done this.

Possibly, but there were other sources for  "izz" infixing when Snoop
was a pup. Barry Popik found a discussion of the code language in the
1982 book _Subway Graffiti in New York_ (describing its use in the
late '70s, I think), and Jesse Sheidlower mentioned in the same thread
that the infixing appears in a 1972 glossary of New York drug slang:

So it could have spread from East Coast b-boy circles to the West
Coast. Not sure where the carneys fit into all of this.


Ben Zimmer
"On Language" Columnist, New York Times Magazine
Executive Producer, and
bgzimmer at | bzimmer at | onlanguage at

The American Dialect Society -

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