[Ads-l] Inform vs Knowledgeable "Hip" (for Mr. Horn/Mr. Sheidlower)

Z Rice zrice3714 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 9 18:53:52 UTC 2016

I would like to discuss the "inform" and "knowledgeable" versions of "hip".
This was mentioned in Mr. Sheidlower's Slate.com article. In the article,
Mr. Sheidlower states that the term first arose in the 20th century and
became widespread.

In my study, I assert that the term is actually a homophone/homograph
derived from AAV, via Pan-Muslim Africans enslaved in the United States
(including the Wolof). Consider the following:

to tell; to tell about; to inform; to advise; to privately/secretly tell
someone inside information about a person, matter, or thing that is
otherwise secret or unknown to outsiders; to pull someone's coat

to tell; to tell about; to report news and information; to gossip (also
xaba:r)  (Wolof standard orthography: xibaar; xabaar)

There are other cognates in Africa:

to tell;

habr- (verb root in Fulfulde)
to inform

All of these are ultimately derived from Arabic:

Arabic, from the Arabic root "khbr"
to inform; to tell; to advise; to acquaint; to warn
That kh- in Arabic is like the Wolof 'x' if I remember correctly.

We find yet another cognate in the African languages:

to inform

In my study, I assert that 'hip' was actually already well in use among the
native African-American population, and that the term simply wasn't
RECORDED before then - for reasons that seem quite obvious to me and
hopefully to everyone else.

There is then the third meaning among African-Americans of "hip":

knowledgeable of the secret, hidden, inner, core, or esoteric aspects of
(native) African-American culture (i.e., the language, music, aesthetics,
proverbs, values, sociopolitical intelligence, nationalism); knowledgeable
of the system and how it is meant to work; knowledgeable of "real deal" in
AA life, in accordance with the native/indigenous Black population's
traditional perspective and core values; all-knowing; well-informed; aware;
knowledgeable of; sophisticated

The all-knowing sense is reinforced by Cab Calloway; in his Jive Dictionary
Calloway states a hip cat "has all the answers".

If we compare that with Arabic, we find the following:

Arabic, from the Arabic root "khbr"
khabir knowledgeable, well-informed; aware; knowing; experienced;
Cf. khibra deep-knowledge; knowledge of the secret, hidden, or esoteric

All of these senses are derived from the khbr- root of Arabic, and any
enslaved Africans who were Muslim in the antebellum US, would've been very
familiar with the term as it even has religio-specific significance for
Muslims, as well.

I'd like to ask Mr. Horn and Mr. Sheidlower for their responses to this as
well, in light of the "Cry Wolof" theory. I kindly invite either of you to
contact me on the thread or directly via email if you prefer to discuss
this. Thank you in advance.

The study in question:

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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