Pig latinPig Latin
is a language game
that can be created from, i.e., based on, almost any language, although it is most commonly based on the English language
. The rules are roughly:
- For words that begin with consonants, move the leading consonants to the end of the word and add "ay." Thus, "ball" becomes "all-bay"; "button" becomes "utton-bay"; "star" becomes "ar-stay"; "three" becomes "ee-thray";
- for words beginning with "qu," move the "qu" to the end of the word and add ay. Thus "question" becomes "estion-quay"; and
- for words that begin with vowels, simply add "way" to the end of the word. Thus, "a" becomes "a-way"; "at" becomes "at-way"; "ermine" becomes "ermine-way." This rule tends to get varied a lot, with some variants using instead "h" (thus, "at" becomes "at-hay"), or some just using the bare syllable "ay" ("at" becomes "at-ay").
A Pig Latin example text follows:
- Is-thay is-way an-way example-way of-way Ig-pay Atin-lay. As-way ou-yay an-cay ee-say, its-way illy-say, ut-bay ots-lay of-way un-fay or-fay ildren-chay.
It should be noted that there is no "standard" for Pig Latin, although the principle of moving the initial consonant cluster
to the end of a word and adding "ay" is universal. Most of the deviations involve words starting with vowels, however, the rule given is possibly the most common.
One rather common use of Pig Latin is by children, who will often use it to converse in (perceived) privacy from adults, or simply for amusement.
Certain Pig Latin translations, most notably ixnay, have been incorporated into English slang.
Like most languages, there are many different forms, or "dialects" of Pig Latin.
These tend to be semi-geographical in usage, as one would expect for any
spoken language, although this is particularly true for Pig Latin because Pig Latin is rarely used in mass media. There are also forms that differ to the point that they are often referred to by specific names, but may be referred to as "Pig Latin" as a general descriptive. Interested readers should note that there is a plethora of information on the web, including theses and articles by learned language academicians, researchers, lay-persons, hobbyists and others.