Sun | Sep 26, 2021

Flashback Fridays: Gypsy or Pig Latin

Published:Friday | April 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson

Nowadays, memes, slangs and acronyms - mostly via text - are the order of the day, with their main purpose being to cut a long story short and throw off suspecting parents and nosey adults. But back in the day, children growing up did the complete opposite, adding more repetitive letters in the mix to create longer words, just to get the waters murky. That talk of the town was known as gypsy or pig latin.

Since it’s Flashback Friday, we decided to have a little fun. We asked some of our readers to take a stroll down memory lane and picked their brain about the cryptic language. They delved into their history with the code and shared a few examples with us as brawta:

"Every time my niece would act up, I would say to her in gypsy, 'Whalapot dulopo youlopo?' translated as 'Wha do yuh' or 'What is wrong with you?' Just because I wanted her to know that I was annoyed, but not angry. That way she would open up about whatever it was that was going on with her." - R.H., female, 31.

"In high school, I used to talk gypsy as a code in front of persons with my twin sister. Ask me to say one word in it now, I couldn’t say it to you, because it was too long ago, but I remember speaking it often." P.C., male, 40.

"My younger sister and I would use it when we don’t want the other family members to know what we are talking about. I don’t remember much about what we talked about, but I do know, you put ‘p’ or ‘lp’ before each syllable. For example, 'How are you' would be 'hopow apare yopou' or 'holopow alapare yolopou'." - A.C., female, 36.

"I have experience with pig latin, and I used to execute the code to my advantage by saying something as innocent as ‘i-lapii a-la-pam go-lopo-i-li-ping to-loo-poo sch-loo-pool’ -  'I am going to school', or something as naughty as ‘me-lipee lo-lopuv pulupoo-ssilipee,’- translate at your discretion." - D.S., male, 29

"Yes I did! I learned it in high school and that’s where I'd use it. Mostly when telling a secret or chatting someone. For instance, 'I dan o nan tan lan I kan e han e ran,' meant 'I don’t like her.” - T.H., female, 26.

"My sister and I used to use gypsy as children and now that we’re adults, we use it around our children when we don’t want them to figure out what we’re trying to say, particularly when we were gossiping about people. So, ‘shipi upo glipy’ or ‘shilipi ulopo gilipi’ is, 'She’s ugly'." - T.G., female, 33.