See also: Language games
Pig Latin is a constructed language game where words in English are altered according to a simple set of rules. Pig Latin takes the first consonant (or consonant cluster) of an English word, moves it to the end of the word and suffixes an ay (IPA [eɪ]) (for example, pig yields igpay, banana yields ananabay, and trash yields ashtray).
The objective is to conceal the meaning of the words from others not familiar with the rules. The reference to Latin is a deliberate misnomer, as it is simply a form of jargon, used only for its English connotations as a "strange and foreign-sounding language."lglyy lyftuyf lylfOrigins
The origins of Pig Latin are unknown. One early mention of the name was in Putnam's Magazine in May 1869: "I had plenty of ammunition in reserve, to say nothing, Tom, of our pig Latin. 'Hoggibus, piggibus et shotam damnabile grunto,' and all that sort of thing," although the language cited is not modern Pig Latin, but rather what would be called today Dog Latin.
The Atlantic January 1895 also included a mention of the subject: "They all spoke a queer jargon which they themselves had invented. It was something like the well-known 'pig Latin' that all sorts of children like to play with." Thomas Jefferson wrote letters to friends in Pig Latin (see Hailman in the references below). Use
Pig Latin is mostly used by people for amusement or to converse in perceived privacy from other persons. A few Pig Latin words, such as ixnay (nix), amscray (scram), and upidstay (stupid), have been incorporated into American English slang. Rules
The usual rules for changing standard English into Pig Latin are as follows:
For words that begin with consonant sounds, the initial consonant or consonant cluster is moved to the end of the word, and "ay" is added, as in the following examples:
"happy" → "appyhay"...
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