Dog Latin

When I was at school there was a fashion at one time of speaking what we called Dog Latin, but which is more usually called Pig Latin, or so I understand. When I was a teacher, it amused me to see that students were still doing it but they called it back slang, and it amused me even more that they were amazed when I knew what they were talking about. Back slang to me though is when words are reversed, boy – yob, efac – face.

What  I mean by Dog Latin, is a fun code way of speaking where you move the first consonant or sound to the end of the word and ad ‘ay’. Oyay ancay alktay otay ourya riendsfay ithoutway othersay owingnay atway ouryar ayingsay. No doubt when we were doing it at school many of our teachers could understand us, just as I could understand my students.

Thinking about it now, it amazes me how clever the brain is because when used to use it we could speak almost as quickly as normal, and also understand it as normal… our brains had managed to decode it so quickly and easily.

Apparently the first known mention of it was in 1869, but I wonder if people, children in particular, and maybe ne’er do wells, had been doing this for centuries before. There are similar versions too in other languages, german, French, Portuguese and in the Balkans. Ooodgay eavenshay! Owhay everclay eoplay aray!

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