As most of you who read my articles and my blog “Holding Patterns” (www.sandimcbride.blogspot.com) know, I grew up spending every summer with my grandparents. It was our grandmother, Mammy, who taught us the fun stuff of life along with work ethics. As a teacher she encouraged us to learn new things and practiced what she preached. On stormy days when we kids were stuck inside the house, she taught us to make paper-mache items and tents from chairs and sheets where we could sit inside reading or telling stories of adventure. It was during just such a storm that she first introduced us to a new and exciting world of linguistics that is now a nearly lost art. It is called Pig Latin.
We were sitting around the kitchen table, having given up our chair tents for notebook paper and pencils. I don’t know why we loved that combo, but we did and often spent what little money we had on them.
Mammy was busy making iced tea and suddenly asked us — sister, Toni and me — if we knew how to speak Pig Latin. We told her no but our curiosity was piqued, and she promised to teach us. We spent the next hour learning the trick of it then practicing the language.
The key to the whole thing lies in the title above. Study how the first letter of the word is moved to the end as “ood” then “aye” is added, “do” is now ooday. The same with “you-” ooyae. Now say “speak-” eekspay and “pig-” igpay, now “latin-” attinlay. Sort of like the riddle songs of the ’60s, you now have a language to speak when you don’t want your parents to know what you are saying. Toni and I being quick studies were soon chatting away like nobody’s business. We can still do it.
I remember when I took my kids to see the movie “The Goonies.” At some point during the movie the kids were speaking in Pig Latin and I started to laugh as I translated for my boys. They looked at me in awe and demanded to be taught to speak this cool “new” language. Thinking back to those days of their childhood I find myself longing for the time when I was the coolest mom in the theater. Ouldnway ooyae?
— Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson, who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.