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Nadsat (was: Re: CONLANG T-Shirt: "Your yahzick...")

From:Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...>
Date:Friday, November 12, 1999, 22:49
Brook Conner wrote:

>> It's a mainly slavic relex of english, based in the future. There's >> all kinds of other slang terms, backformations and borrowings >> (including Romany IIRC) in there. My favourite is <charles> for >> <non-denominational priestly person>. > >Yep. Some of the other slavic ones that haven't been mentioned >include: > >rassodock - mind, as in to make up one's rassodock >tolchuk - hit or strike >gulliver - "golovo" in anglicized Russian, for head (same kind of mod > as horror show from "xorosho" >lomtick - slice, as in lomticks of toast >britva - razor (I think - may be misremembering this one)
You got it right. But "tolchuk" should be "tolchock", a wonderful word. Along with folk etymologies like "horrorshow" (< "xorosho") and "gulliver" (< "golovo"), there's also "millicents" = "police, pigs" (< "militsija"). Oh, and "charles" should be "charlie", meaning, of course, "chaplain". Somebody already mentioned the wordplay element to Nadsat - using "eggiweg" for "egg" and so on. My favourite is when wordplay is applied to the slavicisms. So alongside "malchick" (= boy, guy), we occasionally get the emphatic form "malchickiwick". In addition to these elements, there's also acronyms and other abbreviations, such as "staja" for "state jail" (= penitentiary), and "pee and em" for "pop and mum" (= parents). Matt.