Simply Gibberish


‘To speak gibberish’ usually means to be saying (or writing) something unintelligible or nonsensical. It’s not a flattering attribution. However, there is a word game, actually a whole family of word games, referred to as Gibberish. Many people know Pig Latin whose word-formation rules are basically:

  • for words that begin with a consonant (or consonant cluster), move it/them to the end and add the suffix -ay
  • for words that begin with a vowel, end the word with the suffix -way
  • for compound words, factor according to their components

Jane ate a chocolate ice cream cone in the schoolyard  –>  Anejay ateway away ocolatechay iceway eamcray onecay inway ethay oolschayardyay

In one ‘dialect’ of Gibberish (there are many variants) the infix -idig- is inserted after each syllable of a word. Notice we’re getting a bit trickier than Pig Latin, where you only make one insertion per word unit. The rules for -idig- Gibberish are:

  • insert -idig- after the initial consonant or consonant cluster of the syllable
  • insert -idig- before the syllable, if the syllable starts with a vowel
  • follow the rule for consonants if the syllable begins with ‘y’ or ‘w’

Here are some examples to get you going.

  • ball –> bidigall
  • tree –> tridigee
  • purple –> pidigurpidigle
  • waveform –> widigavefidigorm
  • or –> idigor
  • antelope –> idigantidigelidigope
  • yellow –> yidigellidigow

Getting the hang of it? Well then, let’s have a little fun. Translate the following sentences back into standard English.

  • Idigit widigas idigaa pidigurpidigle pidigeopidigle idigeatidiger.
  • Idiganyidigidigone idigon twidigittidiger idigusidiging gidigibbidigeridigish?
  • Whidigat’s fidigor didiginnidiger?
  • Idigextridiga pidigicklidiges idigand hidigold thidige midigayidigo, plidigease.
  • Tidigo bidige idigor nidigot tidigo bidige: thidigat idigis thidige quidigestidigion.

Answers will be posted tomorrow. 🙂

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One Response to Simply Gibberish

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