Willy Safizzle discovers the izzle; milkshake not far behind?
September 21, 2004 7:06 AM   Subscribe

William Safire on "the izzle": "And now, in the pages of The New York Times, there it is — a word modified with the ubiquitous izzle. Some clever Times copy editor, for a June article about Chrysler's new 300C sedan, created the headline, "Fo' Shizzle, That Big Bad Chrysler Really Does Sizzle". So now that the gray lady herself has been izzled from the inside, is it time for everyone to wish one last fond farewizzle and shed the shizzle? (MTV interview mentioned in the article is here.)
posted by taz (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Good pizzle.
posted by crunchburger at 7:11 AM on September 21, 2004

"What I gotta do to get that brand new 300 up outta you?" he continued. "Get back in contact with my nephew so you can make it happen, then it's official like a referee's whistle. If you want this car to blow, give it to me. This is Snoop Dogg. Preach!"

The message is clear.

P.S. All comments in this thread must be izzled, understizzle?
posted by Shane at 7:22 AM on September 21, 2004

[This is gizzle]
posted by dhoyt at 7:27 AM on September 21, 2004

William Safire reminds us we have the musical rappers to thank for the izzle phenomenon...

"The musical rappers?"

Grandpa, is that you?
posted by dhoyt at 7:32 AM on September 21, 2004

I lizove jizargon, having wrizitten a bizook (Skeleton Key) about Dizheadhead slizang bizack in the dizay. Nice lizink.
posted by digaman at 7:33 AM on September 21, 2004

It's in the dizzle, fo shizzle!
Or is it the dictionizzle?
posted by geekyguy at 7:36 AM on September 21, 2004

I'm Rick James, bitch.
posted by mr.marx at 7:37 AM on September 21, 2004

Intgeresting that Safire lifts the phrase "This led to the faintly surreal experience of three gentlemen in horsehair wigs examining the meaning of such phrases as "mish mish man" and "shizzle (or sizzle) my nizzle" word for word from the law reports record of Confetti Records (A Firm) and others v Warner Music UK Ltd and another [2003] EWCH 1274 (Ch).

Also, the this bit below is fucking funny.

[154] Mr Pascal did not himself claim to know what street meanings were to be attributed to the disputed phrases, but said that he had been told what they were by an unnamed informant conversant with the use of drugs. Mr Howe submitted, correctly in my opinion, that the meaning of words in a foreign language could only be explained by experts. He also submitted, again correctly in my opinion, that the words of the rap, although in a form of English, were for practical purposes a foreign language. Thus he submitted that Mr Pascal's evidence, not being the evidence of an expert, was inadmissible. I think that he is right, although the occasions on which an expert drug dealer might be called to give evidence in the Chancery Division are likely to be rare.
posted by dmt at 8:07 AM on September 21, 2004

For such a crizzusty old pizzundit, that Safire is a hizzell of a little trizzackspotter .... droppin' UTFO in the mix? Damn.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:09 AM on September 21, 2004

Ah, MetaFizzle.
posted by Songdog at 8:11 AM on September 21, 2004

Fo' shizzle.
posted by chrid at 8:15 AM on September 21, 2004

Cool article. Remember, the "slanguistic sensei" himself says "You can't say 'izzle' no more. Tizzle, fizzle, dizzle — none of that. It's over with."

So stop it already.

"Slanguistic sensei." Banzai!
posted by kozad at 8:24 AM on September 21, 2004

Well, not to rain on y'alls parizzle, but it's not Safire, but Kathleen Miller, his assistant, who wrote the piece.
posted by cowboy_sally at 8:32 AM on September 21, 2004

<Sideshow Bob noise>
posted by Blue Stone at 8:32 AM on September 21, 2004

Thank you Cowboy Sally -- I could've sworn when I read the analog version of this article that it actually wasn't Safire who wrote it.
posted by spilon at 8:37 AM on September 21, 2004

I'm not saying this because I'm quoted in the article, but although Kathleen missed a few tricks (like a similar "izz" infix being used by auctioneers and carnies; column inches are limited, after all), she's done a pretty good job of debunking all the "I started it!" claims made by and behalf of a whole slew of hip-hop performers and wannabes. Though I think she should have come down hard on that jackass E-40 who bites every rap innovation that's not tied down.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:38 AM on September 21, 2004

If you ask me, the izzle has finally fazizlled.
posted by jonmc at 8:43 AM on September 21, 2004

Wait wait!

[holds up one hand, looks at watch on other wrist]

There are 3 caucasian 5-year olds in Arkansas still enjoying the novelty of the izzle. Wait for it....

Okay! It's done!
posted by scarabic at 8:53 AM on September 21, 2004

I hate Snoop Dogg.

Carry on.
posted by jokeefe at 9:16 AM on September 21, 2004

Her pig latin is off. "Let it go" is properly translated "Etlay itway ogay".
posted by jessamyn at 9:49 AM on September 21, 2004

Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella?

Fo' drizzle.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:57 AM on September 21, 2004

When thugged-out suburban honkeys stop making izzle jokes and late-to-the-party hipsters stop making pirate references, we will be closer to attaining world peace. I mean, pizzle. World pizzle. Pizzle ahoy, mateys! please kill me
posted by dhoyt at 10:12 AM on September 21, 2004

William Safire reminds us we have the musical rappers to thank

"Have you been playing that hippity-hop music? Again?"

posted by matteo at 10:16 AM on September 21, 2004

cowboy_sally: Thanks for clearing that up. For some reason, there's a Safire byline in the International Herald Tribune version.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 10:54 AM on September 21, 2004

Yeah, the article I linked also had a Safire attribution; I guess papers who carry him just automatically put it on, and didn't notice that he was on vacation... Thanks, cowboy_sally.
posted by taz at 10:58 AM on September 21, 2004

Some porn stars jizzle.

Others pizzle, but that's just nasty.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:35 AM on September 21, 2004

What does Snoop Dogg use to wash his underwear?

posted by PrinceValium at 11:38 AM on September 21, 2004

This thread is bullshizzle.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:07 PM on September 21, 2004

And we just got over "Tizzle Like a Pizzle Dizzle"...

or "Tizzalk Like a Pizzrate Dizzay"...

What would Elmer Fudd and the Swedish Chef think of this?
posted by wendell at 12:08 PM on September 21, 2004

The izzle once was all the sizzle,
but it has drizzled on the fizzle
and become frizzled.
Now we are grizzle.
Who will take up the chisel?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:09 PM on September 21, 2004

Frankie Smith's 1981 Double Dutch Bus included a list of infixed names — "Bilzarbra, Mitzery, Milzetty ... Titzommy, Kitzerrance, Kilzommy" — at the end of the song.

Wrong! If Kathleen Miller had listened to Double Dutch Bus, she would have heard the syllable ilz inserted after the first consonant of a given word--or, if it began with a vowel, it would begin ilzay as in:

Wilzay ilzay pilzaying Dilzuouble Dilzutch!
We is playing Double Dutch!

It derives from a pig Latin variant used in the black jump game Double Dutch--gee, note the title--as supergroover notes on the bulletin board from Leo's Lyrics devoted to the song Double Dutch Bus:

OK, Gang. I won't reveal the full lyrics, because that would take all the fun out of the song, but I WILL tell you how to translate it for yourself. It works just like Pig-Latin. You take the first letter off of a word, add "ilz" to it, and then say the rest of the word. For example, WORD becomes "wilzord" in Double-Dutch. In the lyrics that are posted here, the section after the "rap with children" has a good example of it, although the names are wrong. It should read:
"...Bilzarbra, Milzary, Bilzetty, Silzam
Tilzommy, Tilzerrance, Bilzobby that's my man."
The actual names are Barbara, Mary, Betty, Sam, Tommy, Terrance, and Bobby. My friends and I used to talk like this in school when I was a kid and drive our teachers insane, and that was many years before Snoop Dogg was schnizzling his nizzle.

Izzle is a variant on ilz.

R&B songs are studded with references to jump rope rhymes and children's games.. The venerable Little Sally Walker, for example, is ubiquitous. We are talking about what Huizinga wrote about in his Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture

Now in myth and ritual the great instinctive forces of civilized life have their origin: law and order, commerce and profit, craft and art, poetry, wisdom and science. All are rooted in the primaeval soil of play.

and what is sometimes referred to children's culture. I suspect Izzle predates Hip Hop by decades, if not centuries.

Pig latin constructions in children's games are ubiquitous world wide:

LINGUIST List 8.1208 - Thu Aug 21 1997 - Sum: Double-Dutch and Youthese / Pig Latin

My original query was posted on Jul 12 1997 in LINGUIST (Re: 8.1048) and asked for data on:

(A) secret signalization codes among children approaching (but still not having fully reached) the age of adolescence, particularly so-called "Double-Dutch" (a more or less invariant standard syllable is inserted into every word to render it unrecognizable) in various languages of the World;

(B) exclusivist, but not particularly secretive youth-specific slang, so-called "Youthese", among teenagers (adolescents), functioning as peer, in-group, or clique trademark.

Secret Languages/Mystery Messages has another variant of Double Dutch:

Moparopyop hopadop a lopitoptoplope lopamopbop. That means “Mary had a little lamb” in the secret language of Opish. Have you ever thought of using a language all your own? How about Double-Dutch, Na, or Skimono Jive? If you speak a secret language, no one will understand a word you say (until you tell them how it's done). Sound like fun? Try it! We've used “Mary had a little lamb” for each example.

Deskmod.org > Science > Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics > Constructed Languages > Play

Words & Stuff - u: Ubbi Dubbi, You're the One

Pig-Latin Type Play Languages in Indonesia & Pig-Latin Type Play Languages in Other Southeast Asian Countries

From LINGUIST List 2.406 - Wednesday, 14 August 1991 - Disc: Pig Latin (language games):

Response to Peter Salus query on behalf of Jeff Haemer: There are thousands of languge games similar to Pig Latin. I don't think anyone has every studied a language community without finding one or more. I once had a non-published mimeographed monograph with listings of hundreds but I am not sure where it is. Ken Hale reported a game used by the Walbiri, natives of central Australia, in which the meanings o
words are distorted rather than the phonological forms, e.g. Ns, Vs, Adj's are replaced by their semantic oposites -- man for woman, up for down etc. The game Ubby Dubby was used in a children's television program popular in the 1970's. King Tut was a popular game in English. In Thai, there is a game in which syllables are moved and like Pig Latin there are at least two varieties, in one, the tones remain as in the original with just the segments of syllables moved, and in another the tones move with the syllable. Wish I could give you some references and could do so in a while but right now am too busy working on book revisions of Intro Text and am not going into ucla office where I could put my hands on the references. Oh yes, Joel Sherzer at U of Texas describes a language game played by Cuna Indians. reference is Sherzer, Joel. Talking Backwards in CUna: the sociological reality of phonological descriptions. in Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 26: 343-353 1970. He has fuller descrfiptions in his book but I do not have the reference here. Hope this helps. Vicki Fromkin

As the Frankie Smith link above tells it:

Earlier, to make ends meet, Smith had applied for a bus driving job with the city, but was never hired. Still smarting from the experience, Smith recorded an expletive-laced improvised rap about a "double dutch bus." The engineers laughed and told Smith that they couldn't use that and Smith re-recorded a cuss-free version of the rap. He kept in mind the huge crossover success of Kurtis Blow, who had a million-selling single with The Breaks, and pig Latin, which had become a current rage with the kids. Smith recorded the rap at about two o'clock in the morning, giving the vocal a groggy, froggy flavor. To complete the track, Smith went to a bus terminal and recorded a horn, and invited neighborhood kids to the recording studio to add some hip pig Latin.
posted by y2karl at 12:54 PM on September 21, 2004

Correction: Upon rechecking the Leo's Lyrics discussion, I see You can hear it in the chorus when the girls are singing "Wilzee ilzall plilzay Dilzouble Dilzutch", which of course translates to "We all play Double Dutch...
posted by y2karl at 12:57 PM on September 21, 2004

There are 3 caucasian 5-year olds in Arkansas still enjoying the novelty of the izzle. Wait for it....

These are the same folks still saying "my bad."
posted by Ayn Marx at 9:20 PM on September 21, 2004

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