The Rules of Pig Latin (Igpay Atinlay)

Pig Latin is not an official language. However, it is commonly spoken throughout the world, especially by parents who do not want their children to know what they are talking about. Generally, parents feel free to talk in front of babies, but when they begin to speak there are certain conversations that it is inappropriate for them to hear. When a secret is to be kept from a toddler the easiest method is to spell out words. But once school begins, this is no longer a viable way to conduct secret conversations in the open. The next option is to use the old reliable, Pig Latin.

Igpay Atinlay is generally used as a kind of code by parents. But it can just be a fun way to speak with a wink and a nod. It is sometimes used among adults to say a few words that connote an open secret. Something everyone knows, but which no one wishes to say straight out. Usually it possesses a humorous, bantering quality when used in this way.

To speak Pig Latin simply remove the first letter or sound of any word that begins with a consonant and put it at the end of the word and add -ay. Thus a simple word like desk becomes esk-day and chair becomes air-chay. The only complication is when the word begins with a vowel, in which case the word simply ends with -ay.

Though this is a simple system, it can be difficult to say a string of words together. It can also be tedious in long strings. It is usually most effective when only a few words are translated, as in the sentence, "Should we let the idkays avehay some ice-ay reamcay onecays?" But be careful about using it too often. Kids can catch on ickquay.

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