Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 09:47:34 +0000
From: Peter McGraw
Subject: Re: nativisms

On Fri, 15 May 1998 13:46:58 -0400 Larry Horn

> At 10:15 AM -0700 5/15/98, A. Vine wrote:
> >Larry Horn wrote:
> >> Upstate New Yorkers go nativist with a vengeance. The Chili that's a
> >> suburb of Rochester is [CHAI lai], as in "jai alai"
> >>
> >> Larry
> >
> >"Jai alai" is regional. Folks who haven't been in the Northeast
> >probably haven't heard of it.
> >
> >Andrea
> Well, I suspect those who've been to the Basque Country have. But it's
> "the fastest game on Earth", and a good excuse for public gambling in
> these parts (before the more recent reservation casino trend). The
> local pronunication is bi-, rather than tri-, syllabic, essentially
> High Life without the f.
> I know, I know, folks who don't drink beer haven't heard of THAT.
> Larry

Folks who grew up in Southern California (at least, folks of my
vintage) have certainly heard of it. When I was a kid, we had a book
of matches around our house (in San Diego) for what seemed like years
that had a picture of a stadium, I think in Tijuana, and said, "JAI
ALAI...hili [or highligh?] games." I took this to mean that there was
a stadium in Tijuana named [dzhe [AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]le] (excuse the bastardized IPA)
where they played a game called [hailai]. If I'd thought much about
it, I probably would have figured the stadium also had something to do
with a city called "Allay" that people were always mentioning.


Peter A. McGraw
Linfield College
McMinnville, Oregon