Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 19:09:58 -0500 From: Jules Levin Subject: More Hebonics First, re the first usage of "Hebonics"; I heard it very early on after the controversy started, on the Dennis Prager radio show, where the host said something like, "What Chutzpa, as we say in Hebonics..." But I'm not sure if he or a caller first used it. Whether it is the appropriate name misses the point; after all, Ebonics is awful from the standpoint of language name creation--at least it should be "Ebonic". So a good parody should try to reproduce the slightly "off" tone of the original word. What's interesting about the vocabulary of Hebonics is not that this or that word is Yiddish or Hebrew, but like the vocabulary of Ebonics, which is mostly independent of African lexicon, building on American English roots, its vocabulary is often peculiarly *American*, unrecognizable to a real East European Yiddish speaker. Two quick examples: the word "derma" for "kishke" is a pseudo-Anglicism. It pretends to be an English translation of the latter, but in fact is known ONLY by practitioners of Hebonics or regular visiters at old-fashioned Jewish style delis; second example: affair... In Hebonics, an affair in a hotel is something attended by 500 people, not something done discretely that only two people are supposed to know about. Any Gentile can master the typical germano-hebraic vocabulary; the true native speaker knows all the subtle NON-germano-hebraic elements. And finally, the stylistically preferred response to the question, "How are you?" is not "How should I be...?" but rather "I can't complain..." (When you are in robust health....) Jules Levin from HEL. > >Wayne Glowka > > >>>At the request of Susan Ervin-Tripp, the linguistic anthropologist Jim >>>Wilce has created a web site for postings (including newspaper material) on >>>Ebonics. The temporary site URL is which >>>links to linganthnet archives (linguistic anthropology list archives). If >>>you want your postings on the topE