Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 20:09:25 -0800


Subject: Re: Gnarly Gnews!

Actually, the (g)narl(e)y news is presented in the most freewheeling

Dictionary of Surfing Terms ever written: THE SURFIN'ary, by Trevor


It was a term that Cralle has as "gnar-gnar; gnarlatious; gnarly;

gnarlness (a term of obeisance); gnarled; gnarler; gnarly-ass; total

gnarler; AND nar, narly "see gnarly"



On Fri, 10 Nov 1995, Dan Moonhawk Alford wrote:

Excellent, Joan! I was referring to the "fashions of speaking" that

spread the word widely rather than its origin, which you have (by

experience?) rightly pinpointed. In fact, prompted by this discussion,

the person I keep referring to as "my wife" (Dr. Marilyn Silva) last

night in a class mentioned this topic word and -- lo and behold! -- found

a native speaker of SurferTalk who told her exactly the same information.

The expression comes from all the dings resulting in bumps from being

thrown off boards, battered by surf, etc. For this speaker, the word is

definitely with a non-optional "g" because of the gnarled appearance.

However, it is not surprising that even some native speakers of this

dialect (?) do not know its origin and therefore reanalyze it to have

either a different silent letter in spelling (k) or none at all. Both

Marilyn and I are sure we've seen 'Narly!' written before (where?).

On Fri, 10 Nov 1995, Joan C. Cook wrote:

On Thu, 9 Nov 1995, Dan Moonhawk Alford wrote:

PS -- my wife also is of the opinion that looking up Valley Girl Talk in

Webster's is a case of misplaced authority.


Well, actually, Dan, (g)narly isn't Valley Girl Talk, it's Surfer (and

Skateboarder) Talk. :-)

--Joan (who's too many miles from that part of the world to be licensed

to talk about it)


Joan C. Cook Imagination is

Department of Linguistics more important

Georgetown University than knowledge.

Washington, D.C., USA

cookj[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] --Albert Einstein