Sep 30, 2009

King Tut Language

Nonsensical Languages

Nonsensical languages are so much fun. You know you are a fan of the nonsensical if you can enjoy Lewis Carrol's "The Jabberwocky." I am stunned that I understand what a vorpal sword is and chortle. Amazing. Simply amazing.

Do you remember Pig Latin as a kid? I-ay o-day! We used to speak Pig Latin in the schoolyard so we could say bad words. Uck-fay ou-yay!


King Tut

"Hello" in King Tut Language
But, what about King Tut language? I stumbled upon this nonsensical language* several years ago, working as a page in a public library - you come across a plethora of arcane, but useful books.

King Tut is a nonsensical language I read about - it involves taking all consonants and simply doubling them and inserting a "U" in the middle. Vowels are pronounced as usual. Here is the alphabet:


King Tut Letters

A, Bub, Coy, Dud, E, Fuf, Gug, Huh (or Hoy), I, Juj (or Joy), Kuk, Lul, Mum, Nun, O, Pup, Quk, Rur (or Roy), Sus, Tut, U, Vuv, Wuw (or Woy), Xux, Yuk (or Yoy), Zuz


Double Letters

If a letter is doubled, like in "book" you say bub-o-square-kuk.
"Hello, How are you?"
in King Tut is rendered
"Huh-e-lul-square-o, Huh-o-wuw a-rur-e yuk-o?" 
When King Tut is spoken it is VERY funny. It sounds like complete nonsense. I teach it for fun to my freshman English class to impress upon them the artificial construct of language (although I don't tell them that is why I am teaching it to them).

It is quite impressive how quickly the students can understand what I am saying once I explain the rules.



*(thanks to Dickson's Word Treasury by Paul Dickson)
Also, thanks to Wordie

2 comments:

  1. My best friend Cindy and I learned this language in 4th grade at Sam Case Elementary (in the school yard)in 1969 in Newport, Oregon. However, there are some differences to what you have posted. The following is the alphabet that we used - also known as King Tut:

    a, bub, cash, dud, e, fuf, gug, hash, i juj, kuk, lul, mum, nun, o, pup, quack, rur, shush, tut, u, vuv, wow, yux, yum,, zuz

    We did say "squared" after a double letter.

    We sang it to memorize it and then were quite proficient at using it. At 51 years old, I can still pop it out once again proving that it is best to teach language in the early years.


    Hash-e-lul square-o! Hash-o-wow a-rur-e yum-o-u?
    Tut-hash-a-nun-kuk yum-o-u fuf-o-rur yum-o-u-rur pup-o-shush-tut!

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  2. My grandmother saw this language in the newspaper and learned it so she and my grandfather could speak to each other without my dad and his brother knowing what they were saying. My dad learned it eventually and taught it to us. I've been speaking it since I was about 8 yrs old and now my children are speaking it!:) Our alphabet was slightly different - a, bub, cash, dud, e, fuf, gug, hash, i, lul, mum, nun, o, pup, q, rur, sus, tut, u, vuv, wuv, x, yank, zuz. We say "square" before the double consonant. So Hello is hash-e-square lul-o. It's fun anyway you say it!:)

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