I approve the registration of en-boont (Boontling)

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Jan 29 15:50:21 CET 2003


Name of requester          : John Cowan
E-mail address of requester: jcowan at reutershealth.com
Tag to be registered       : en-boont
English name of language   : Boontling
Native name of language (transcribed into ASCII): Boontling

Reference to published description of the language (book or article):

Adams, Charles C.  _Boontling: An American Lingo, with a Dictionary 
of Boontling.  University of Texas Press, 1971

Any other relevant information:

Boontling is the name given by its speakers to a deliberately 
contrived jargon which was spoken extensively between 1880 and 1920 
in the upper Anderson Valley of Mendocino County, California. This 
name, an abbreviated, self-explaining compound, is itself a typical 
word in the jargon. "Boont" is the local term for Boonville, the 
largest town in the valley and traditionally the service center of 
the upper portion of the area; "ling" is abbreviated from "lingo". 
Boontling, then, is the lingo of Boonville.

At the zenith of its development, Boontling contained a basic 
vocabulary of more than 1000 words and phrases, and nearly 3000 
specialized names for inhabitants of the area and for local 
geographical features.  It was spoken and/or understood by most of 
the approximately 500 people in the rural community. Three differing 
accounts of its origins are given by informants; all three agree that 
it originated as a secret language, but then spread, perhaps via 
public school, to the general populace. A conscious effort was made 
to coin additional words.

Boontling is still studied today, both as an unusual linguistic 
phenomenon, and by local valley residents who wish to know more of 
their heritage.

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