Naming Your Children

I should probably explain the name, too, whilst I’m at it. That’s pronounced like “blizzard,” not “pizza.” Those of you who know the “lingo,” so to speak, will recognise the so-called “z insertion,” first popularised (I think) on a long-forgotten episode of Seinfeld and then adopted in a somewhat modified form by various gansta rappers in such songs as Jay-Z’s HOVA. For the uninitiated, allow me to provide an example.

The following sentence, written normally, reads:

I am a thuggish gangsta rapper.

In the “z-insertion” style, that would read:

I am a thizzuggish gizzangsta rizzapper.

In the “modified z-insertion” style, it would probably read:

I am a thizzie gizzangsty rizzie.

The latter style is also the least clearly defined, perhaps because it has emerged in only the last couple of years. My theory, completely unsupported by evidence, is that rappers started to get lazy, and saying the entire word after inserting an extra syllable was too much work, so they started dropping everything after the Zs.

I find this somewhat amusing, along the lines of the common Australian usage of dropping all but the first syllable of a word and appending the “ie” sound to the end (unless the first syllable already ends in such a sound, in which case the “o” sound is added), so that “football” becomes “footy,” Fremantle becomes “Freo,” a can (“tin”) of beer becomes a “tinny,” any Eskimo(tm)-like portable icebox/cooler becomes an “Esky,” etc. But at least you can understand what the Australians are saying. Someone trying to figure out what the heck “fo sheezy” means is going to have a bloody difficult time about it.

posted by Chris on 08 March 2003 at 2041 in meta

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