The Secret Language of One Small Town
If you have ever found yourself deeking at your applehead’s ose, and thinking that you might ply her with a heelch of frattey and perhaps a few horns of steinbers in the hopes of some boarch burlapping after the big tidrik you are not only checking out your girlfriend’s hind quarters and thinking you can fill her with large quantities of wine, and perhaps a few glasses of beer in the hopes of some repeated sexual intercourse after the big party, you are also harpin’ (or rather speaking) Boontling.
Boontling is the once secret language created around 1880 in the small and isolated farming community of Booneville in Anderson Valley. The parlance is said to contain over one thousand unique words and phrases.
Some say the lingo was used to speak in code in front of outsiders. As longtime Boonville resident Bobby Glover once quipped on the Tonight Show to Johnny Carson,
"My mother used to say never trust anybody until you've known them at least 20 years... and even then be damned careful!"
Others say the manufactured jargon, which contains a good amount of sexual inference was made up so the men folk could speak plainly in front of the children, and still others say it’s possible it was the other way around; kids trying to have their own special language that the adults wouldn’t understand.
Linguists agree that Boontling’s roots are drawn from a mixture of English, Scottish, Irish, Spanish, and Pomo Indian words.
Today Boontling is a dying language, but there are still visible traces of the vernacular in town. The payphone is labeled a Bucky Walters, (after buck a code name for a nickel, and Walter, the first man in Boonville to own a phone.) and a cup of coffee is still written on some restaurant menus as a horn of Zeese. (After a man nicknamed Z.C. who made particularly bitter coffee.)
Visit Booneville. Brightlighters (cityfolk) are welcome.