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Pidgin evolution?

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  • Pidgin evolution?

    Now, I've been away from Hawaii for more than half of my life. That's a long time. Have you notice any change in Pidgin? I assume like all form of language communication, it will evolve.

    What you have noticed that changed in Pidgin today vs the old days?

  • #2
    Re: Pidgin evolution?

    Pidgin has evolved quite a bit just since I was in elementary school (40 years ago). I've been a townie for these past 20 years, so I'm not as immersed in it as I once was (growing up in Waipahu). This means I hear it spoken much, much less than I used to, so one thing I cannot speak to whether or there are any commonly used phrases today that weren't around when I was a kid.

    However, you can point to a lot of language that has either disappeared or is only used by people (ahem) of a certain age. "Cockroach" as a verb seems to have gone completely. Use it in conversation with someone my age and people don't even realize they haven't heard it in a long time, but say it around some of the college students in my office and they don't know what you're talking about. "Hemo" is another, and "nails" is still around but I only hear it in outlying areas.

    A colleague of mine recently received both editions of Pidgin to da Max as a gift, and we spent a little bit of time looking through it to find long-forgotten usage. It's rather laden. Some of it probably for the best. "Da kine" is still in common use, but remember when it was a euphemism for gay? I'm glad we don't hear it that way anymore.

    Rough take? Haven't heard it since playground days.
    Squid? Gone.

    I wonder if other HTers have a different take. As I said, I'm a townie now so I don't have as much cred.
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)


    • #3
      Re: Pidgin evolution?

      for the most part it's devolved from a fun form of pre-digital communications which had rich regional distinctions, intelligence, and humor to a homogenized dialect that has become passe', too often full of boring, negative, and ignorant context. pidgin was popularized by local characters who promoted a broad-ranging mentality which has faded as we lose the old ways and face to face contact, it get's diluted, even locals are so removed now that they mimic pidgin and sound like tourists!


      • #4
        Re: Pidgin evolution?

        That's true, with less "face to face" communications part you noted. I would also think to Pidgin communications also include motion and hand gestures.

        When do you think Pidgin stop evolving? We can say it started with the plantation workers, correct? Would you agree that the last evolution, or contributors to Pidgin were the Filipino plantation workers? So therefore, 1920s?