Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Where did the jive style of slang come from? It sounds pretty funny... specially from that scene in Airplane.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The "jive style of slang" is a dialect of English, most commonly known as African-American Vernacular English. Americans might have heard in the 90s about Ebonics, which is the same thing. I don't think it is really appropriate to call it jive anymore. You can see from the Wikipedia page that it has many names, partly because it is a sensitive topic for many, and some names have become stigmatized.

Its precise origins are not entirely clear. Some speculate that it was English that was heavily influenced by West African languages, some believe that influence was minimal. In either case, it shares many features of Southern American English.

share|improve this answer
    
I dnno.. it doesn't sound like ebonics to me. i can usually understand ebonics, but the stuff from that urbandictionary page made no sense at all, and especially remembering the scene from the airport it sounded completely different too. if anything i'd say jive has evolved into AAVE, but not that they're the same thing. –  Claudiu Oct 29 '10 at 1:53
5  
I don't know what to tell you. The "jive talk" that you heard in Airplane was an exaggerated joke form that was intended to be as difficult to understand as possible. But I assure you that what was called "jive" 40 or 50 years ago is called AAVE nowadays. Here is a PPT presentation for a linguistics class that talks about AAVE and specifically references that "jive" scene in Airplane: docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.stanford.edu/~tylers/… –  Kosmonaut Oct 29 '10 at 2:06
add comment

protected by RegDwigнt Jul 5 '12 at 8:53

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.