"ziph" Definition

  1. LANGUAGE OF, a way of disguising English in use among the students at Winchester College. Compare MEDICAL GREEK. De Quincey, in his _Autobiographic Sketches_, says that he acquired this language as a boy, from a Dr. Mapleton, who had three sons at Winchester who had imported it from thence as their sole accomplishment, and that after the lapse of fifty years he could, and did with Lord Westport, converse in it with ease and rapidity. It was communicated at Winchester to new-comers for a fixed fee of half a guinea. The secret is this,—repeat the vowel or diphthong of every syllable, prefixing to the vowel so repeated the letter G, and placing the accent on the intercalated syllable. Thus, for example, “Shall we go away in an hour?” “Shagall wege gogo agawagay igin agan hougour?” “Three hours we have already stayed,” “Threegee hougours wege hagave agalreageadygy stagayed.” De Quincey could hardly have been considered complimentary to his own memory if he supposed that he, or for the matter of that any one possessed of brains, could forget anything so simple; or that, if forgotten until suddenly recalled, it could not be mastered by any sensible person in a minute. The language of ZIPH is far inferior to any of the slangs manufactured by the lower classes. Evidently any consonant will answer the purpose; F or L would be softer, and so far better. This ZIPH system is not confined to Winchester College, as it is recorded and described amongst many other modes of cryptical communication, oral and visual, spoken, written, and symbolic, in an _Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophic Language_ (founded on or suggested by a treatise published just before, by Geo. Dalgarne), by John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester, published by order of the Royal Society, fol. 1668, and as the bishop does not speak of it as a recent invention, it may probably at that time have been regarded as an antique device for conducting a conversation in secrecy amongst bystanders—which says very little for either the designers or the bystanders.

More About ziph

Position in the dictionary: 4020 of 4022 slang words.
Next words in the dictionary: zounds!, ’varsity
Previous words in the dictionary: ziff, yoxter, your nibs, younker, yorkshire reckoning, yorkshire estates;, yorkshire compliment, yorkshire, yokuff, yokel

The Slang Dictionary's Entry for ziph

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