I could not follow a word of his speech, it was all mumbo-jumbo
The shelves were filled with purse, needles, pins and other such knick-knacks.
These are simple sentences we use in our day to day life. Whats special about them you may ask. Nothing much, except for these playful phrases - kinck-knacks, mumbo-jumbo.....
The pleasure we get by playing around with words, in turn coining new phrases as words. That's how a language is enriched. Same with English. It has evolved so much, its never the same as it was.
Idioms, phrases, words are poetic when rhymed. In order to enhance the poem, one tends to use meaningless or irrelevant words as long as it fits in. But its not restricted to poems alone, we use it everyday.....from dilly-dallying at work.......to running helter-skelter trying to cross the crowded street.
Repeating parts of words to make new words is called REDUPLICATION. They are coined for nothing more than the enjoyment of wordplay. The words making up these idioms have no meaning in themselves. They have an effect only when combined. Also, only one word from that word pair does have some meaning and pre-exists. The other pair is added to just enhance the effect.
Chat itself is diminutive form of chatter. 'Chit' in itself is meaningless.
There are different types of Reduplication.
Exact - These are used as baby talk to make young kids understand and learn the language. Idioms like
Rhyming - They are just like Cockney rhyming slang, where normal words are replaced by rhyming words. Few idioms here.
Ablaut - Suggest motion, like it is 'this' now and 'that' later. Words like
The above phrases ; if observed has 'i' in the first word and an 'a' or an 'o' in the second word. Does anybody have any idea why? If so, please enlighten me.
Second observation is that ABLAUT REDUPLICATION are sometimes ONOMATOPOEIC
(onomatopoeia are words that sound like the objects they name or the sounds those objects make).
The room was so silent that I could hear the TICK-TOCK of the clock - Perfect example of a phrase which is both ablaut reduplicated and also onomatopoeic.
Another one, a famous rhyme!! Now stand up and sing along people!!......with actions............
I hear thunder, I hear thunder,
Oh. don't you?
Oh. don't you ?
Pitter Patter raindrops,
Pitter Patter raindrops
I'm wet through, I/m wet through.
To enjoy a onomatopoeic story - please click here -A CRACKLING story. Don't ever miss this piece; I am telling this for your own benefits :-D
And as usual, I was discussing reduplication with Gautam. We brought in few more phrases in Hindi.
table-vable saaf karo
But these phrases don't seem to be reduplication. Why because the complete word is just paired with totally incomprehensible word just for the flow of sentence; and they don't actually form a new meaning in itself; unlike the reduplicated words.
I hope you all enjoyed this itsy-bitsy information. Now enough of my mumbo-jumbo, I am off to play see-saw!!