Although verlan was originally nothing more than what linguists term backslang, it should not be automatically dismissed as a meaningless, juvenile form of entertainment.
The usage of verlan is now trendy, but it still grates the nerves of many traditionalists (see Sloutsky and Black 308) which would consider this form of backslang too unrefined for the stage.
DRUG BOSS'S SLANG REVEALED TELEPHONE taps conducted by Dutch police into Warren's activities revealed a twisted tongue of drugs backslang
Thus, refusing to fully embrace the label beur--a term whose origins could be found in the linguistic device known as backslang
that reversed the dominant consonants "r" and "b" in the word "Arab" and that was utilized to define this ambiguity--Zebda indicated a partial (albeit humorous) affinity to the broader identitarian issues at stake around the question of assimilation and integration through the name they adopted for their group that means "beurre" (butter) in Arabic.
He had learned it as a youngster in Liverpool where it was known as backslang
It derives from the reversal of syllables in the word arabe (even though not all North Africans are Arabs; some are Berbers), following the use of verlan, or backslang
, in the outer suburbs of Paris.
a DVD made by members of the youth club he was given a beginner's dictionary on how to talk street.
While derived from ethnic roots in the Arab world, the word Beur was constructed within a French system of backslang
, reflecting the cultural hybridity of second-generation Maghrebis.
is punctuated with words such as renoi for "noir" (black), kefri for "fric" (slang for money), but also clebard for "chien" (dog), derived obviously not from "chien" but from "kelb," Arabic for dog.
Unbeknown to him the Dutch police were listening in on his conversations with a wire tap, although with little success as they struggled to cut through his Liverpool accent, the backslang
he used and the codewords he slipped in when talking people and business.