Wiki Wormhole: This California town invented its own language

With more than 5.2 million articles, Wikipedia is an invaluable resource, whether you’re throwing a term paper together at the last minute or penna tine on my damie kays. We explore some of Wikipedia’s oddities in our 5,289,827-week series, Wiki Wormhole.

This week’s entry: Boontling

What it’s about: Like an entire town of middle-school BFFs, the town of Boonville, California, made up its own private language. Around 1890, the town was an isolated farming and ranching community and didn’t have much interaction with neighbors. So its peculiar slang was able to take hold in a relatively controlled environment, and 125 years later, some Boontling speakers are still hanging on, although Boonville only has 700 current residents and only a handful of those are keeping the argot alive.

Strangest fact: While Boontling borrows from Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Pomoan, and Spanish, a lot of …

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