Residence: St. Louis, Missouri
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/17/2018
Primary Language: English
Informant Info: The informant is an 18-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri. She is currently a freshman studying Public Policy at USC.
Interviewer: From all of our previous interactions, I know you have a habit of a funky little language. Can you tell me more about it?
Interviewee: The language is called ubbi dubbi, and it originated on a show called Zoom, which is a PBS kids show. All you need to do is put ub in front of every vowel when speaking. We started speaking it in middle school and then in high school everyone seemed to be super into it. It got bad enough that at a certain point that teachers had to put “No phones, no calculators, and no ubbi dubbi” on tests because kids would cheat through it. But yeah, I still like to make memes with it or I’ll just randomly speak it for fun to throw people off.
You must love the good old forms of variation and multiplicity. This collection is an example of how popular media can influence folklore, particularly through kids. The language was a silly piece of a kids show, yet the humorous sounds inspired the informant to make a hobby out of speaking it. I’ll give her credit… it’s harder than it seems to speak it successfully. But, nonetheless, it shows popular media being taken and morphed into an actual language.