In The Lion King movie, Simba tells Zuzu “They’re nothing but slobbering, mangy, stupid poachers” referring to hyenas. Then Zuzu says “Ixnay on the upidstay” to warn him to stop calling them stupid because hyenas are right behind them.
Here is a short clip in which Zuzu says this sentence:
What does Ixnay on the Upidstay Mean?
It means “stop saying that someone is stupid because they are probably right behind” in The Lion King movie. Zuzu uses this sentence to warn Simba about hyenas’ presence right behind them.
This is not an English sentence. It’s Pig Latin. The direct translation would be “Nix on the stupid” meaning that “Don’t use the word stupid”.
What is Pig Latin?
Pig Latin, or “Igpay Atinlay” is a form of jargon in which English words are altered to conceal the conversations from others. It’s a language game (argot) like Gibberish, Ubbi Dubbi, and Verlan.
English words are converted to Pig Latin by adding a fabricated suffix or by moving the initial consonant or consonant cluster to the end of the word and adding a vocalic syllable.
For example, the English word “smile” would be “ilesmay” in Pig Latin (“sm” was moved to the end and added “ay” afterward). Another example: The English sentence “See what I mean” would be “Eesay atwhay I eanmay” in Pig Latin.
For more about language games, check out this page.
The Origin of Pig Latin
The oldest usage of Pig Latin is dated to 1598. William Shakespeare used it in the play Love’s Labour’s Lost.
The modern usage of Pig Latin can be heard in the singer Arthur Fieldsused’s song Pig Latin Love in 1919. Since that day, it was used in various movies and songs such as The Lion King, Slums of Beverly Hills, and Stranger Things (Season 3).
The modern version of The Lion King is on Disney Plus:
Is Pig Latin A Real Language?
Pig Latin is not a real language. It’s an argot (language game) that is mostly used by young children as a fun way to confuse people who are not familiar with Pig Latin.
Some people call it “secret language” but it doesn’t mean it’s a language. “Secret language” phrase refers to the ability to cover a conversation from the people who don’t know how to translate Pig Latin to English.
Pig Latin is not related to the Latin language or dog Latin (a corrupt version of Latin). It’s also not related to pigs.
What Does Nix Mean?
Nix means to refuse to accept or allow something. In short, it means “no”. Synonyms of the nix would be disallow, forbid, prohibit, proscribe, and veto.
The word nix was adapted from German nichts in the eighteenth century and it’s not commonly used anymore. However, it is popular in Pig Latin because it makes the sentence harder to understand. If you just convert “no” to Pig Latin, it would be “onay” which is easier to figure out compared to the conversation of “nix” which is “ixnay”.
What Does Ixnay on the Ottenray Mean?
Ixnay on the ottenray means “do not say rotten because they are here”. It was used by Igor in the movie Young Frankenstein. The dialog was like this:
Dr. Frankenstein: He’s got a rotten brain! It’s rotten, I tell ya! Rotten!
The Monster: RAAAAAAAA!
Igor: Ixnay on the ottenray.
You now know what is Pig Latin and what does ixnay on the upidstay mean. Check out Toonces the Driving Cat for even more fun in popular culture.