Leerie speak

My favorite part of “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” is when Mary Poppins slips into “leerie speak”. The rhythm is soothing, and realistically, it’s probably the closest thing to rapping Emily Blunt is ever going to do.

However, I’ve been thinking about it recently, and something doesn’t quite add up. When he’s explaining “leerie speak” to the children, Jack says

Kick and prance – it means “dance”

It’s Leerie speak. You don’t say the word you mean

mean; you say something that rhymes only –

Here, I’ll show you how it works. Angus …

Give us your weep and wail

To the rest of ya, that means: “tale”

Leerie speak uses words to mean other words in the same language. How does one Leerie know what another is talking about? From the little information in the movie, it seems like you’d always need a translator.

I know it’s a movie, so it doesn’t really need to make sense, but that’s the language nerd in me rearing its head.

7 responses to “Leerie speak”

  1. This satisfied my curiosity, I don’t know why but I searched everywhere to learn about Kerrie speak. Thank you, I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t Kerrie speak. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s based on Cockney rhyming speech, which was a sort of secret language. For example, those who speak it all know that “apples and pear” means “stairs”. They don’t just make up rhymes on the spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes in cockney winners and losers means trousers (pronounced trusers). It’s said to be s secret language between thiefs do the cops didn’t know what they were on about.

    Liked by 1 person

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