Share Your Story

Do you know the secret language called Carny, Cizarny, or something similar? Cearzan yearzou earzundearzerstearzand thearzis? I’d love to hear about how you learned it, and how you’ve used it. Share your experiences by emailing me. With your permission, I’ll share your story on this page (but I want to hear from you even if you’d prefer to keep it private).

“My father was a carnie back in the 1970s. He taught me how to speak carnie when I was little girl. I was always embarrassed because he would do it in front of my friends. My father has been dead now for a while and seeing this book has brought my memory of speaking carnie back to life. I’m not embarrassed anymore but proud to know this mysterious language. I can’t wait to read the book!” – Carla K.

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“I ran into a little bit of carny when I was traveling with a show in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine in the summer of 1979. It was the iz version, only on the first syllable. We used a lot of the same expressions: with it, jump, slum (or plush), stand, run, store.” – Kyle G.

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“I grew up in rural-ish, northeast Ohio. My mom and her three sisters used to speak Carny often. My cousin, brother and me picked it up from them and would speak it among ourselves. I never knew where it came from or if anyone else spoke it. The only difference is that we pronounced it slightly differently than you do. We just used ‘EEZ’ without any ‘R’ sound. So we would say, Ceezan yeezou eezundeezersteezand theezis? It seems that Carny might have different dialects? It’s very interesting.” – Noel S.

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