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Euphonics

44 45 The form of the letter X, a cross as of two sticks laid one across the other, depicts a paradox, a meeting of opposites as in sex. Its sound suggests an eccentricity, a box of tricks, by which one is perplexed, vexed, hexed, jinxed, foxed, mixed up and put in a fix. There is a teasing quality to the X sound, as in X P ixy is a foxy minx, Full of vexing tricks, a jinx, Yet she cooks and fixes clocks, A perplexing paradox the box of tricks Y at the end of a word is a sound of familiarity, affectionate or derisive, like the short I. A merry ditty for a pretty baby typifies its associations. Y as an initial has a coarse, rustic, jeering ring. Curs and rude youths torment with yaps, yelps, yowls, yells, baying and yammering. Makers of such noises are called yobs or yoiks, or yokels meaning rustic clods. Swifts name for human animals in Gullivers Travels was yahoos. People of similar kind in America have been called yippies, and those of another class yuppies. In English novels they yodel yoohoo, or yoicks if huntsmen, or yohoho if piratical. Yeah yah yaboo yaroo are among many expressions of leering mockery based on the Y sound. It is heard in yid, a nasty name for a Jew, also in a nasty epithet for timid folk, yellow. You young ... followed by some disobliging term, is a style of address traditionally used by irate fathersinlaw. In German the Y sound is denoted by the letter J and occurs in words of yowling and yelping such as jammern, janken and jaueln. Y Y elping, yapping puppies Gangs of jeering kids, Yelling names at yuppies, Yokels, Yanks and yids. yowling yobbos Yowling yobs
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