This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Nuts and Bolts: picong.

Picong is rude.

Now, anyone can be rude: the skill is to make it funny, too.

The other skill is to avoid getting clobbered while you're doing it.

To make things even trickier, the tradition is that in picong you're being rude to someone who's right there beside you on the stage - and holding a microphone so they can insult you back.

Let's face it, for the audience that's a lot of the fun.

Picong is a West Indian art form especially popular in the Eastern Caribbean. It's associated with calypso music, and the ability to entertain without starting a fight is highly prized, as indeed it should be.

What you're supposed to be doing is teasing, being satirical, or engaging in friendly insults. To music.

Here's a lovely example:


Thing To Do Today If You Dare Though Don't Blame Me If Someone Thumps You: picong. This Caribbean word originally meant a verbal duel in song. It was first used in the middle of the 1900s and comes from the Spanish picón mocking, from picar to pierce.

It has nothing to do with the region of the Philippines of the same name:

Though this Picong is still quite interesting because it was named Picong in 2006 after the Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act. It used to be known as Sultan Gumander.

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