What does Ixnay mean?

Ixnay is the most popular and possibly the only widely recognized term from Pig Latin or Igpay Atinlay, created from the Latin word for “nothing”: “nix”.

“Ixnay” is used for denying and negating statements and offers in a slightly humorous manner, kind of like the catchphrase Nope Nope Nope.


What's the origin of Ixnay?

“Ixnay” comes from Pig Latin, which began as a popular children’s game in the 1890’s, used to form a code in case one wanted to communicate without everyone understanding.

Words are formed in Pig Latin by placing the first phonetic of a word to the end and appending -ay or -way to the end.

Pig Latin, also known as Hog Latin grew popular among people by the 1920’s and 1930’s, and it made appearances in films such as the 1929 sound film “The Broadway Melody”, which included the iconic “Ixnay” as well.

Spread & Usage

How did Ixnay spread?

Over the 20th century, “Ixnay” became popular, largely thanks to the iconic vaudeville comedy group “The Three Stooges” who incorporated the code into their performance and disseminated it among the masses between the 1920’s and 1970’s.

By the second half of the 1900’s, most people knew what “Ixnay” meant, even if they weren’t familiar with Pig Latin itself.

It even appears in contemporary movies, especially in comic scenes, making an homage to the legacy of the silly code.

“Ixnay” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on April 30th, 2004, with several other entries following.

External resources

  • Worldwidewords.org – Ixnay

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