This story’s about a week old and reasonably silly, but it was not until I re-heard it on NPR that I caught the Shakespeare hook. Whether it’s true or not, the story goes that criminals behind bars in England have resurrected centuries old slang as a sort of modern code, using words like “cawbe” for cocaine and “inick” for cell phone.
Depending on which story you read the slang is either Elizabethan or “more than 500 years old” (are those the same thing? how long did that woman reign??), and may or may not have actually appeared in Shakespeare’s text.
What I think is quite silly is the quote about this being “the most ingenious secret code we have ever come across.” For starters, you’ve already cracked it, haven’t you? I mean, I’m hearing about it on NPR Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me. How good could it have been? I’d think that the most ingenious ones are, in fact, the ones you don’t know anything about yet :)