What language is this and what does it mean?
August 23, 2022 4:48 PM   Subscribe

"Peunk Chuckeye Glavey" - Google is not helpful, and I don't know the magic phrases to figure it out. Context inside.

A friend's grandfather (perhaps German) used to have the kids give him really hard tight hugs and then would say this phrase. The phrase was also cross-stitched on a pillow in the house. No clue what language or what it means, and she's been trying to figure it out for years. Latin alphabet, no accents on the letters, no letters not found in English.

Can you solve this mystery? I said I had "smart people to ask."
posted by Ms Vegetable to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well according to my idle google translating “peunc glave” (probably missing accents) means “shake their heads” in Romanian, that’s all I got for ya but maybe it’s something?
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:05 PM on August 23 [2 favorites]

But I’d err on the side of assuming the written version on the pillow is the result of a game of intergenerational telephone and not how it’s actually spelled.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:06 PM on August 23 [6 favorites]

OP, does your friend's family still have the pillow, or is it just being remembered? I'm asking because I'm trying to understand if the phrase is being recalled from memory or transcribed from the pillow.
posted by OrangeDisk at 7:31 PM on August 23

Not the same thing, but reminds me of Mairzy Doats.
posted by mekily at 10:03 PM on August 23 [2 favorites]

Can you (or better, your friend) make a recording of how the phrase actually sounds? The spelling is definitely Englishified, and knowing the exact sounds will help to narrow it down (eg - pʌŋk, pɔɪŋk, peuŋk? glævi, gleɪvi, glaveɪ?)
posted by Glier's Goetta at 1:58 AM on August 24 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: This is the phrase the friend wrote down for me from the pillow - it is how it is cross-stitched as far as I know.

It is quite likely that it is a mairzy doats situation, yes.

The friend pronounced it close to how it reads to me:

Pee-yunck - I'm trying to figure out the closest "u" sound and it might be ö or ø from Danish
Chuck-eye - pretty evenly pronounced
The GL had a throat glottis sound
avey rhymes with gravy that goes on mashed potatoes

I'm sorry, I'm not a linguist, so I'm trying my best here. This is a 40+ year mystery for the friend, and any direction is helpful, thank you!
posted by Ms Vegetable at 6:28 AM on August 24 [1 favorite]

Stab in the dark but could it be a mairzy-doats-ization of a French saying about life? “[Peunck chuck eyeg] la vie?”
posted by ejs at 8:08 AM on August 24

My first guess was "pink chuck eye gravy," which sounds like it could be a regional food item since chuck eye is a cut of meat, it can be served medium rare (pink), and you can make gravy from the drippings.

It's an interesting mystery, especially since it is cross-stitched on a pillow!
posted by tacodave at 2:25 PM on August 24

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