Re: RARA-AVIS: Red Harvest: Umpchay?

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 10 Apr 2002

Sounds like Ted's ("Ed-tay") being called "chump" in pig Latin by Enoray. This is a children's "secret language" that was barely used when I was a kid long ago, mostly by older relatives talking to kids, but I'd think it was more prevalent in Hammet's day. Challenging work you're doing! Joy

Alexandre Hubner" <> said:
> I'm translating Hammet's "Red Harvest" into Portuguese. In spite of some
> difficulties, I've managed to come through the "underworld lingo" (even
> if not always able to convey all the subtleties of the original - but
> that, I'm afraid, is what translation is about...).
> It comes up at the end of chapter 24 ("Wanted"), when Reno Starkey calls
> Ted Wright a "big umpchay". I've searched all the reference I have
> access to and found nothing but for the character of a Three Stooges
> movie ("I'll Never Hail Again", 1941) called Mr. Umpchay - which,
> unfortunately, doesn't mean anything to me.

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