Ubbi dubbi

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Ubbi dubbi
Ububbubi Dububbubi
RegionUnited States
ClassificationLanguage game
See also: Language games

Ubbi dubbi is a language game spoken with the English language. Originating in America in the 17th century,[1] it was popularized by the 1972–1978 PBS children's show Zoom.[2][3] When Zoom was revived in 1999 on PBS, Ubbi dubbi was again a feature of the show.[4][5] Variations of Ubbi Dubbi include Obbish, Ob, Ib, Arpy Darpy, and Iz.


Ubbi dubbi works by adding -ub- /ʌb/ before each vowel sound in a syllable[6] (or, as a linguist might put it, "insert [ˈʌb] after each syllable onset").[7] The stress falls on the "ub" of the syllable that is stressed in the original word. In the word "hello" for example, which is stressed on the "-lo" syllable, the stress falls on the "lub" in "hubellubo".

The method of adding "ub" before each vowel sound has been described as "iterative infixation".[8][9]



Ubbi Dubbi has also been popularized as the signature speech pattern of the cartoon character Mushmouth from the animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, voiced by Bill Cosby. Cosby also used this speech variation in his famous "Dentist" monologue to illustrate the effects of a dose of Novocaine.[10]

It was used in the episode "Mentalo Case" from the TV series The King Of Queens, between character Spence Olchin (Patton Oswalt) and a salesman at a toy convention.

It was also used between Penny and Amy in season 10 episode 7 of The Big Bang Theory as a means of having a secret conversation, to counter Sheldon and Leonard's use of Klingon.

In the video game Rayman Origins, the Bubble Dreamer speaks Ubbi Dubbi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ubbi-Dubbi
  2. ^ Belkin, Douglas (1 May 2005). "Mouthing Off". Boston Globe. p. 318. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  3. ^ Cooper, Gael Fashingbauer; Bellmont, Brian (2011). Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s. Tarcher-Peringee. pp. 216–217. ISBN 978-0399536717.
  4. ^ Newton, Catherine (20 January 1999). "It's Ubbi-Dubbi all over again: "Zoom" zooms back to TV". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  5. ^ Yuen, Laura (14 July 1998). "Zoom Zoom Zoom-a Zoom: Ubbi Dubbi Is Back with Revitalized TV Show". Boston Globe. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  6. ^ Rogers, Stephen D. (2011). A Dictionary of Made-up Languages. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media. p. 271. ISBN 978-1440530401. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  7. ^ Byrd, Dani; Mintz, Toben H. (2010). Discovering Speech, Words, and Mind. Malden, Mass.: John Wiley & Sons. p. 197. ISBN 9781405157988. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  8. ^ Yu, Alan C. L. (2008). Chang, Charles B.; Haynie, Hannah J. (eds.). "On Iterative Infixation". Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Somerville, Mass.: Cascadilla Proceedings Project: 516. CiteSeerX Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  9. ^ Nevins, Andrew; Endress, Ansgar (2007). "The edge of order: analytic biases in ludlings". Harvard Working Papers in Linguistics. 12: 43. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  10. ^ Haug, Kawehi (15 January 2010). "Everything's obee kaybee!: There's no rushing a good time of laughs, talk with Bill Cosby". The Honolulu Advertiser. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 13 June 2020.

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