Lalabalele, talala! (etc.)

Are these supposed swear words “based on the Polynesian or Oceanic languages” as Halton (147) states? Fifteen experts doubt it (33, 35, 80, 79, 152, 172, 176, 186, 188, 190, 221, 239, 248, 305, and 308). Collectively, they have carefully searched in vain through dictionaries in the following languages or dialects: Aniwa, Anuta, Cook Island, Easter Island, Fiji, Futuna, Gilbert islands, Hawaii, Kapingamaravange, Kusaie, Maori, Marquesses, Marshall Islands (Kiribiti), Namuea, Niue, Nukoro, Rennell & Bellona, Samoa, Tahiti, Tangan, Tikopia, Tonga, Tökelau, Tuamotuan, Tuvalu, and Woleaian.

A telling clue:Wolfson (322) shows a page from Gilbert’s plot-book in which the Utopian language is indicated as “gibberish.”

Opera: 
Act: 
Act I