4

I've been reading and thoroughly enjoying the anthology I, Alien edited by Mike Resnick. In particular I liked the story “Hi, Colonic” by Harry Turtledove, though you possibly need to have studied biology at school to get the joke. Anyhow, in this story one of the aliens is called "Iffspay" (we don't learn the other alien's name) and I'm wondering is "Iffspay" is a biological joke: maybe an anagram or the name of a species. But after much Googling I can't find anything. Does anyone know if it's a joke, or is it just some random word made up by the author?

  • 8
    Sounds like pig latin. "Spiff"? "Piffs"? Spaceman Spiff is one of Calvin's imaginary heroes in Calvin and Hobbes. – TLP Mar 11 '12 at 19:45
  • The name isn't "Iffsplay", or "liffspay" by any chance? That would be pig latin for "spliff", which might make more sense. – Christi Mar 11 '12 at 20:23
  • 1
    I thought similarly before noticing @TLP's comment. Check out calvinandhobbes.wikia.com/wiki/Spaceman_Spiff to see if there are any other possible parallels between Iffspay and Spaceman Spiff. – Josh Mar 11 '12 at 20:24
  • I don't want to say what sort of creature Iffspay is, because it will ruin the story, but I can't see it having any relation to the C&H comics. The humour in the story is, erm, scatalogical to put it politely :-) – John Rennie Mar 11 '12 at 20:35
  • I agree with TLP and Josh. I was about to post the theory as an answer, until I noticed their comments. Also see here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Iszi Mar 12 '12 at 5:15
6

Posting comment as answer as per request.

Sounds like pig latin. "Spiff"? "Piffs"? Spaceman Spiff is one of Calvin's imaginary heroes in Calvin and Hobbes.

  • @JohnRennie You're welcome! – TLP Mar 13 '12 at 6:41
  • You might want to mention that this isn't the only Bill Watterson allusion in Turtledove's writings. He also mentions Hamster Huey (of gooey kablooey fame). – Valorum Oct 30 '16 at 20:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.