mission alpha-shmalfa / TIYL

frindle2

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Hello.
The following is a secret message from a secret agent to another one.
Would you please tell me what 'alpha-shmalfa' means in the context below?
And one more! What does TIYL stand for?
Thank you.


from <The Way Downtown> by Inna Gertsberg----------
Changing trains and getting lost means that Agent Rybka's arrival downtown will be delayed.


MISSION ALPHA-SHMALFA,
AGENT 008 ARRIVING LATE
TIYL
 

frindle2

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Oh, I misread TTYL as TIYL.
Do you happen to know what TTYL stands for?
Thank you.
 

Skrej

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Repeating a word but adding 'shm' to the beginning of the second repetition is a way of indicating skepticism, mockery, or disdain for something. It has crossed over into English from Yiddish.

For example, if you're talking about your fancy dinner party, I might reply "fancy shmancy" in mockery.

I just recently learned this linguistic phenomena actually has a name, called "shm-reduplication'.

However, I agree with Piscean that in this context, the authors have just done it to make an amusing name for young readers. It's still a little bit of a joke for adults who might be reading the book to their children, however.
 
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tzfujimino

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I'm sure you meant "beginning", not "begging".
:)
 
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