Monday, June 11, 2007

U.S. v. Freeman (9th Cir. - June 11, 2007)

Drug dealers can get creative. Some even invent their own little language to help conceal from police (or any eavesdroppers) the subject of their conversation.

So, for example, Kevin Freeman and his co-conspirators say "iggidy" when they mean "ounce," "dove" to signify the number twenty, "diamond" to mean ten ounces of crack cocaine, and -- albeit less creatively -- "bread," "cheese," and "chips" to refer to money.

Their novel "language" included the following metric as well: "Brown, and Mitchell altered words by placing “e-z” or some variant thereof in the middle of words. . . . “fezone” to mean phone; “teznower” to mean tower; “fezo” to signify four and “fezi” to signify five; “deezove” to mean dove; “peezark” to mean park; and “reezey” to mean ready."

Judge Gibson (sitting by designation from the Eighth Circuit) doesn't mention this fact, but I speculate that this "rule" was loosely derived from the once-ubiquitous phrase "fo' sheezy mah neezy." A phrase that, thankfully, will presumably soon fade from hipness and into oblivion -- if it hasn't already.