The New England Historical Society features “Nonantum, the New England Town With Its Own Special Language” (based on Erica Noonan’s 2001 Boston Globe story “In Newton, they still speak the language of the lake“):
No matter where Nonantum natives go, they can tell someone is from their village when they hear them speak Lake Talk. Lake Talk is the unique argot of Nonantum, one of the 13 villages of Newton, Mass. Unintelligible to outsiders, it binds tighter the already close-knit Italian-American community.
According to Lake Talk, a mush (pronounced moosh) is a man, a jival is a girl, and a quister jival (quis-tah jiv-il) is a pretty girl.
[. . .]
Author Brenda Spalding grew up in Nonantum, and explains where Lake Talk came from:
In the 1930’s and 40’s the traveling gypsy carnivals came through the area and the locals would work for them. One thing that remained is the language of the carnivals and it’s still in use today.
[. . .]
Lake Talk is a mix of Italian, Romany and English slang.
I always enjoy this sort of local jargon, and I can’t help but notice the similarity between mush ‘man’ and Russian муж [muzh] ‘man.