Sunday, November 11, 2007

New York slang - it's the Micks' fault

The New York Times have an article on "How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads" by Daniel Cassidy regarding how many American slang words appear to originate either phonetically or via translation from Irish. (Hat-tip Slugger)
The word “gimmick” seemed to come from “camag,” meaning trick or deceit, or a hook or crooked stick.

Could “scam” have derived from the expression “’S cam é,” meaning a trick or a deception? Similarly, “slum” seemed similar to an expression meaning “It is poverty.” “Dork” resembled “dorc,” which Mr. Cassidy’s dictionary called “a small lumpish person.” As for “twerp,” the Irish word for dwarf is “duirb.”

I think a few of those listed in the NYT are a stretch but still aren't as bad as "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" where Gus explains the Greek roots of the word "kimono".
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