SIGNIFICANT OTHER [question re: "squicked me"]

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Fri Apr 12 02:09:25 UTC 2002

On Thu, 11 Apr 2002, Richard Gage wrote:

#On Thu, 11 Apr 2002, Mark Mandel wrote:
# > A male couple that I knew in the 80s used that expression
# > normally. It somewhat squicked me because it seemed to me
# > to (over)emphasize the sexual aspect of the relationship, but R.,
# > the one I was closer friends with, challenged me to come up
#with a satisfactory alternative, and I don't think I was able to.
#New to me anyway, "Squick" doesn't appear in the OED or
#Webster's Unabridged.  This was the best definition I could find.
#Does anyone know anything more about the etymology of this word?

#squick: v. to make someone squirm and go "ick!", to
#gross out; n. someone else's kink, not for me

I hadn't heard the putative etymology, but friends of mine defined the
verb to me -- when I asked, having heard or seen it -- pretty much like
that. Usually the grammatical subject, as I've seen it, is not a person
but an activity or situation.

I've noted with interest the parallel between this "impersonal"
construction and the original(?) construction "it likes me", which is
now expressed as "I like it", and the confusion, even distress, of many
English-speakers on first encountering such constructions in French (c,a
me plai^t), German (das freut mich), or other furrin languages.

:-)\  I suspected as I posted that message that the word would be
unfamiliar to some listies. And now it isn't! (Hey, there's that
impersonal construction again. "Why can't ya just say 'Some of you
didn't know it'?!")

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

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