rhyming odds and ends

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Sun Nov 17 00:18:30 UTC 2002

I think Jim meant that 'monkey' and 'honky' are "politically
incorrect."  But why would either 'monkey' or 'donkey' be considered un-PC?

At 08:02 AM 11/15/2002 -0800, you wrote:
>This ("honky") is again different for me.  I say and am sure I have always
>"donkey"      /'dawnk ee/
>"monkey"     /'muhn kee/
>"honky"         /'hawnk ee/
>and you pronounce "honky" as /'huhn kee'/ which is "hunky" to me.  So you
>pronounce "honky" and "hunky" the same way?  And I also find it *very*
>interesting that the politically incorrect words rhyme.  I wonder how
>widespread the pronunciation is so that this rhyming is the case.  You
>would think this would have been picked up on for a sociolinguistic study
>(oooh, a new research project :) ).
>At 10:32 AM 11/15/02 -0500, James A. Landau wrote:
>>In a message dated 11/15/02 10:11:26 AM Eastern Standard Time,
>>laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:
>> > >This is interesting, I have *never* heard donkey rhyme with monkey!
>> >
>> >  Meanwhile, back on the East Coast, I rhyme them with impunity.  But
>> >  "honky" rhymes with neither, so it's a matter of lexical diffusion
>> >  rather than purely a phonological matter.  (The adjective "wonky"
>> >  rhymes with "honky", but then unlike the others it has an internal
>> >  morpheme boundary.)
>>I rhyme "donkey" with "monkey", i.e.  /'duhn kee/,  but I find /'dawnk ee/ or
>>/'dahnk ee/ acceptable.  (And yes I do hear the /k/ move across the syllable
>>boundary, though I do not have the knowledge of phonetics to say why this
>>However, in my experience "honky" meaning "whte, usually disparaging" also
>>rhymes with "monkey".  Yes, the two politically incorrect words rhyme.  I
>>can't recall ever haing heard /'hawnk ee/ or /'hahnk ee/ in this sense.  Yes,
>>  /'hawnk ee 'tawnk/, but here this is probably to make the first and last
>>syllables rhyme.
>>Raised in Louisville KY, college in Michigan, than living in DC and South
>>Jersey for 33 years.
>>        - Jim Landau

More information about the Ads-l mailing list