Teenage slang "schiznick/shiz" (= great, cool)--Query

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Wed Feb 4 03:15:19 UTC 2004

I suspect the word in question is "shiznit", most definitely a
hip-hop term. Googling on shiznit gives a lot of hits, including

Vida J Morkunas wrote:
>I heard it on the Old Navy ads, featuring the actress who once starred in
>The Nanny.  She says the word at the end of one ad (sitting at a 1950's
>telephone operator station, if I remember correctly).
>These ads aired on Canadian TV before Christmas.
>I'd like to understand the origin of this word - it sounds Yiddish, but is
>obviously not. Perhaps a hip-hop term?
>Cheers - Vida.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf Of
>Gerald Cohen
>Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 6:16 PM
>Subject: Teenage slang "schiznick/shiz" (= great, cool)--Query
>A former student just sent me an e-mail about a new teenage-slang
>term I had never heard of. Is anyone else familiar with it? Might
>anyone know its etymology?
>      Excerpts of her message appear below my signoff.
>Gerald Cohen
>[message I received from a former student]:
>>...I thought you might want to know a new word I've been hearing
>>from my four teenagers and their friends. See if it's original or
>>means something else or has just been out there all along and we
>>didn't know it. I don't know the spelling but I'll try. It's
>>scheznick, maybe schiznic or something like that. Then it's just
>>shiz for short. It's pronounced like schiz/nick. This word means
>>something like great-cool-fantastic. ...  Anyway they use it when
>>describing a teacher they like or when something they have done was
>>really fun. "Hey Mom, do you know Mr. Smith? He's the schiz". I have
>>heard it so much I thought you might already know about it. ...

Alice Faber                                             faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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