Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 23 21:53:22 UTC 2007

I've heard it used for comic purposes, but on today's People's Court
was the first time that I've heard it in the wild. I have the
impression that the judge and the husband both used "chimmany," but
that the wife said "chimney," at first, then began to use "chimmany,"
presumably as a result of peer pressure.

FWIW, as a child, I used "chimley" without ever being corrected,
preumably because the word was extremely rare in natural speech, there
being no houses with chimneys in the colored part of Marshall, Texas.
There may also not have been any in the white part, either, but I
don't know, never having been there. (As I've mentioned before,
segregation really worked.) It was only after I learned to read that I
changed to "chimney."


On 1/23/07, Scot LaFaive <spiderrmonkey at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Scot LaFaive <spiderrmonkey at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Chimney
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I just happened to see part of the "People's Court" (blame it on the wife),
> and I thought you other court tv watchers might like this.
> I repeatedly heard the judge and the plantiffs/defendants pronounce
> "chimney" with a schwa between the "m" and "n." I checked the OED and it has
> only one pronunciation (i.e. minus the schwa), so I'm wondering how well
> known this pronunciation is. I don't think I've heard it seriously used
> before.
> Scot
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