Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Wed Jan 24 12:44:51 UTC 2007

Wilson, "chimley" was my native pronunciation too--on the other side of town!

Wasn't the pronunciation "chimmany" the basis of a song sung by chimley-sweepers in the movie _Mary Poppins_?


---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 16:53:22 -0500
>From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject: Re: Chimney
>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:
>> 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

The American Dialect Society -

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