Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Wed Jul 15 15:40:28 UTC 2009

Maybe they chose "urchin" to go along with the nautical theme on the
ferry? (Personally, I like it.)

---Amy West

>Date:    Tue, 14 Jul 2009 01:04:29 -0500
>From:    Clai Rice <cxr1086 at LOUISIANA.EDU>
>Subject: urchin
>This evening I purchased a few ferry tickets from Vancouver
>Island to Mayne Island, B.C. The tickets were identical,
>though the child tickets were half fare. The tickets were
>labeled both "Adult" and "Urchin", with the former term
>above the latter but both in the same size font. Considering
>the function of the tickets, and the positioning of the
>words, we figured that the word "urchin" meant "child." Is
>this a standard Canadianism?  The other option is that they
>label the tickets each day with an unusual word as a
>counterfeit prevention, which wouldn't be nearly as much
>fun.  To my surprise, the ticket collector insisted on
>taking the entire ticket, so I couldn't keep a copy. But now
>I'm thinking of going back to Victoria later in the week, so
>I'll be able to  check the tickets and ask the agents if
>they think urchin means child.
>Not that my children aren't urchins.
>Clai Rice

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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