CLIK/CLEEK & NATIVE SPEAKER [was "FAG one last time"]

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Thu Mar 15 19:27:05 UTC 2001

Beverly describes my pattern exactly.  I grew up saying "nitch" (however
infrequently), and have become aware of "neesh" only in the last 10 years
or so.  I'm not sure if I actually formalized a distinction between "nitch"
as a type of physical space and "neesh" as a faddish business and academic
term, but would have no trouble accepting and adopting such a distinction.

The fact that "nitch" and "cleek" have always peacefully coexisted in my
speech probably indicates that I've ordered the two words at different
stages of my personal "word naturalization" scale.  This enables me to be
untroubled by the fact that I'm also aware of words like "quiche," which I
would never pronounce as "kitsch."

Peter Mc.

--On Thursday, March 15, 2001 1:58 PM -0500 Beverly Flanigan
<flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU> wrote:

> A similar "in" term is "niche"--as in "niche program."  I've generally
> heard it pronounced "nitch" (a little table stands in a corner niche), but
> recently, with the specialized usage in business and academia, "neesh"
> seems to be preferred (I've even been "corrected" once).  Someone thought
> that everybody must "know" the French pronunciation of words like
> 'clique', but I'm not sure this is true.  "Niche" is by now a common Am
> Eng word and has followed the usual rules of borrowing; I doubt that most
> people think of it as French.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

More information about the Ads-l mailing list