Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Tue Mar 20 16:44:12 UTC 2001

"Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET> writes:
 From Larry Horn:
>I've always said "nitch" but "cleek" (and "cleekish").  And "sheek"
>for CHIC.

Me too.

"Neesh" must be mostly a recent spelling-pronunciation. I'm not sure
whether I've ever heard it. The trendy M-W on the Web shows it with a mark
meaning "considered unacceptable by some" and the very trendy AHD4 shows
it, but most of my dictionaries don't.

Even the trendy references don't show anything but "sheek" for "chic".
Pronouncing it as "chick" seems to me to be a sort of a joke, like "kwitch"
for "quiche".

I've said "neesh" all my life... well, at least since I learned the word,
probably in my early teens and the last century's early sixties. Also
"cleek", occasionally "click".

I heard "chick" for "chic" in the same period, and only then, and didn't
understand it. I think those whom I heard saying it, others of my cohort,
had learned it from print, whether directly or indirectly, and were not the
type to go to dictionaries or to ask their parents or teachers about

   Mark A. Mandel : Dragon Systems, a Lernout & Hauspie company
          Mark_Mandel at : Senior Linguist
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA :

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