Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Mar 20 20:27:47 UTC 2001

 From Mark Mandel:

>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

I heard the "chick" pronunciation back then too, along with "swayve"
(rhymes with "wave") for "suave". It was my impression that both were sort
of oblique jokes to the effect that "chic" and "suave" are "affected" or
something. Sometimes I've heard the expanded form "suave and debonair" as
"swayve and dee-boner" -- just in case one fails to catch the joke in
"swayve", I guess.

Ike: "What do you think of my new clothes?"
Mike: "You look chick, swayve, and dee-boner." [jocular 'subtext': "Us
regular guys don't give a shit about these things: we can't even pronounce
the words."]

-- Doug Wilson

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