second thoughts on Nkinis

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Fri Dec 24 20:53:04 UTC 2004

On Dec 24, 2004, at 1:57 PM, James A. Landau wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at AOL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: second thoughts on Nkinis
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> In a message dated  Fri, 24 Dec 2004 01:29:55 +0100,  Chris F Waigl
> <cwaigl at FREE.FR> quotes:
>>> As for the referents, neither a skimpy two-piece swimsuit nor either
>>> of
> its
>>> parts would seem to have qualified as a novel invention, even in
>>> 1946.
> I am hardly an expert on women's clothing, but I do not believe that
> two-piece bathing suits, skimpy or otherwise, were at all common in
> 1946.

Why don't you believe that? The bikini was hardly the first two-piece
bathing suit for women. Didn't you ever look at the pictures in Esquire
magazine or those in the pulp girlie-mags of the day? I certainly did.
My father-in-law's favorite picture of my mother-in-law, taken after he
got out of the Army in 1945, shows her in a two-piece bathing suit. The
bikini merely contained noticeably less material than was usual up to
that time. That is, a *skimpy* two-piece bathing suit surely did
qualify as a novel invention in 1946 simply on the basis of its
skimpiness. The bikini was newsworthy enough at the time that it was
written up and pictured in NewsTime.

-Wilson Gray

> <snip>
>>  («maillot de bain deux pièces»).
> It is interesting that in English the word "maillot" (originally
> French)
> means strictly a one-piece bathing suit that. leotard-style, covers
> the woman from
> crotch to breastline.  Judging by the above line ("two-piece bathing
> maillot") in French the word can mean any type of woman's bathing suit.
> <snip>
>>  BBG. DUCH. 1967, § 70. GALL. 1955, p. 112, 157. TEPPE (J.). Défense
>> de
>>  klaxonner! Vie Lang. 1961, no 114, p. 485.
> To the best of my understanding of French, "Defense de klaxonner"
> means "it
> is forbidden to sound a Klaxon horn".  I do not see what these words
> are doing
> here, unless "klaxonner" means "to wear a sexy garment".  Also, since
> "k"
> appears in French only in foreign words, "klaxonner" is a blatant
> example of
> Franglais.
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Perhaps someday the word "Nkini" will enter the English language, in
> which
> case ADS-L will provide the coinage citation.
> Coments on other letters:
> an ADS-L member, who I will not cite by name, was I understand once
> suffering
> chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins's lymphoma.  Said member wrote:
>> (who in fact coward 1/3 of the way out of his own 4th B cycle a
>> couple of years ago)
> Forsooth!  Dr. non-Hodgkins will be ashamed of you!
>> and for a third person example (with another eggcorn lurking not too
>> subtly within):
>> =========
>> And most important Josephus had other reasons for rewriting them as
>> doing so, since he coward out of a pack made with his comrades.
> Not necessarily an eggcorn, since Josephus before he changed sides was
> a
> member of a "pack" (cf WWII "wolf-pack") of Jewish fighters.
>      - James A. Landau

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