hackleschmackle; was: Re: FW: blends? eggcorns?

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sat Jan 5 01:13:23 UTC 2008

>Hackleschmackled? (See last sentence below).  Does this word really =
>exist?  Origin?
>I see only one entry for "hackleschmackle" on Google, as what looks like =
>a humorously invented proper name: "...I saw Roger being carried on =
>stage in an electric suit in 87 when they headlined for Starpoint ("What =
>You Been Missing"), RJ's Latest (a favorite of Mrs. =
>What's going on here?
>Gerald Cohen

I actually saw it first as a proper name, too, in a Don Martin
cartoon (Mrs. Hackleschmackle was putting up some pickled pectined
pigs' feet for the high holy days). It's not the only place I've ever
seen it, though; I recall also seeing it as a noun for something like
"kluge," though I couldn't tell you where (maybe the same damn place
I saw "suite of cards"!) -- I just verbed it because I didn't feel
like sitting here for another minute finding that bloody mot juste.

You'll find three hits if you search it with a space between hackle
and schmackle. One of them is actually on my own website. Obviously
it's not an especially common word! But ISTM that the meaning is
guessable, no? And the sound symbolism and reduplication can't hurt

Other spellings: hackel-shmackel gets one hit, also a proper name
(!), hackleshmackle yet one more proper name (!!).

If it ever had a heyday of any sort, though, it was clearly some time
in the past (or perhaps the future).

James Harbeck.

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

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