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Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack

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katlaughing 07 May 03 - 04:13 PM
MMario 07 May 03 - 04:21 PM
MMario 07 May 03 - 04:26 PM
catspaw49 07 May 03 - 04:28 PM
Sooz 07 May 03 - 04:28 PM
Long Firm Freddie 07 May 03 - 04:43 PM
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GUEST,Q 07 May 03 - 06:28 PM
katlaughing 08 May 03 - 01:22 AM
Nigel Parsons 08 May 03 - 04:50 AM
Beccy 08 May 03 - 09:24 AM
MMario 08 May 03 - 09:32 AM
Bill D 08 May 03 - 12:52 PM
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Subject: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:13 PM

I know I could go look these up, but it's much more fun to get your input! So...have heard "tickiti-boo" a few times on BBC-America, seemingly it means "tip-top" or "in perfect order." Where did it come from?

Also, anudder Mudder and I were talking about "kilters" wondering what they were and how one got "off-kilter." Seagoing expression, perhaps?

And, last but not least, what is a "whack" and how does one "get out of whack?" Was it some horrendous exercise in school for which one needed a doctor's note to dodge the tortures?**bg**

thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: MMario
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:21 PM

Here's what I found one one:

TICKETY-BOO
The usual meaning ... that something is satisfactory, all in order, or OK.

We can't be sure what its origin is. Eric Partridge always contended that the word was forces' slang, most probably from the Royal Air Force, and that it dates from the early 1920s or thereabouts (though the Oxford English Dictionary doesn't find a written example before 1939).

The difficult bit is taking the word back any further than the 1920s. It could combine "that's the ticket" (with much the same sense)with the childish phrase "peek-a-boo". But some find a link with the British Army in India, suggesting it comes from the Hindi phrase tikai babu, which is translated as "it's all right, sir".


My money would be on the second suggested origin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: MMario
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:26 PM

kilter/out of kilter:

first recorded occurance 1628; origin unknown.

WHACK (slang) noun 1. [mid 18th century] a blow usually with some form of stick. 2. [late 18th century and still in use] a share, a just portion, a fair proportion – perhaps from the blow that divides something or maybe from the hammer-rap of the auctioneer which signals a fair share or deal.

________________________________________


OUT OF WHACK slang [late 19th century] (chiefly North American): out of order, malfunctioning ('on the blink'); out of line or alignment, maladjusted ('out of kilter'); not in proper condition. [from the idea of being out of 'whack'[see above] and thus out of proportion or balance]


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:28 PM

I think the phrase is meant to conjure up an image of a Scotsman with crabs........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Sooz
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:28 PM

"Out of wad" is an expression in this neck of the woods meaning out of line (or kilter?!). A wad stick was something the ploughboys used to keep the furrows the right distance apart. I think that this is where out of whack comes from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:43 PM

Now this is what I call tickety-boo:

Hands Across the Sea

LFF


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:46 PM

The suffix "y", when appended to a word, indicates a propensity toward exhibiting the characteristics of that word. IE, to be "funny" is to exhibit the characteristics of "fun". One might say that to be "funny" is to be "full of fun". Therefore, to be "whacky" is to be "full of whack". Now, the term "out of whack" means that something is not working correctly. And the term "whacky", previously defined as meaning "full of whack", also means that something is not working correctly. Therefore, to be "out of whack" and to be "full of whack" mean the same thing. That whack is some weird shit!

The only other word that I know that exhibits this peculiar characteristic is "squat". To say, "I got squat when I traded in my car" or, "I didn't get squat when I traded in my car" both mean the same thing. Squat is of so little value that it doesn't matter whether you get it or not. You're screwed either way.

I hope this diatribe did absolutely nothing to ease your confusion.

Bruce
aka Bee-dubya-ell Royal Poet Lariat of Mississippi
aka Knower of Things

Note to King khandu: Please don't assign me any more titles. Signing off is becoming a major pain in the ass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:50 PM

Oh, LFF, what a wonderful story!! I had missed that; it's been many years since I've read any of the novels.

Spaw, I love the way your mind connects things..I can just see the scene you set up!!

MMario, thanks, darlin'...for definitions AND MORE, hopefully to come.**bg**


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: CarolC
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:53 PM

I love "Toodle-Pipski" myself. Does anyone know if that one pre-dates A. J. (Ace) Rimmer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 May 03 - 04:55 PM

Oh dear Pain in the Ass er...Bee-dubya-ell Royal Poet Lasso Lariat of Mississippi; Knower of Things - so KIND of you to stop by and pontificate for our errudition. Please do not hie away, yet stay another day to enlighten, nay to uplift, or slum away with us, your willing putty public (that's right, full of putt, so we're like putty in your hands!), whatever your fancy (Oh, does that make YOU full of fance? I know some fellahs who might like to know!)

So what of the whack fal diddle eye ay?


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 May 03 - 05:24 PM

Hey there Knower of Things......You said, "To say, "I got squat when I traded in my car" or, "I didn't get squat when I traded in my car" both mean the same thing. Squat is of so little value that it doesn't matter whether you get it or not. You're screwed either way.".........Well obviously you don't know everything 'cause if you go and squat in a male prison, you generally only get screwed ONE way!"

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 May 03 - 06:28 PM

B-W-L- the master of errordition! But he is whack on target with most of what he said (I think). The rest is could be doodle-de squat.
Whack was used by the cowboys. Charles A Siringo, in "A Texas Cowboy," 1885: I was too weak to walk that far on account of my back being out of whack." One of several quotations in the OED.

Kilter- also a poker term. OED: 1895, "Suppose you had an utterly valueless hand dealt to you ............, this sort of hand is termed a kilter."
Lot of off- words. One we see a lot of here is off-rhyme: A partial or near-rhyme. OED. Lots of out- words as well.

Be sure to distinguish between out-of-kilter and off-kilter. The first is what the kilter says when he runs out of plaids. A Scotsman doing a strip-tease is an off-kilter. Q's own dictionary.

MMario- adding a quote to the 1628 occurence of kilter (found under kelter in the OED: "The very sight of one [a gun] (though out of kilter) was a terror unto them." Gov. W. Bradford, Massachusetts Colony (the word prob. brought with him from England). OED 1987 supplement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 May 03 - 01:22 AM

If it was Sean Connery doing the off kilter it would cause quite a stir...might knock a whole country outta whack!

Thanks for the references and tomdick&harryfoolery, phoaks! LOL!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 May 03 - 04:50 AM

Danny Kaye sings "Everything is Tickety Boo" in the 1958 film "Merry Andrew"

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Beccy
Date: 08 May 03 - 09:24 AM

Okay, can someone answer for me where "Gobsmacked" originated???

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: MMario
Date: 08 May 03 - 09:32 AM

one orf the'phrase origins' sites has this:

"Gob" is a very old (about 400 years old, actually) English dialect word meaning "mouth," probably taken from Gaelic or Scots, and related to "gab," also meaning "mouth" or, more commonly, "speech." To be "gobsmacked" is to be astonished or flabbergasted, as stunned as if you had been suddenly "smacked" (struck) in the mouth.
    Curiously, "gobsmacked" has only been found in print as far back as the 1980s, but it's reasonable to assume that the term has been around for much longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Bill D
Date: 08 May 03 - 12:52 PM

64 years old, and I NEVER heard 'tickety-boo' before...and I cannot comprehend why it would have been adopted by myriads of people as a useful expression. Some slang/vernacular/euphemism is 'quaint'...and some is clever and pertinant...and some is just plain silly and stilted.

(humorless, grumpy old curmudgeon, am I?...*grin*...you betcha!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: MMario
Date: 08 May 03 - 12:57 PM

Bill - I've only heard it via BBC-America; but where used there it sounded perfectly "normal"


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickiti-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 May 03 - 12:58 PM

Oh, but Bill, won't it be a great name for a cat?! My next Siamese is going to be a "Tickety-Boo!" *bg*


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 08 May 03 - 01:49 PM

Gob-mouthed- to gape- has been in print since the 19th c. I wonder if gobsmacked is a variant?
Memory plays tricks, but I am "sure" that I heard it in the U. S. Army in the 1940s.
Gob-stick is in the OED as a spoon, but to an American musician, it is a clarinet.
Many words from gob = mouth. Gob string is a bridle.

Another possibility: God-smacked =euphemized to gobsmacked, struck dumb.
Tickety-boo, I think, was spread in America by Dnny Kaye (see Nigel Parsons, above).
It is the name of a champion Dalmatian, Kat: Ch Tickety Boo


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Amos
Date: 09 May 03 - 12:05 AM

Tickety-boo is a British expression originally meaning all set, ducks in a row, put to rights, and it derives from the propriety and sense of order acheived by being properly ticketed (for example as a passenger, or a shipper) when confronted with the appropriate authorities (for example, a conductor or Customs inspector). Tickets are also used to control the flow of parts in repair shops, for example, and in governing the administration of meals in some contexts (hence, "meal-ticket" and "pawn-ticket"). The construction is just a baby-talk formation, a kind of silly slangery also found in constructions like "peek-a-boo", "nighty-night-night" and "hickory-dickory-dock". Like "bibbety-bobbity-boo" it has no inherent meaning except a sense of playful innocence.

Gob, meaning mouth, is as old as the hills, and the sense of being gob-smacked is a reasonable extension akin to being knocked in the jaw.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Schantieman
Date: 09 May 03 - 12:39 PM

And what about hunky-dory?

S


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,James
Date: 09 May 03 - 01:06 PM

I have a rabbit called tickety boo....does that count ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 May 03 - 01:20 PM

MMario had the "accepted" explanations of tickety-boo at the start of this thread. Lord Mountbatten is credited in the NY Times Mag. (1947) with giving currency to the phrase tickety-boo (or tiggerty-boo). The Royal Navy term for okay is derived from the Hindustani (Hindi thik hai, all right; babu, sir). Streatfeild in 1939 was first to put the spelling 'tickety-boo' in print.
I still think the Danny Kaye song was the one that put the term in American minds. In Canada, a WW2 veteran I called said that it was armed forces language.

Reminds me of the argument about "Bless 'Em All," American 1940 vs. "Fuck 'Em All," anecdotally British Army in India, about WW1 time.

Hunky was U. S. slang in Civil War time (1861) for safe and sound, all right. No one seems to know where the 'dory' came from. Hunky-doree appeared in print in 1866 (U. S.). H. L. Mencken considered it an artificial word (The American Language, 4th Ed., p. 145)


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 May 03 - 01:41 PM

First reference to Hunky, 1861, in Vanity Fair, story by Ward: "He (Moses) folded her to his hart, with the remark that 'he was a hunkey boy.'" OED
1878, Bret Harte: "Man on Beach" (novel); "She's all hunky, and has an appetite." OED

The first made me think of African-American origins, but I have not seen it in any reminiscences or songs of slavery days, etc. Only the later "Hunky-Dory."
"Hunky-Dory" was a blackface song, 1900. (American Memory, sheet music).
A song sheet from Civil War time, Skedaddle Song, had the line "Dey rebels, dey am hunky boys, quite fond of song and rhyme, sah!" (In American Memory)
"Hunkies" appeared in "Jim crow Complete, 150 verses, but meant sitting on your but, hunkered down, a much older usage and a different word. (American Memory)


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 May 03 - 02:08 PM

could dory have come from reference to a small boat being all right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 May 03 - 02:27 PM

Miskito (W. Ind. and US) word, dóri = dugout canoe. Later, a small, flat-bottomed boat. Kat, other than the spelling, there is nothing to support this. A dory is also an edible fish (very old word).


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 May 03 - 02:32 PM

well, it was only a wild guess...I'll have to do a search as I think it has come up before

btw, I think I remember your old persona:-) but Q suffices, nicely


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 May 03 - 02:59 PM

How 'bout a new song, Everything is hunky, Dora; We can hunker down in the flora---. OK, I'll never be a song writer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Amos
Date: 09 May 03 - 03:08 PM

Hunky-dory is a pattern imitation after Okey-dokey. Cf. "Upsa-baby", "Hokey-pokey", and "inky-dinky".

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 May 03 - 03:23 PM

Here are a couple of other theories, from clickety:

....Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, they offer three theories. One has it that American sailors on shore leave in Yokahama, Japan visited a street named Huncho-dori, where they could get slammed in the proud Naval tradition. Apparently, Huncho-dori led directly to the docks, so the seabees knew that, no matter how bibulous they became, it was a beeline back to their ships. Therefore, the story goes, once you were on Huncho-dori, everything was hunky-dory!

Theory number two identifies a sung sung by the Christy Minstrels during the Civil War, called "Josephus Orange Blossom", and containing the line "red hot hunky-dory contraband". The tune was a big hit and the phrase became part of the popular slang of the period.

The tricky part in picking between these two theories is the dates involved. The American Civil War lasted from 1861-1865. Commodore Perry opened Japan to foreign ships in 1854. Could an esoteric bit of sailor slang have migrated back to the States so quickly at that time? If so, then both theories could be correct, with the phrase coming from sailors, and popularized by the Christy Minstrels.

Theory three is the tedious dictionary notion that the Dutch word honk, meaning "goal" or "home", is the source of the phrase. Once you reached honk, everything was hunky-dory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Schantieman
Date: 09 May 03 - 03:27 PM

Your Japan/US Civil War theory sounds good to me kat!

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 May 03 - 03:55 PM

As I pointed out, the use of the word hunky during the Civil War era is in print.
The trouble with the Huncho dory story is that the use of hunky dory in print goes back to 1866, many years before Seebees hit Japan and the Pacific, so that part of the Dictionary of Word Phrases--- is nonsense. This work has much unsupported speculation.

Now the opening of Japan is another story, but as I understand the history, sailors were not permitted shore leave on Peary's landing. This one will send me to my history books, however, as its occurrence is only 12 years before the word started to appear in print. Just speculation at this point, since the existence of such a street in the area of cheap prostitutes would have to be proven, and the question of shore leave in the period 1854-1866 needs to be answered. Remember, the equivalent of Shinbone Alley in Japanese ports would have to be after visits by sailors started to become a regular occurrence. The "floating world" of the Japanese and the geisha would have been closed to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 May 03 - 04:00 PM

Not my theroy, Schantieman, but thanks! we'll have to see what Q and others bring up..they've got better references available than I.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 May 03 - 09:48 PM

That bit about "Huncho Dory" seems to be just more fakelore!
The opening of a port at Yokohama was agreed upon to take place July 4, 1859. Except that Yokohama was a tiny flea-bitten fishing village at a short distance from the city and port of Kanagawa. Tha Americans complained bitterly, but could not get permission to use the City. They started to develop the site, along with other nations now trading with Japan. That was the beginning of the facilities at Yokohama, which eventually eclipsed those of nearby Kanagawa (those wily barbarians from across the seas!).
We thus have a date of ca. 1860 for the beginning of development of shore facilities, and the usual migration of brothel keepers, prostitutes, liquor vendors, gamblers, shanghai men and other worthies to the location.
Thus one year or less for the term to develop among the sailors.
"Hunky," as a word for in good condition, was already well-established by 1861. In 1866, we have "hunkee doree"- someone was already asking "I cannot conceive on any theory of etymology why anything that is 'hunkee doree...should be admirable." (OED) In 1868, ...Slater avowed that Tostee (a singer) was 'hunky dory'.
My personal speculation is that during the Civil War, some soldiers just added the meaningless word dory to hunky, which seemingly was coined during that same conflict (Showing that I can posit possible fakelore as well as the next guy).

Now about the minstrel origin- If it was in a minstrel song before 1860, where is the evidence? It is not in any of the collections of minstrel songs. Did anyone comment about it before the inventive people who compiled that Dictionary of phrase origins?
Perhaps more can be found here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 May 03 - 02:27 AM

Great work, Q!

Here's another word I love: twitterpated of which the best-guess definition I could find online is used to describe the befuddled state of any person (animal) in love

I found some references to the Disney movie BAMBI; apparently Thumper says the young animals are all "twittepated" in the Springtime, from what I could gather. I haven't seen it in years!


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 May 03 - 03:47 AM

Twitterpated? No, but "I am all over in a twitteration!" The latter was in print in 1820, and means just what you would guess it to mean. Twittery means shaky.
Twitchety is early Victorian- meaning all over nervous. There are a zillion of these words.

You caught me up late too! Woke up and started thinking about a bunch of books that I (may) want to sell. Checking sales prices at Abebooks.

While checking on that huncho theory, I read about Perry's first visit. Interesting. He brought a load of presents for the Emperor. The shogun at Yedo (Edo) sent out a school teacher who presented himself as the representative of the Emperor, complete with faked papers. Perry left, not knowing. The presents went to a house of the shogun, where they were just left. Almost 20 years later, Prof. Griffis saw them, still there, rusting and rotting away, apparently never unpacked. Griffis published "The Mikado's Empire" in 1876, writing it during his four year stay in Japan. He taught the first Japanese students sent to the United States in 1868 (many of whom attained positions of importance), and then in 1870 was invited to organize a scientific school in Japan. He became at home in every level, as he says, from the palace to the beggar's hovel, and saw the end of the feudal period and the beginning of modern Japan. The knowledge he gained about Japan and its people was amazingly large, covering every aspect. The book is beautifully written.


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Reeltime
Date: 10 May 03 - 06:06 AM

Not sure about the origins, but when Billy connely heard the word Tickey-boo he loved it. He was working on a film of the same name, and when it was finished he bought the Copyright to the name. It is still used by him as his production company name.

Random useless information, but it wins you pub quizzes ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 10 May 03 - 10:03 AM

Not slang, but yet another example of folk etymology...

"Strawberry" has some connection with "straw", right? Like the plants are mulched with straw or something. After all, one of my garden books makes that connection. Wrong. "Straw" is a variant of "strew". Strawberries grow "strewn along the ground" instead of on canes as raspberries and blackberries do.

Just more useless information.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 May 03 - 01:06 PM

Botanists (see OED) still argue about the 'straw' in strawberry. "One explanation refers the first element to straw....describing the appearance of the achenes scattered over the surface of the strawberry" (our modern hybrid and modified berries have lost most of this). Another view is that it "designates the runners."

No, doesn't matter. Just be sure to strenk the berries with brown sugar.
I've got to stop looking up words in the OED. I might start using them in conversation and get carried away to the funny farm (PC, Home for the mentally something or other).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 May 03 - 01:46 PM

Haha! What fun! Question: can one be a pedant sans their own copy of the OED? Anudder query: anyone have an older copy they want to sell *for cheap*? **bg** Crikey! I priced their online access! Phew, bit proud at $350 per year!

Another good place for book prices is www.bookfinder.com.

I've been re-reading Scott's Quentin Durward and was going to start a thread called "Great Scott! What a vocabulary!" but have decided the comments would fit in here. Talk about an archaic expansion of one's wordy arsenal! Of course, many are French or related. Some I knew, some I didn't. I've looked up most of these, but here's just a smattering through about page 200 with simple definitions as best I've found with ltd. resources:

syndie - burgher
guerdon - reward
raillery - banter
murrain - pestilence
spreagh
stoups - debase, bend, swoop
romaunts - a verse, romance
partizan - weapon
carman
malapert - saucy, impudent
condign - deserved, adequate
contumacy - contempt, defiance
gage - gauntlet, glove
astucious - astute
halidome (shades of Star Trek?**bg**)
gambade - horse's leap, caper
rencontre
durst - old past tense of dare
stanch hounds - to stop, allay, or check (in the hunt)
veneril - related to venery - hunting, game, sexual intercourse
curiass - armor, defense, protection
orisons - prayers(?)
scrupling - qualms, 1.3 grams, scruple
tirewoman - I think this must be "attirewoman" as it is used in a context of a maid helping a lady to dress

fain
wert
santon
cockered
devoir - duty
canaille - mob, rabble
fosse
callant
vulnerary
palfrey - which I thought was just a type of saddle, but was a horse, most generally for a lady

There are some other references which I might post later, of proper names and such. Sorry I didn't alphabetise them!

kat


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & w
From: Amos
Date: 10 May 03 - 02:10 PM

Fain -- expresses desire or preference (I fain would honor thy pursuit, loved I not honor more....)

Wert   Second person singular of "was" (An' thou wert comely I would woo thee well.)

Rencontre is an encounter or meeting.


A


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & w
From: Amos
Date: 10 May 03 - 02:55 PM

A useful reference for etymology can be found here at http://www.etymonline.com/index.html.

hijack - 1923, Amer.Eng., from high(way) + jacker "one who holds up." Originally "to rob (a bootlegger, smuggler, etc.) in transit;" sense of "seizing an aircraft in flight" is 1960s (also in 1961 variant skyjack), extended 1970s to any form of public transportation.


A


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 May 03 - 03:16 PM

spreagh- foray.
santon- European expression for a Mohammedan monk, sometimes incorrectly applied to Hindoo ascetics. OED
cockered- several possible. Setting up hay into cocks. Pampered. The sentence is needed to get the sense of the word. Also a pugilistic term and others. I have heard it used for stunned.
fosse- a ditch, an abyss, a waterway, a pit in which condemmed women were drowned. Again, have to put it in context.

Kat, a long time ago, the free gift from the Book-of-the-Month Club was the OED, in a micrographic edition (four pages printed on one), complete with a good hand lens. The date on the set (2 vols. in case) is 1971. In 1987, they issued a supplement in the same format. The cost was $80 (in case with a cheap plastic substitute for a hand lens). This supplement added many American, Australian, Canadian and other words and many more quotations for words covered in the other volumes.
These volumes satisfy me (How much do I need the newspeak, computer terms, etc.?). You should be able to find these in used book stores, but you have to keep at it, since many people would like a set. It is a much better deal than buying a full size set, which is older than 1987, and therefore lacks all of the information of the supplement, and usually is priced at about $500.
The on-line subscription service is expensive- too much for me. And will an updated micrographic set be available soon? The micrography is excellent- no blurred or unreadable type- just need a hand lens or high-powered reading glasses (4X are available).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: smallpiper
Date: 10 May 03 - 03:16 PM

When a fiddle has its open strings plucked in the order E A D G the sound it makes is tickety-boo (providing it is in tune). Therefore the expression is onamatawhatsit and indicates that all is well in the world of fiddle tuning therefore all is well!

Sounds plausable to me anyway


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 May 03 - 03:49 PM

With your own set of the OED, you can avoid all of the Fakelore in the "word" websites, but smallpiper and ilk?- I think he is trying to fiddle us. Ti-kuh-te-bo? Teh-kat-ee-boo? Tick on the bow? Old Rosin the Beau?
It does have a certain ring of plausibility.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & w
From: Amos
Date: 10 May 03 - 03:52 PM

Nahhhh -- (onomatopoetic form of the noise made by a disgruntled stallion).


A


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 May 03 - 04:48 PM

And here I thought it was when the old fellah was on his Ma and waxing poetic!

(Thanks, Q, will look around!)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: The Walrus
Date: 10 May 03 - 05:51 PM

Cockers were , among other things, rims of iron round wooden shoes (in Cumberland)- clogging irons?. Could cockered refer to something being iron bound?
Callant - A lad or stripling
"partizan - weapon" more specifically a pole arm with a broad stabbing head (as those carried by "Beefeaters")
rencontre - possibly the same as rencounter - to meet (Spenser)
santon - related to sant - providence

Getting back to "tickety-boo";-
"... The Royal Navy term for okay is derived from the Hindustani (Hindi thik hai, all right; babu, sir). Streatfeild in 1939 was first to put the spelling 'tickety-boo' in print..."
I'm sorry, but I can't see any British serviceman using (or even connecting) the term 'babu' with 'sir'
A babu was a native clerk and even the meanest British private soldier would expect to be saluted and adressed as 'Sahib' by such a person (and certainly not the otherway around).
The only way that I could see the term 'thik hai, babu' coming into use would be in a (newly?) returned battalion.
The company clerk was also known (unofficially) as 'the babu' - in the same way that the cook was "the bobbajee", the tailor, "the darzi"(or "darziwallah"), the barber "the nappy" ("nappywallah") and the cobbler,"the snob". "Old Soldiers'" English was liberally sprinkled with Hindi terms, so a casual enquiry "Thik hai, babu?" repeated from those entering the office could become a catch-phrase, I suppose.

Regards

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & w
From: Amos
Date: 10 May 03 - 06:35 PM

It's a pretty far stretch from the Hindu phrase, though, innit?

A


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: SussexCarole
Date: 10 May 03 - 08:17 PM

Whack = account - bill "I'll whet my whistle & pay my whack"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: smallpiper
Date: 10 May 03 - 08:32 PM

I'm tellin' ya my version is true just pick up a fiddle and pluck those strings and you will see for yourself.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 May 03 - 04:17 AM

SussexCarole: "Whack = account - bill ": not quite, to pay one's 'whack' is generally used to mean one will pay one's fair share of the bill, not the whole thing.
Chambers 20th Century: whack:...to settle accounts...a share...

So not quite conclusive in that dictionary

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Gurney
Date: 11 May 03 - 04:28 AM

Katlaughing, Orisons are Prayers, but a Tirewoman is a Milliner. I didn't check the rest. source was 'Dictionary of Archaic Words' first published 1860.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: ciarili
Date: 11 May 03 - 01:03 PM

Hunky dory - perhaps it refers to Sean Connery in a boat? Esp if he's off kilter....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 May 03 - 03:03 PM

Haha, I LIKE that one, ciarili!

Gurney, thanks! And thanks to the rest o'yew, too. This is great fun!

Q, et al, I'll get the sentence examples after awhile. I've been a bit out of it on a muscle relaxant since last night (Whoo-hoo, feeling good!) so haven't been quite *with it* if ya ken what I mean?!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: s&r
Date: 11 May 03 - 03:51 PM

I was told to tune a ukulele you just used the mnemonic "My Dog Has Fleas" - I tried for ages to figure out what the initials stood for before somebody put me out of my misery and explained that you sing the phrase to the tune of the open strings.

As tuning aids go it's pretty crap. Tickety boo would do as well.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 11 May 03 - 05:02 PM

Gurney is correct on te prayers, but "tirewoman" is, as you guessed, a woman who assists at a lady's toilet, i. e. a ladies maid. The OED gives examples from 1615.
Quentin Durward was written in 1823. Any suggested meanings must have been in use at that time. An example from 1709- "Dressed with all the art and care that Mrs Toilet, the Tire-Woman could bestow on her." The last example given, 1867, from Ouida- "To while time away by scolding her tire-woman."

An example given for cockered IS the quotation from Quentin Durward: I have not been cockered in wantonness and indulgence." "To indulge or humour," thus indulged or humored. OED. As I indicated, there are a number of definitions for cock, cockered, etc., in use in 1823. It is necessary to find the one that fits the sense of the phrase in the book.

The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, 2 vol. ed. micrographically reproduced varies from $75 to an astounding $250- ridiculous!- since thousands were given out by the Book of the Month Club in addition to normal sales. The 1987 supplement runs $95 approx. They list a 2-vol. 1991 2nd ed. at $235, but- is this just a reprinting of the earlier (1971) volumes??


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: rich-joy
Date: 13 May 03 - 11:30 PM

I feel like I've known the phrase "everything's hunky-dory and tickety-boo" since forever (I'm from Western Australia) and always thought it sounded like something a Noel Coward character would say!!!
Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 04:27 PM

I think "out of kilter" comes from the Irish language word "ceirtle", meaning a ball of yarn, thread, string, or cord. When the thread or yarn comes "as an gceirtle", and gets tangled up, the weaving comes to a halt. The phrase in quotation marks would be "off the ball".
"As ceirtle" would not apply to any particular ball, but would be a more generalized expression. The diminutive "ceirtlin"(acute accent over the last "i" to denote that the vowel is long) is used in expressions such as "ceirtlin tochraiste" to mean a very hardy, strongly built, active man--a tightly-wound ball as it were. Primitive technological terms applied generally to all technology.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 05:03 PM

Wrong kelter (kilter)
Kelter- good condition, state of health, in order; Cumbrian, Northumberland to Cornwall, and American, found in print since 1643. OED

R. Williams, 1643. Key Lang. Amer. Their Gunnes they.... often sell many a score to the English, when they are a little out of frame or Kelter.
Ray, 1674. Country Words. Kelter or Kilter.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Gurney
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 02:55 AM

For people who love this sort of thing, there are two dictionaries, (which I have) that you will enjoy.
James Orchard Halliwell's 'Dictionary of Archaic Words,' Bracken Books, London, and
Josefa Heifetz Byrne's 'Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words,' Granada Publishing, England.

I'd consider anyone who had come across 10% of the words in either of these books to be astonishingly broadly educated. Particularly the Archaic one, which starts with 19 uses of 'A' and goes on to 'zwodder,' before embarking on a letter no longer in use.

GuestQ, this 960-page tome gives Tirewoman as a milliner, as I said, but Tireman as a seller of clothes, and Tire as clothing, (as in attire) so it is easy to see how the word could have more than one meaning, depending on usage.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Gurney
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 03:06 AM

Oh, and it also gives Kelter as 'condition, order, sometimes used as a verb.'
Sorry about calling you Guest.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Ruthven
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 03:58 PM

In Moab is my Washpot, Stephen Fry's autobiography, he describes a "tickety boo" as being a block of wood with a number painted on it, apparently used in a game of chance played in country fairs. I have not been able to find that definitions elsewhere though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 04:15 PM

"Tiggerty-boo (The Forces' Thumbs-Up Song)" words and music by Hal Hallifax, was copyright in the U.K. and the U.S. in July, 1940.

The subtitle suggests that the songwriter believed it was an armed forces expression.

The song became so popular that it was mentioned in Life magazine's coverage of the Battle of Britain a few weeks later.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 01:56 PM

I've forever wondered what "come a cropper" means, and how the phrase originated.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 03:02 AM

From 'The Insect That Stole Butter' - the excellent Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins.
Under Raj:
"The 1930s slang word of approval 'tickety-boo' has no association with tick or ticket, but probably comes from a Hindi expression thik hai - all right."
It seems The Walrus got the answer 8 years ago.

Come a Cropper.
To come a cropper is to suffer a defeat or disaster. The origin of the phrase maybe the 19th-century hunting slang term 'cropper', meaning 'a heavy fall'. Cropper probably came from neck and crop, an expression meaning 'completely or thoroughly' and originally used in the context of a horse falling to the ground. Crop here referred either to the rider's whip (originally the top part of a whip) or the horse's hindquarters. This sense is found in Old French croupe 'rump', which appears as croup in Middle English, and is the source of the crupper [ME], the bit of harness that goes from the saddle under the horse's tail, and which lies behind the word croupier [E18th]. In early use, this was a term for a person standing behind a gambler to give advice, adopted from French, cropier 'pillion rider, rider on the croup'.â€쳌

Eric Partridge’s Dictionary of Historical Slang confirms this:

“Cropper; esp. come, or go a cropper. A heavy fall, fig. or lit.: from the late 1850s; coll.
Trollop, 1880, “he could not… ask what might happen if he were to come a cropper.â€쳌
Ex. Hunting.â€쳌
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 03:19 AM

From the excellent ' The Insect That Stole Butter' the excellent Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins.
Under 'Raj'

From the same dictionary
“crop [OE] From around AD 700 to the late 18th century crop, related to group [L17th], had a sense 'flower head, ear of corn', which gave rise to the main modern meaning 'a cultivated plant grown on a large scale' and also to senses referring to the top of something, such as the verb uses 'to cut very short' or 'to bite off and eat the tops of plants'. The sense 'a very short hairstyle' goes back to the late 18th century but is particularly associated with the 1920s, when the Eton crop, reminiscent of the style then worn at the English public school Eton, was fashionable for young women.
To come a cropper is to suffer a defeat or disaster. The origin of the phrase maybe the 19th-century hunting slang term 'cropper', meaning 'a heavy fall'. Cropper probably came from neck and crop, an expression meaning 'completely or thoroughly' and originally used in the context of a horse falling to the ground. Crop here referred either to the rider's whip (originally the top part of a whip) or the horse's hindquarters. This sense is found in Old French croupe 'rump', which appears as croup in Middle English, and is the source of the crupper [ME], the bit of harness that goes from the saddle under the horse's tail, and which lies behind the word croupier [E18th]. In early use, this was a term for a person standing behind a gambler to give advice, adopted from French, cropier 'pillion rider, rider on the croup'.â€쳌

Eric Partridge’s Dictionary of Historical Slang confirms this:
“Cropper; esp. come, or go a cropper. A heavy fall, fig. or lit.: from the late 1850s; coll.
Trollop, 1880, “he could not… ask what might happen if he were to come a cropper.â€쳌
Ex. Hunting.â€쳌


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 03:20 AM

Whoops
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 06:13 AM

Tickety boo is a suffolk dialect word.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 06:22 AM

suffolk dialect,along with bor, jip,coode heck,rood, suffin cold.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: GUEST,Goodstone
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 05:27 PM

perhaps:

kilt (v)
to tuck up," mid-14c., of Scandinavian origin; cf. Dan. kilte, Swed. kilta "to tuck up;" see kilt (n.). Related: Kilted; kilting.

-er (1)
English agent noun ending, corresponding to L. -or. In native words it represents O.E. -ere (O.Northumbrian also -are) "man who has to do with," from W.Gmc. *-ari (cf. Ger. -er, Swed. -are, Dan. -ere), from P.Gmc. *-arjoz. Some believe this root is identical with, and perhaps a borrowing of, Latin -arius. In words of Latin origin, verbs derived from pp. stems of Latin ones (including most verbs in -ate) usually take the Latin ending -or, as do Latin verbs that passed through French (e.g. governor), but there are many exceptions (eraser, laborer, promoter, deserter, sailor, bachelor), some of which were conformed from Latin to English in late M.E. The use of -or and -ee in legal language (e.g. lessor/lessee) to distinguish actors and recipients of action has given the -or ending a tinge of professionalism, and this makes it useful in doubling words that have both a professional and non-professional sense (e.g. advisor/adviser, conductor/conducter, incubator/incubater, elevator/elevater).

-er (2)
comparative suffix, from O.E. -ra (masc.), -re (fem., neut.), from P.Gmc. *-izon, *-ozon (cf. Goth. -iza, O.S. -iro, O.N. -ri, O.H.G. -iro, Ger. -er), originally also with umlaut change in stem, but this was mostly lost in O.E. by historical times and has now vanished (except in better and elder). "For most comparatives of one or two syllables, use of -er seems to be fading as the oral element in our society relies on more before adjectives to express the comparative; thus prettier is more pretty, cooler is more cool" [Barnhart].

-er (3)
suffix used to make jocular or familiar formations from common or proper names (soccer being one), first attested 1860s, English schoolboy slang, "Introduced from Rugby School into Oxford University slang, orig. at University College, in Michaelmas Term, 1875" [OED, with unusual precision].

http://www.etymonline.com/


so that would make sense as to why kilter is taken to mean orderly, its all tucked straight, this could be taken from a combination of any of the three definitions for the suffix -er, added to kilt, especially the third definition of -er. Lol, check out the origin of the word Soccer!

:)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Whence came tickety-boo, kilter, & whack
From: Anne Lister
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 05:47 PM

Just to add to a previous contributor - a tirewoman would be the lady's maid, who would help her to dress. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London keeps the word in currency by referring to the dressing rooms for the actors as the tiring rooms. I know because I've been in them.


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