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Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?

JedMarum 29 Jan 03 - 11:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jan 03 - 11:42 AM
JedMarum 29 Jan 03 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Q 29 Jan 03 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Q 29 Jan 03 - 12:30 PM
MMario 29 Jan 03 - 12:38 PM
JedMarum 29 Jan 03 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Q 29 Jan 03 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Q 29 Jan 03 - 08:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jan 03 - 08:41 PM
Allan C. 29 Jan 03 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,Q 29 Jan 03 - 09:05 PM
JedMarum 30 Jan 03 - 09:40 AM
JedMarum 30 Jan 03 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Q 30 Jan 03 - 01:15 PM
GUEST 11 Sep 08 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,Ron 22 Jun 12 - 04:54 PM
GUEST 25 Oct 12 - 11:31 PM
maeve 26 Oct 12 - 12:13 AM
maeve 26 Oct 12 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,jwgerst10 19 Jun 15 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 20 Jun 15 - 11:46 AM
GUEST 28 Apr 17 - 10:52 PM
Long Firm Freddie 29 Apr 17 - 02:26 AM
GUEST 13 May 17 - 07:56 PM
Thompson 16 Aug 17 - 07:50 AM
ChanteyLass 16 Aug 17 - 05:04 PM
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Subject: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 11:24 AM

I was sure I'd asked the question here at Mudcat before, but couldn't find a reference in any of the old threads, so perhaps I asked elsehwere.

I am looking for the use of an obsure New England epithet in song. In particular; I would like to find the term "Jickie" used in song or verse. This was a term my grandparents used, jokingly refering to themselves and their neighbors - but I'm sure it was not always used jokingly in their earlier days.

My grandmother would always give my grandfather hell for using the word in front of me, but she would chuckle from time-to-time when he used it, as well. They told me it referred to the English immigrants, the poor and working class folks - sort of a local (perhaps less malicious) "N" word.

I found a description of the word at the On-line Dictionary of Playground Slang and they say:

"Jickie n. Derogatory term for a person from Northern England (living as an immigrant in America. Used in early 1900's and specifically referred to working class person from area around York. (ed: never heard this before so not even sure if the spelling is correct - help needed please)."

So ....
Anyone familiar with its use? Heard it in song??? Poem? Story?


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Subject: Folklore: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 11:42 AM

According to Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable "Dicky Sam" is a term for a native of Liverpool, or was at one time. That could easily be heard as "Jicky".

I found this on this site Merseytalk:Dicky Sam: earlier term than Scouser for a Liverpudlian, Dicky Sam is understood to be a corruption of Dick O'Sam's derived from the Lancashire form of the patronymic. It refers to someone born and bred in Liverpool, within the sounds of the bells of St, Nicholas,.the waterfront parish church there. There is a record of one Richard Samuels, landlord of an old sailortown pub called the Dicky Sam Inn, which used to be on Mann Island, near the Pier Head.
Source: Shaw ST, SL


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 11:44 AM

sounds like a possible connection. Thanks McGrath.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 12:24 PM

"The American Language," H. L. Mencken. "In Bristol County, Massachusetts, where there are many Portuguese immigrants, a number of Portuguese loan words are encountered, e. g. .....jick or jickie (Englishman)." These words have spread all along the northeastern coast.
This would suggest that your grandparents had an encounter with either Portuguese or locals who had picked up the word, who derogatorially called them "Jickies."

Reminds me of the word "hick," which has been found in English
cant of 1690, from Richard, Dick, but which has come to mean an unsophisticated countryman (to put it politely).


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 12:30 PM

Checked my Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue." Hick was applied in cant to country or ignorant people by the end of the 18th century. How much earlier than that I don't know.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: MMario
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 12:38 PM

Given the Fall River area - I would say Q has hit it on the nose.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 06:40 PM

Yes Q - to be sure, your comments sound most appropriate. The rival immigrant group working the Fall River mills were Portugese. I am sure the two groups had unpleasant names for one another! The Irish and British Isles immigrants were further divided Catholic and Protestant. I don;t know of any ugly stuff among the groups, but I do konw they stayed within their ethnic communities for a generation or two.

I never understood why there was an Irish Catholic church on one corner and a French Catholic church on the other! Each ethnic community had their own church - of course the English and Scot Protestants were at the top of the heap!

Still - no one's heard it used in a song, eh??


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 08:24 PM

Hinky Jinky parlez voux! Sometimes these epithets showed up in children's rhyming taunts if not in songs.
If you can contact a librarian familiar with the Journal of American Folklore and similar journals, something might be found.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 08:37 PM

Just read "John Harrop's Bridge," by Jed Marum. Very good! I like these reminiscences. I have papers and photos of my grandparents and great-grandparents that I am trying to put together for my children and grandchildren. For Jed Marum's story, see: John Harrop


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 08:41 PM

"Inky pinky parlez vous" is how I've always heard it sung.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 08:48 PM

Now, that discussion goes back quite a way in MC history. However, I have doubts that there is a connection to the word Jed has mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 09:05 PM

Not implying any connection between ----parlez vous rhymes and Jed Marum's request for Jickie. just am example of how words can be taken up into game songs.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 09:40 AM

Q - thanks for the comments re: John Harrops Bridge. I reread it last night and think it could do with some refinment - but I enjnoyed it too!

I wonder if Jick or Jickie is a real word in Portuguese or a slang - if it's slang, was developed strictly for use in Bristol County, Massachusetts - or does it predate that era?

I feel a song coming on.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 09:45 AM

In fact; a quick look at an on-line Portuguese/English dictionary does not show a real Protuguese word for either Jick or Jickie - but I do not know how the correct spelling might appear in Portuguese - so I tried English or Englishman - and found no relation to Jick (Ingles).


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 01:15 PM

Dictionaries, unless comprehensive, are not much help. Look at the Oxford- some 15 or more large volumes. Most people wrongly think that their one or two volume set gives all the answers. Interested in words, I have the full OED (to 1987) plus several dictionaries of slang and some foreign language dictionaries (none comprehensive). Additionally one would need runs of journals devoted to language study if they were really serious about a language study.
If you can find a professor of Iberian languages with an interest in slang- not as difficult as it sounds if you have a nearby university at which to start inquiries- I am sure something will be found.

Did you go through the threads on "gringo"? (most comments undr Santa Ana or the like). In Spain, it has been a term for a foreigner or non-Spaniard since the 18th century at least, and used in Latin America before the Mexican War, but the first real contact Americans had with the term was during the Mexican War. Hence anecdotally the word is associated with all sorts of myths including the ludicrous idea that it came from the American troops (Irish, of course) singing "Green grow the Lilacs-Rushes-whatever." Webster's Collegiate and the OED still haven't caught up with the non-English uses and origin.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 12:52 AM

Re: Jick and Jickie. Both of my grandmothers came to Fall River, Mass., (Bristol County) from northern England in the latter part of the 19th century, one from Bradford, Yorkshire, and the other from Oldham, Lancashire. Both were of Irish descent (Cassidy and Muldoon), and they were not fond of one another. They each called the other not just a jick, but a "bloody jick," which was about as bad an epithet as they could use. It was not a complement.
As for any Portuguese connection to the use of the word, the English workers were here in Fall River much prior to the influx of the Portuguese to the Fall River mills. Their rivals were the French Canadians, not the Portuguese.
I do have several Yorkshire songs that my grandmother taught me when I was a child. One, called "Dolly Plum," is about "an eight-loom weaver lass, and a bonny lass, by gum." The other is called "I'm Going to Have Me Name above the Door" about an immigrant opening his own business. Betty Turner Sullivan   betsull@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,Ron
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 04:54 PM

Hi. I am also familiar with the term "jickie".
My father used it, he must have heard it from his
family in Rhode Island. It was used interchangeably
with "limey" to describe an Englishman.
Here is another link about it.
http://www.odps.org/glossword/index.php?a=term&d=4&t=13475


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 12 - 11:31 PM

My grandmother from England also referred to herself as a tough auld jickie. She is 99 years old today! I am also from Fall River, MA


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: maeve
Date: 26 Oct 12 - 12:13 AM

"Pictured above is St. Mary's Parochial School in Fall River, MA. This elementary school, situated in the Irish Corky Row neighborhood, is where Bernard attended school as a child. Young Bernard got into many a fight with the "Irish" youngsters who called him a "jick", a derogatory term for someone from England. Ironically, although Bernard was born in England, had a British surname, and probably had a bit of a Lancastrian accent, he was actually half Irish, with both of his parents having Irish mothers, and was Catholic.

According to the H.L. Mencken in his book American Language, jick or jickie was a word used by Portuguese immigrants in Bristol County, Massachusetts to describe an Englishman. The word jick is referenced in the book Divided Society: The Ethnic Experience in America as follows:

    In Fall River the name "jick," implying more contempt than any of the others, was coined by Portuguese mill laborers who resented their Lancashire overlords." http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/cotton-mill

Then there is this:

"...I remember my parents and relatives (in Rhode Island) referring to English folk as "jickies" (NOT in a derogatory way) and never knew what it meant. About 15 years ago, because of a conversation with a co-worker, I started researching it and finally found someone (I think the arts and entertainment editor of the Providence Journal) who laughed when I asked about it and said it referred to a specific job some of the English did in the textile mills (in England???) and the job was using a "jickie" or something like that. http://www.odps.org/glossword/index.php?a=term&d=4&t=13475
**************
No songs yet; sorry.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: maeve
Date: 26 Oct 12 - 12:20 AM

A Portuguese word for donkey is "jegue"...if that helps this old thread along.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,jwgerst10
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 04:58 PM

I, too, heard this used as a derogatory term for the English when I was growing up in Rhode Island. I heard it most commonly by members of my grandparents' generation, who would have been born in the late nineteenth century.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 11:46 AM

A popular epithet for the English in the Ozark region of Southern Illinois was "John Bull" in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Apr 17 - 10:52 PM

A term used by my Irish catholic side of the family in Rhode Island when addressing or talking about my 1st generation English "Dod, like in Cod, grandfather who was raised in Fall River/New Bedford, on the MA/RI border. In humorous intent it was used as " You blooming Jicky/Jickie when Dod was in the room." --- In less polite settings it was "bloody jicky/jickie". This is W.W.2 generation talking about the W.W. 1 generation. And I heard it from the 1950-1990's till the WW 2 folks passed on.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 29 Apr 17 - 02:26 AM

According to Collins online Portuguese-English dictionary the Portuguese word jequice has two meanings: country ways or tackiness. The pronunciation is something like jekkeece, which could be taken for the plural of jickie to English ears.

Maybe!

LFF


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 17 - 07:56 PM

My grandmother was from Bradford, Yorkshire and came to the USA in the early 1900's to work in the woolen mills in Rhode Island. She often told me how other non-English immigrants would call her a Jickie...and how she would cry.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: Thompson
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 07:50 AM

And the deliciously daring perfume that ushered in the 20th century, Jicky, was called after a girl Aimé Guerlain flirted with when he was a student in England.


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Subject: RE: Epithet for English Immigrants in Song?
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 05:04 PM

I live in RI. Dad was a jicky; mom was a frog. Their families got along, and the terms were used with affection, but I think I was told not to use them outside our families because others might not understand. It seems every nationality had a nickname that could by used with affection or scorn.


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