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Meaning of 'hinny-o'

Chanteyranger 27 Jul 03 - 03:07 PM
Chanteyranger 27 Jul 03 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,DaveS 27 Jul 03 - 03:13 PM
DMcG 27 Jul 03 - 04:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jul 03 - 04:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 03 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,celtaddict at work 27 Jul 03 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Masato 27 Jul 03 - 05:31 PM
Jim McLean 27 Jul 03 - 05:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM
Chanteyranger 27 Jul 03 - 10:28 PM
GUEST,MCP 28 Jul 03 - 03:30 AM
DMcG 28 Jul 03 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,DaveS 28 Jul 03 - 05:29 AM
Dave Bryant 28 Jul 03 - 05:34 AM
DMcG 28 Jul 03 - 05:42 AM
ard mhacha 28 Jul 03 - 06:39 AM
fogie 28 Jul 03 - 12:43 PM
TheBigPinkLad 28 Jul 03 - 12:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jul 03 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Q 28 Jul 03 - 01:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Jul 03 - 02:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jul 03 - 02:56 PM
GUEST 28 Jul 03 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,MCP 28 Jul 03 - 06:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jul 03 - 06:45 PM
Celtaddict 28 Jul 03 - 07:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Jul 03 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 28 Jul 03 - 09:20 PM
Teribus 29 Jul 03 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Santa 29 Jul 03 - 08:35 AM
Trevor 29 Jul 03 - 09:20 AM
TheBigPinkLad 29 Jul 03 - 03:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jul 03 - 03:35 PM
TheBigPinkLad 29 Jul 03 - 04:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jul 03 - 04:03 PM
TheBigPinkLad 29 Jul 03 - 04:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jul 03 - 04:44 PM
Jim McLean 29 Jul 03 - 04:49 PM
TheBigPinkLad 29 Jul 03 - 04:58 PM
Peterr 30 Jul 03 - 10:14 AM
Peterr 30 Jul 03 - 11:57 AM
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Subject: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 03:07 PM

What is the meaning, and the origins of the term "hinny-o," which appears in Geordie songs. I can easily gather it's a term of endearment, but does it mean "honey," or something else? I often sing "Herring's Head" at kids programs, and I'm curious of its exact meaning. Thanks.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 03:09 PM

I mean the exact meaning of "hinny-o," not of the whole song "Herring's head." The phrase appears at the end of the chorus in the version I learned.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,DaveS
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 03:13 PM

Simply a term of enderamet


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: DMcG
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 04:07 PM

DaveS is right, and the term can certainly still be heard (or could last time I was there); as can similiar terms like 'pet' or 'love' in other parts of the country.

However, I 'corrected' a song recently from the north east from 'honey' to 'hinny' and someone (Malcolm Douglas I think), referred me to an older document which did say 'honey', so your guess at the link may well have something in it.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 04:52 PM

"Honey" and "Hinny" were used interchangeably in 19th century song collections. The last time I mentioned it here, someone -not DMcG!- took it rather badly (perhaps he thought it was unmanly or something) and proposed an alternate etymology which really didn't hold water. The simplest explanation is often the right one.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 05:17 PM

It might be cognate with hen rather than honey - as in "wee hen", as a term of endearment, analogous to "chick".


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,celtaddict at work
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 05:21 PM

And possibly in the same line, what is a "singin' hinny" which I have seen mentioned in books by Scot & Geordie writers and is evidently a type of dough-based food cooked in a skillet? I assume the "singin'" part means it makes a squeaking or hissing sound when cooking.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,Masato
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 05:31 PM

From James Kinsley's glossary to Robert Burns's poems (Oxford, Vol. III):
hiney, hinnie, hinny, n. honey 345. 6, sweetheart, darling 304. 3, 311. 22; adj. sweet 320. 7.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Jim McLean
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 05:34 PM

Northern England and Scotland have close conections with the Scandinavian language and 'hinney' in English and 'henne' in Swedish mean the female of the species. My wife is from Durham and hated being called 'hen' when in Glasgow although as McGrath of Harlow pointed out this is a term of endearment. I don't know if both terms i.e. 'Hen' and 'Hinney' are related linquistically but they definitely are in the corresponding local cultures.
Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM

There may be a connection with "hen", or there may not; as I have said, however, "hinny" and "honey" were used interchangeably in the 19th century. That is a matter of fact, not speculation. A "hinny" is also the offspring of a stallion and a she-ass, of course, but that is irrelevant here. I've never come across "hinney" used simply to mean a female; the usage may of course occur somewhere or other (though it does not appear in standard Scottish and English dictionaries), but again it is irrelevant here, as the term, as used in the stated context in the North of England and in Scotland, is not gender-specific.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 10:28 PM

Thank you all for this. It sounds like the exact etymology of the word may be open to debate, but the context in which it is used - its meaning in the songs where it appears, which Malcolm and Masato point out (interchangeable with 'honey"), answers my question well enough.The etymology is a fascinating discussion, though, so don't let me stop it here! Thanks again.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 03:30 AM

OED also gives it as Northern and Scottish form of honey (which coming from the deep South at Middlesbrough was what I always understood it to be).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: DMcG
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 03:35 AM

Here's a recipe for Singing Hinnies.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,DaveS
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:29 AM

Just to expand a little further, when I lived in the North East(and I return quite frequently, as recently as last Wedneday in fact)the term "hinny" which is still very much part of the vocabulary is a term of endearment which can be applied to both sexes. "Keep Your Feet Still Geordie, Hinny" I found a similar situation when I moved to my now home in Nottingham where both men and women are addressed as "duck"


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:34 AM

When I was working in the NE, I quite often heard the term "Hinney" used in a completely non-sexual (ie male to male) context more akin to the word "mate" or "chum". There was one road maintenance company that used to put up signs that read "Gan Canny Hinney" (Go carefully mate) to warn drivers of road works.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: DMcG
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:42 AM

In "The Language and Lore of Schoolchildren" Peter and Iona Opie produced a map of 'Truce Terms' (Fainites, Kings, Pax, etc) showing the range of terms and where they were used. Does anyone know of anything similar for 'endearment terms' (hinny, ducks, love, pet, dearie ...)?


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 06:39 AM

In my working days in and around Sunderland hinny was generally used by adults as a term of endearment and mostly to the"bairns" [children].
I assumed it meant honey. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: fogie
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 12:43 PM

bad -ass?


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 12:58 PM

You should know that while hinny may be a synonym for honey as in sweetheart, it cannot be interchanged for honey as in bee spit.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 01:25 PM

There a sort of lopsided gender specificity with some of these terms. "Love" and "ducks" would be used by a women to a woman or to a man - but would they be used by a man to a man? Similarly for "pet" in areas where that is used.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 01:36 PM

A wonderful lady from England worked in the postal substation that I used (western Canada). All her male customers were addressed as 'love'.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 02:07 PM

It's perfectly normal for men to address each other as "love" here in Sheffield, though becoming less common among younger people. As an incomer, I don't do it myself.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 02:56 PM

"...a map of 'Truce Terms' (Fainites, Kings, Pax, etc) showing the range of terms and where they were used. Does anyone know of anything similar for 'endearment terms'"

Now the people who could answer that would be The National Centre for English Cultural Tradition.

I found that link while looking for the "Survey of English Dialects", which is the topic of this page from a BBC site - with a link to a fascinating sound file of an interview, with some recordings of dialects that'd defeat most listeners to understand.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:34 PM

McGrath thanks for the link, I worked with people from all over England hrow in a few Welsh and Scottish accents and I would say the most incomprehensivle was the Newcastle on Tyne and the midlands accent.
It took me awhile to get around the Geordie and Wolverhampton lingo but moving around through the various English counties gives you an ear for any accent, and my favourite has to be the Suffolk accent. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 06:25 PM

Here in North Notts they use duck, and I've heard it applied to both sexes. Love and pet were both used in Middlesbrough in my childhood.

IIRC there is an atlas showing isoglosses of the distribution of words like this (the snap/bait set is another common regional difference. As I recall it was last published some years ago, but I can't remember who did it(the Institute of Dialect Studies perhaps?).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 06:45 PM

"My dear" is another. Typically from shop ladies in supermarkets. But when there's a bloke on the till you're lucky to get more than a grunt.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Celtaddict
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for the recipe, DMcG.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 08:11 PM

I have a copy of The Linguistic Atlas of England (Croom Helm 1978) but I don't think it covers terms of this sort (it does have a comprehensive "Earth Closet" section, though). NATCECT's own website, incidentally, is at

http://www.shef.ac.uk/english/natcect/index.html

I was fortunate enough to have had John Widdowson (the founder of the Centre) as my departmental tutor when I was an undergraduate, and to have taken his Folklore course the first year it was accredited as part of the degree. My rather scruffy work on Toilet Graffiti is still held in the archive there, though the last I heard, you had to ask for it specially, as it wasn't the kind of thing that they wanted inadvertently to inflict on casual visitors.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 09:20 PM

In South Yorkshire, Barnsley area, there is 'chuck'- I assume a version of 'chick'.

When I was young and at home there we kept chickens and I remember being taken out to help feed the 'chuck a lucks'

That area also has its own 'oat cusine' with parkin and various other baked items using oats - odd how regional we are still, despite all the technology.

Anne Croucher


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 04:55 AM

I think that Jim MacLean above is on more of the right track regarding the Scandinavian connection. Don't know the song but, in the context of the song, can "hinny-o" be substituted with "lassie-o"?

In the borders the use of the word "hen" for a woman, or girl, is very common, that derives from "henne" in Norwegian, Also in the North-East of Scotland, the word "Quine" is used, that derives from the Norwegian "kvinne". Could the term "hinny" be a corruption of both "henne" and "kvinne"?


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 08:35 AM

Whether it originally came from the Scandinavian or not, as much of Geordie dialect did one way or another, I think it time to repeat others' comments, that it is applied to both sexes. This does seem to be getting lost.

However, I feel that the use as in "Keep your feet still, Geordie hinney", from one man to another, would jar. It's a while since I lived for any long time in the NE, but I'd expect it from man to woman, and vice-versa.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Trevor
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 09:20 AM

'Aar kid' is used when addressing men and women where I come from in the Black Country.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 03:25 PM

Hinny is perfectly suited to either sex; its use is entirely dependant on the situation as are many terms of endearment. You wouldn't call your teacher hinny, but you could call a stranger at your cash register it for sure. It's a term used mainly by older people and adopted by younger people as they grow older. E.g., I never used it when I was a kid, but I do now I'm coming up 50.

There are some uncommon Geordie words from other languages -- Jugal for dog, Gadgie for man (both Romany) Charver for pal/buddy (Irish) and coin for turn (French) but Geordie is just a dialect of English and 99 per cent of its words are English.

That's not to say Geordie might not sound strange to a non-north easterner; this would make perfect sense to a Geordie:

"Get away man, mother, woman!"


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 03:35 PM

I'd have thought "charver" would probably be from the Romany for young man. (And the same would be true of the more "standard English" version used in the expression "young shaver").

There's a saying to the effect that a dialect is just a language that doesn't have an army. So Portuguese counts as a spearate language, and Gallician is referred to as a dialect.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 04:02 PM

Don't Gallicians speak Basque?


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 04:03 PM

Galicia is top left of Spain, and the Basques are top right.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 04:28 PM

The language is Gallego, apparently McG; it's closest relative is Portugese.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 04:44 PM

So is it wrong for English speakers to refer to the language spoken in Portugal as "Portuguese" rather than as "Portuguesa", or to the language of the Basques as "Basque" rather than "Euskara"?


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Jim McLean
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 04:49 PM

Usually the meaning of 'hinny' is 'honey', as a term of endearment or even just 'honey'. I only mentioned the Scandinavian connection as an additional piece of linquistic interest.
Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 04:58 PM

Carl it hoo ye leyk, hinny.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Peterr
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 10:14 AM

In West Cornwall, by the generation 40+ 'bird' is used by/to either sex, and 'lover' by/to opposite sex, as familiar terms rather than endearment, as
'Right, are 'ee, my bird?' reply 'Right on, my lover'


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Subject: RE: Meaning of 'hinny-o'
From: Peterr
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 11:57 AM

And, of course 'my 'andsome'


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