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Speaker: Mixing it up, with stats like

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  • The Dropkicks,

    We here at Dropkicks are just glad our sponsorship came thru this debacle intact. If there was a sudden whisky shortage the humour would run out.

    [Niggardly is] also used by people who would be gobsmacked to be told it has racist connotations, and are using it for its actual meaning. To call them racist is offensive.

    Reminds me of the time someone labelled me sexist for using the idiom 'rule of thumb'.

    I'd never hit a woman with aything more than a killer smile and a cheeky wink, so how the hell was I to know!

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It amuses me with such a wonderfully simple thing as google that people still push things like 'rule of thumb' and niggardly==nigger as anything other than urban legends.

    About once a week I get told something or get some silly email which snopes.com or google or any half-decent site disproves in a minute.

    And people say it's the internet that's full or rubbish.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch,

    I enjoy PA & it is you sand pit but I'm right on this one. Niggardly is used by smart ass racists ( so says the Urban dictionary) and I can't compromise on this position.

    michael, dude! don't want to harsh on your buzz, man, or be mean, but most of what you write makes absolutely no sense, and what little that does is just absolute tripe. does it not make you a trifle uneasy that *everyone else* who has responded to you disagrees with you, quite vehemently? it should, because, as numerous others have lucidly explained, you're wrong. i'm sorry i started this at all--i used the example of one stupid and wrong-headed reaction to the word "niggardly" to point out how an over-developed fear of offending anyone, married with ignorance and laziness could impair our use of language and actually degrade the level of public discourse--in this case about race, identity etc. little did i imagine my example would actually create the same ridiculous misunderstanding in miniature.
    so, you've provided some mirth and then frustration for all of us here, now it's probably a good time to, as russell gently suggested, pull your damn head in!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch,

    ps mmmmm, whiskey.....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Apology accepted Michael...oh wait.

    Well the whiskey will apologise for all the world's ills. Mmmmm.

    And, maybe I'm also too innocent, but how is "Rule of Thumb" sexist?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I suppose we could look it up Hadyn... so much easier to wait for someone to tell us :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Anyway Michael, you get the picture; you were mistaken and you shouldn't have called Andrew (or whoever) a racist. Just say sorry.

    Urban Dictionary is entertaining, but not a good place to look up the meaning of an actual word. Last time I checked, the definitions of the word "Maori" were pretty horrifying.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Urban Dictionary is entertaining, but not a good place to look up the meaning of an actual word.

    I beg to differ - the Wellingtonista had a particularly lively time getting the definitive definition of a snowball vs. a snowjob one time.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    "Niggardly" comes from the Old English word "niggard", which means a miser, or a stingy person.

    I looked it up in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, and found this:

    niggardly is the adverb form of niggard
    niggard is a late Middle English word which comes from nigon
    nigon is a Middle English word which comes from nig.
    nig is a Middle English word, thought of be of Scandanavian origin.

    And, maybe I'm also too innocent, but how is "Rule of Thumb" sexist?

    There's a tale that in the olden days of America, it was legal for a man to beat his wife with a stick, provided the stick was no wider than his thumb.

    The Straight Dope, World Wide Words and Wikipedia say it ain't so.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1865 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Urban Dictionary is entertaining, but not a good place to look up the meaning of an actual word.

    Definitions are reader submitted. There is room for moderation, but it lets you turn your in-jokes with mates into legitimate entries. Nightball, anyone?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1865 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    You can, however, use the rule of thumb for banquets:

    Plate setters, setting plates for an English Royal banquet, place the plate against the tip of the thumb while holding the arch of the thumb and first finger against the table edge.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    For the record, here's a link to a real dictionary. I use it almost every day.

    the definitive definition of a snowball vs. a snowjob

    You mean the sex ones?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    the Wellingtonista had a particularly lively time getting the definitive definition of a snowball vs. a snowjob one time.

    That was yet another instance where it was reinforced on me that indeed, I have not seen & heard it all by any means.

    Ewww

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    You mean the sex ones?

    We thought that a snowball was a sex thing, and a snowjob was a PR thing (I won't make any comment on the connection between PR and sex). We learnt that both could be both. And unfortunately I had to close the comments on that entry for other reasons (ie: no one was telling me about anonymous sex in laundrettes which was the original point of the post), so that's all we learnt.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    OK, now you've lost me totally, and I've been following this thread closely until now.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 805 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Wow, I thought rule of thumb was going to be some kind of dirty measurement thing. You know, like shoe sizes.

    Rob, I think the thread became a little "Friday Arvo".

    Robyn, I love the way that the word "niggardly" eventually dissolves into nothing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Wow, I thought rule of thumb was going to be some kind of dirty measurement thing. You know, like shoe sizes.

    As in the length of the imaginary hypotenuse between your index finger and the end of your thumb if you hold them at right angles? Data on the accuracy of this is inconclusive.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    You know what they say about men with big hands?

    Look how small the pen is.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    It would be niggardly of me not to point out, as a rule of thumb, that so many here provide material pertinent to the discussion at hand, as is usually the case.
    Best film reference to snowballing was in Chasing Amy, or was it Clerks?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Robyn, I love the way that the word "niggardly" eventually dissolves into nothing.

    I wouldn't be surprised if its origin was some Viking going "Nnnnn!" to express his displeasure at a stoopid pal.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1865 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    OK, now you've lost me totally, and I've been following this thread closely until now.

    It is so Friday afternoon ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    half the problem is that once i wrap these humungous mitts around a tumbler of whisky or two it comes hard to tell if i'm niggardly or curmudgeonly.

    by three whiskies i'm thinking, "probably both"

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It would be niggardly of me not to point out, as a rule of thumb, that so many here provide material pertinent to the discussion at hand, as is usually the case.

    Indeed. Members of the community are cordially invited to now come up with examples of words whose "wrong" meaning has become generally accepted through sheer currency in the language.

    Or, knock off and have a drink.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

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