Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Word: Jigger

jigger 1 |ˈjigər|nouna machine or vehicle with a part that rocks or moves back and forth, e.g., a jigsaw.a person who dances a jig.a small fore-and-aft sail set at the stern of a ship.• a small tackle consisting of a double and single block or two single blocks with a rope.a measure or small glass of spirits or wine.dated Golf a metal golf club with a narrow face.used to refer to a thing whose name one does not know or does not wish to mention see them little jiggers?verb [ trans. informalrearrange or tamper with.PHRASESwell, I'll be (or I'm) jiggered used to express one's astonishment.ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (originally a slang word for a door): from the verb jig (the relationship with which is obscure in certain senses).

According to my other dictionary, "I'll be jiggered" is a British expression. I've sure never heard it before yesterday—from Charlie Cochrane.  Brits have the awesomest expressions. I want to steal them all. And sometimes I domy poor editor keeps asking if I'm intentionally making my characters sound British.

9 comments:

  1. Just tell your editor that your characters are well-read!

    Although I've heard of this expression, I'm sure Charlie won't mind if I say that it's a little old-fashioned; the sort of thing you might read in an Agatha Christie. Charlie does tend to inhabit the early 20th century when she's writing Orlando and Jonty!

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    1. She does, doesn't she? Well, I figure if I sound Brit, I might as well sound old-fashioned too.

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  2. Charlie inhabits the early 20th century most of the time. I blame living in an Edwardian house.

    "I'll be jiggered" is a lovely minced oath. Like "Would I fairy cakes."

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    1. Lol, Charlie, every time you explain one aspect of your exotic language I'm left with more questions. What is "minced oath"? Or the other other thing after it?

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    2. "Minced oaths are a sub-group of euphemisms used to avoid swearing when expressing surprise or annoyance" (see http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/minced-oath.html). "Would I fairy cakes" is a phrase (new to me) to express the unlikelihood of Charlie's doing whatever it is, in response to being asked something like: "Would you...?". If I can remember it I'm going to use it from now on (with a copyright acknowledgment, of course).

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    3. Minced oath examples:
      What the Dickens is going on? (Instead of What the devil is going on?)
      What the fairy cakes? (Instead of What the F***?)

      We have a selection of not quite swear words chez Cochrane. "Hell's teeth and knickers!" "Pee po belly bum drawers!"

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  3. I've used it as a verb before, but that's it.

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    1. Only one is a verb - the rest are nouns.

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