Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 10:20:49 -0500
From: Jesse T Sheidlower jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PANIX.COM
Subject: Re: skinny marink?
As a spinoff of a conversation with Ellen Prince, I thought I'd try to pin
down the boundaries of the above lexical item (region and approximate year).
For me, at least, it's a childhood term from the 1950's in New York, where
I remember it being stressed only on the first component, so I'm just guessing
the two final unstressed syllables are spelled in the indicated fashion. I
couldn't locate it in either DARE or Lighter's Random House historical slang
dictionary for the obvious reason that neither has put out M's (let alone S's)
yet. Anyone else remember skinny marinks?
First of all, the usual form appears to be _skinnymalink,_ and is found
thusly in Dialect Notes IV 280; American Thesaurus of Slang 429.6; and
OED2 from 1892 identified as Scots with numerous Scottish citations. A
quick query of several people raised in New York in the 1930s-1950s
reveal that they all know the -malink form only.
The only citation we have for the -marink form in the HDAS files
is from 1954, in a novel set in New York.
If we do enter the term (we might simply decide it's dialect but
not slang), it will be under "s," since we've never encountered
the second element independently.
RH Historical Dictionary of American Slang
jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]panix.com