Selasa, 26 Juli 2011

What's the origin of the word "chicanery"?

: chicanery

Why: In The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (which I finally finished on the way to work this morning):
As long as he was relatively discreet and did not get involved in any financial chicanery, his future would be assured.
I want to pronounce that word like "Chicano," but the Englishman who narrated my audiobook said it a different (correct) way.

Answer: That's just the word! Maybe originally from Middle Low German shickken, "to arrange, bring about." Then 15c. M. Fr. chicaner, "to pettifog, quibble," and c. 1600 Fr. chicanerie, "trickery."

1560s, from petty; the second element possibly from obs. Du. focker, from Flem. focken "to cheat," or from cognate M.E. fugger, from Fugger the renowned family of merchants and financiers of 15c.-16c. Augsburg. In German, Flemish and Dutch, the name became a word for "monopolist, rich man, usurer."
A 'petty Fugger' would mean one who on a small scale practices the dishonourable devices for gain popularly attributed to great financiers; it seems possible that the phrase 'petty fogger of the law,' applied in this sense to some notorious person, may have caught the popular fancy. [O.E.D. first edition, in a rare burst of pure speculation]
However, cf. pettifactor "legal agent who undertakes small cases" (1580s), which, though attested slightly later, may be the source of this.


Source: EtymOnline

The More You Know: But chicano is different.
1947 (n.), from Mex. Sp. dialectal pronunciation of Mexicano, "Mexican," with loss of initial unaccented syllable. Said to have been in use among Mexican-Americans from c.1911. Probably influenced by Sp. chico, "boy," also used as a nickname.
According the Wikipedia, Mexicans used to use this word to mean "poorest of the poor," but during the Civil Rights movement they used the word to unite themselves.
I'm not really sure if I'm allowed to use it.

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