mankee, a bit
Posted: 14 February 2007 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The other night on a program called “the worst jobs in history” our host used the term “a bit mankee” on 2 occassions.

No doubt I may be mispelling “mankee”, but that’s the best I could come up with and it did google up.

I couldn’t find reference to “mankee” (or variants) at online etymology dictionary

“manque” did come up as a variant at merriam-webster online, but didn’t seem to be a proper fit based on the usage during the afore mentioned television series.

Can anybody give a good definition for mankee?  Can anybody give some background on origin and evolution of meaning thereof?

fyi - on the program, the host used it in context of eating some sort of dried fish product people rowing a small boat across an ocean would have had to eat, and also in reference to the conditions of a wet, dug-in pit where sawdust from cutting logs over was flying.

Thanks.

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Posted: 14 February 2007 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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According to the OED2:

manky, a2.  Brit. colloq. Bad, inferior, defective; dirty, disgusting, unpleasant.

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Posted: 14 February 2007 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I haven’t heard that one since my youth. Much used in the 50s/60s/70s, it appears to be almost moribund now, at least in my neck of the woods. (Central south coast of England).

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Posted: 14 February 2007 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Old French manc, manque via Scottish. Originally from Latin mancus “maimed.” The underlying root is *man-ko- “maimed in the hand.” Akin to English “mangle” and Sanskrit manak “little.” The root, man- is the same as that in Latin manus “hand,” which appears in numerous English borrowings: “manual (by hand),” “manipulate,” “manuscript,” “manicure,” etc. (Thanks to Sabra Jones for bringing this Scottish lexical nugget to the attention of the rest of the English-speaking world.)

From

http://www.yourdictionary.com/wotd/wotd.pl?word=manky

Still occasionally heard in the north of England.

(To see how it turns out, I’ve left the CODE html tag in.)

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Posted: 14 February 2007 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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jives well with “manque” at http://www.m-w.com ( http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/manque )


Main Entry: man·qué
Pronunciation: män-’kA
Function: adjective
Etymology: French, from past participle of manquer to lack, fail, from Italian mancare, from manco lacking, left-handed, from Latin, having a crippled hand, probably from manus
: short of or frustrated in the fulfillment of one’s aspirations or talents—used postpositively <a poet manqué>

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Posted: 15 February 2007 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Still in good health and well used in SE Scotland.

Most notably in the expression: “Ya mankey ba$t#rd!!”

Is though losing some of its edge, quite often a chiding jest to friends.

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Posted: 16 February 2007 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I would think it’s still in use in French, though I don’t know for sure. My Dutch professor at Berkeley used it in a literary phrase now forgotten (by me). It implied disabled or imperfect.

By parallel, back in the ‘60s some people with Southern connections used to say “monked-up” for “messed-up”.

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Posted: 18 February 2007 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Just watching Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire and Harry uses manky at the beginning of the movie. From the book:

It suddenly occurred to Harry how odd this would look if a Muggle were to walk up here now...nine people, two of them grown men, clutching this manky old boot in the semidarkness.

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Posted: 18 February 2007 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Manqué is still very much in use in French and can have several meanings depending on context.
For example:
Un garçon manqué is a tomboy.
Un médecin manqué is a doctor wannabe.

The only way I could see using the french manqué in the show you mentioned is taking a job because one couldn’t qualify for another.  Someone who couldn’t be a policeman takes a job as a security guard.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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In Spanish, manco means “lacking one hand, or arm”. Miguel de Cervantes is sometimes affectionately referred to as el manco de Lepanto (he lost the use of a hand in that famous sea-battle)

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Posted: 24 February 2007 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’m surprised that Aldi thinks it’s moribund. I’m not all that far away from him, and it’s quite healthy here. Of course, it may be that his surroundings are more salubrious than mine, so occasions when the word is appropriate rarely arise.

On edit: by diegogarcity, I’ve just noticed that the word appears in the clue for 1 across in the cryptic crossword in today’s Indy.

[ Edited: 24 February 2007 02:41 PM by kurwamac ]
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