Sunday, February 07, 2010

Bockety


Picture is of Bockety Bird, Cape St. Mary's, Newfoundland, August 2008

I still can’t get used to the people who pop their eyes at me when I use this word. I’ve always used it. To describe my bike when its wheel is bent. To describe a cake that comes out of the oven all up and down. To describe a really bad haircut or an imperfect piece of knitting. Or even a road full of potholes.

Oh it’s bockety! I cry sadly, stroking the crooked object with affectionate pity.

It’s one of those perfect words because it’s onomatopoeic.

And then I find out that my lovely well-used word is Cork slang. No wonder the rest of the world outside of Cork looks at me sideways.

From the Cork Slang Dictionary:

Bockety
Construct: Adjective
Definition: Crooked, out of alignment.
Use: One of the table legs is bockety.One of the table legs is crooked - meaning short.
Derivation: Probably from the Irish 'Bacac' - imperfect, defective. (Dinnen)Also note 'Bockady' - a lame person (Joyce)

And today, well, it’s a bockety day.
And how’s yours?

36 comments:

  1. I've been using bockety all my life. But now I know it's because my mother was from Mallow!

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  2. Hilda the bockety taught my mother in Dublin many moons ago I often came across a bockety table or stool in my time. Thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten the word.

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  3. I just learned a new word. Thanks oh wise one.

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  4. That clifftop looks mighty high. I hope you weren't standing too close to the edge when you took the photograph, or you may have ended up more than a little bockety yourself.

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  5. Tessa!!
    Where have you been? Missed you, so glad you're back. And yes, I would have guess you're one of my bockety friends!
    XO
    WWW

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  6. "Hilda The Bockety" sounds like a great story, when are you going to tell it, GM?
    XO
    WWW

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  7. GFB:
    Go out here, my good man, and feel free to use it. It has wonderful potential!
    XO
    WWW

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  8. RJA:
    With no protection either, quite the hike but the view (without fog) extraordinary, and even with fog....:^)
    Ah sure, I'm bockety all the time!
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Never heard of bockety, nice one. What's interesting is the new words that come and go within months and the ones that endure for centuries. Very mysterious.

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  10. I must listen to myself and observe listeners' reactions more, I'm sure there's other Corkese I'm not even aware of!
    I honestly thought bockety was in normal useage until I tried it in Scrabble....LOL.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. That's one more for my vocabulary, WWW!

    Nearest word I know of is "rickety" - same meaning - but the word's root is the old disease of rickets, which made a person suggering from it quite bockety. :-)

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  12. Bockety typing fingers - "suffering"

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  13. Rickety to me is a "skinny" word, T. Whilst "Bockety" is a heavy word.
    i.e. (1)one thing out of alignment slightly and (2) everything tilting sideways.
    I like the word 'suggering' LOL
    Nice bockety work!
    XO
    WWW

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  14. What a wonderful word. I had never heard ut before despite having parents from Cork. Is it a Cork city word?

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  15. Jams:
    It could be city though I'm not sure. I'm originally from Midleton and to the best of my knowledge the word has always been a part of me!
    XO
    WWW

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  16. As someone who is not a native of the English language, I do not feel so bad not knowing the word "bockety"... but then again, neither did my computer... there was a wiggly red line for spell check... funny!

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  17. bockety, rickety, suggering... I needed a good laugh. WWW, my next blog post is going to be about my trips to Ireland and discovering my late husband's roots and 21 1st cousins he didn't know existed. Probably not tonight. The modem is not behaving. I guess it or more likely the dish is bockety.

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  18. Oh welcome to our bockety world indeed Karin and the dung of a 1000bockety camels on your dish!!
    XO
    WWW

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  19. What a brilliant word! I'm going to have to work that into conversation at some point! :-)

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  20. Jo:
    It is one of those unforgettables, isn't it? 8^)
    XO
    WWW

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  21. Ha ha, lovely, WWW.!
    Seán Beecher's Dictionary of Cork Slang is a treasure trove, isn't it?
    Once - deep in the past millennium - while staying with him and his wife, a Corkonian seanachie recommended it.
    And I am still chuckling when thinking of of our son complaining about his English teacher, a lady who obviously stood in the first row when arrogance and vanity were distributed.
    Thus, I adviced him to choose at least three lovely words from Beecher's dictionary for his next essay.
    Result: Nine (!) question marks accompanied by "No English word", "Fantasy word?", "Are you trying to tease me, R.?" etc. etc..
    Ha ha, to see the lady's face when - "This is not funny!" - she had to correct the given mark.

    Gosh, seems my taciturnity ended in smithereens. :)

    As for your question: I had a lot of giddum in me today. :)

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  22. Oh Sean!
    Your story made my day!
    Thanks a whole bockety bit!
    XO
    WWW

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  23. I used to think "squish" - meaning crooked or out of alignment - was in normal English usage until I used it to describe something to a friend from St. John's at university who had no idea what I was talking about. :-)

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  24. that is a great, vivid word. you used the word "pockety" once, regarding pants with many pockets, and i have used it ever since.

    i'm now going to start using bockety, as well. my life has been bockety for a couple of months but i think it's getting back in alignment.

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  25. BG:
    Oh now I have a perfect comeback when someone questions 'bockety! I'll say "oh sorry, I mean squish!"
    XO
    WWW

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  26. Laurie:
    When you're feeling bockety, my good woman, you have to put on the pocketys, doncha?
    LOL
    XO
    WWW

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  27. Learned this new bockety word tru Omnium who sent us here. Love it. It would describe our abnormal Toronto winter to a tee. We're all in need of spring.

    What I have been appreciating though are your movie reviews. Love to know in advance what to expect when I rent a video. Many thanks!

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  28. A great word and a wonderful post. I can't remember the last time I heard someone say bockety. Too long, anyway. It's very versatile and evocative. I will be using it more often now!

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  29. My husband has a dictionary of Newfoundland English. You Newfoundlanders have the most wonderful words and expressions! I'm quite partial to "You can't know the mind of a squid."

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  30. Claudia:
    Thank you for the kind words and please let me know of any good movies I might have missed!
    bockety Toronto, LOL.
    XO
    WWW

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  31. Stan:
    Yes, we must take this one to OED, right?
    XO
    WWW

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  32. Knatolee:
    Well bockety is a Cork, Ireland word but I literally salivate over the DNE and have done a post about it.
    XO
    WWW

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  33. The Shorter OED doesn't offer very much, but T. P. Dolan's archive has a couple of colourful entries.

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  34. Thanks for the links Stan. I was very surprised when the DNE didn't have a derivative, as a lot of the words here can be sourced to Munster. But then again, Cork has its very own republic of words I would say!
    XO
    WWW

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  35. Thank you, WWW. I truly appreciated your review of The Reader, before buying the DVD. I couldn't find one on The Russia House, with Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer. I love the two actors, and John Le Carré's book. But I'm afraid to be disappointed. Did you see the movie?

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  36. Claudia:
    I didn't see "Russia House", I was a little put off by the leads, I know I shouldn't let personal actor bias into my movie watching but it seeps in unfortunately.
    XO
    WWW
    PS But I'm always willing to go on other's recommendations too!

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