Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crimanetly...It's an Idiolect

A common expression of irritation heard in my family has always been the word crimanetly. It is a word that I can remember my grandfather using way back when and a word that I continue to use on a regular basis today. I like it because it does not sound a crass as some of the more commonly used expressions of irritation. I also like it because it is not a widely known word...I have always considered it to be part of my family's idiolect.

According to worldwidewords.org, crimanetly is an elaborated version of criminy (both of which are mild exclamations or cries of astonishment or annoyance) that The Dictionary of American Regional English lists as being found in regional dialects in the northern states of the central and western US, together with California.

Dictionary.com lists the etymology of the word criminy as, "Italian crimine 'crime'; euphemism for 'Christ.'"

2 comments:

Rimpy said...

I first heard that word in Disney's animated Robin Hood, as uttered by the Sheriff of Nottingham, voiced by the incomparable Pat Buttram. I still use the word sometimes myself, usually accompanied by a poor imitation of the actor.

Wordacious said...

I don't remember the word being in the movie, but I haven't seen it in ages. I will have to watch it again. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

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