For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.
(Note: Unfortunately, I’ve missed a few words in this section, so they are not in alphabetical order. If I can work out a way of rearranging them, I’ll do so.)
Coochie dancing is apparently another term for lap-dancing. Daniel Cassidy, in his work of false etymologies, How The Irish Invented Slang, claims that it comes from the Irish geáitse, meaning ‘affected manner, pose, gesture, airs, affectations, antics.’ Geáitse is pronounced something like gyigh-cha, with the igh of right. In other words, not much like coochie.
According to the etymologists, this may be related to a slang term for a vagina, and it originally occurs not as coochie, but as hoochie-coochie. It is not difficult to think of better possibilities than Cassidy’s Irish claim. What about Welsh cwtch, meaning a hug? Or it could come from Spanish cuchichear, to whisper. Or from French coucher as in ‘Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?’ Or from German Kätzchen meaning ‘kitten or young girl’. Or perhaps from Romany cushti meaning ‘good, wonderful’. Or from Scots cutty, as in Cutty Sark, the half-naked dancer in Burns’ Tam O’Shanter. Or, here’s a thought, from coochie-coo, as in the kind of baby language used by someone when flirting (I wanna be loved by you, alone, boo-boo-be-doo…) There is a world of possibilities, including, I’m sure, a few words in Wolof but there is absolutely nothing linking this word to the Irish word geáitse.