Cassidese Glossary – Nugy

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.

Noogy (or noogie or nugy) is an American term, first recorded in the 1960s. It refers to a kind of playground punishment, where a child grabs another in a head-lock and then rubs their victim’s scalp with the knuckles. Cassidy’s Irish candidate for the origin of noogy is the word aonóg, an obscure dialect word for ‘a nip, a pinch’ recorded in County Monaghan. The usual word for a nip or pinch is liomóg.

Cassidy’s fictional definition of aonóg is ‘a nip, a pinch, a little whack.’ Only the first two meanings are genuinely given by Dinneen and a noogie or noogy is not a nip or pinch, or even a whack. Cassidy’s ‘phonetic’ transcription is also incorrect. He transcribes it as ænóg, where the æ is being used wrongly (it does not reflect the way aonóg is pronounced) and ó is Irish, not part of any recognised system of phonetic transcription. In short, this is not a good match in terms of meaning or of phonetics.

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