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#121473 - 01/28/04 09:14 AM crinkle-crankle
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
In case you've missed it, there is a fascinating discussion going on in Weekly Themes about fences and walls.

Out of that discussion, I came across a term 'crinkle-crankle walls,' which turned out to be the predecessors of Jefferson's serpentine walls. MW defined crinkle-crankle this way:

"Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): -s
Etymology: crinkle + crankle
: a winding in and out : SINUOSITY, ZIGZAG "

And that made me wonder about local terms for, well, sinuosity, which is such a luscious term in its own right.

We've got serpentine, crinkle-crankle [Do you really use this term somewhere in Great Britain?], zigzag, sawtoothed-edge and the luscious sinuosity. I would think wavering might be related.

What other terms might describe a line that is moving back and forth, either in curves or zigzags? And when might the term be practically applied, as in the serpentine or crinkle-crankle wall or zigzag-edged pinking shears?

#121474 - 01/28/04 09:28 AM Re: crinkle-crankle
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
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Loc: rego park
corregated, cordaroy
whoops, make that corrugated and corduroy
(thanks,WW! and least i know my post are read, (so i am not ending up as chopped liver!)

my other obsession

#121475 - 01/28/04 10:55 AM Re: crinkle-crankle
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
They were big men, these MacDonalds, full of music, Gaelic poetry, and the lore of the Highlands. Their swords, great claymores that had to be held with two hands, had flashed at Inverlochy, Killiecrankie, Sheriffmuir, Prestonpans and Culloden, and their pipes had played laments every time a Keppoch chief died.

#121476 - 01/28/04 11:19 AM Re: crinkle-crankle
dxb Offline

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
crinkle-crankle [Do you really use this term somewhere in Great Britain?], ~ WW

Well, can't say I've ever heard it. I'd be more inclined to associate it with a noise than something visual.

#121477 - 01/28/04 05:25 PM Re: crinkle-crankle
hibernicus Offline

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 79
Loc: Dublin, Ireland

#121478 - 01/28/04 09:27 PM Re: crinkle-crankle
consuelo Offline
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Registered: 06/11/01
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Loc: Caribbean
meandering one of my favorite words

#121479 - 01/30/04 12:44 PM Re: crinkle-crankle
dodyskin Offline

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 475
Loc: manchester uk
flexuous, tortuous, wiggly

#121480 - 01/30/04 01:03 PM Re: crinkle-crankle
jheem Offline

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
Well, I finally got around to looking into this word, and what should I find in Partridge's Dictionary of Slang but crinkum-crankum quaintly glossed as: "The pudendum muliebre: ca. 1780-1870. Grosse, 3rd ed. Ex the S.E. sense (cf. crinkle-crankle), a winding way. Cf. crinkums, q.v. —2. In pl. (crinkum-crankums), tortuous handwriting.: colloq. (-1887)." And under crinkums "A venereal disease."

#121481 - 01/30/04 01:18 PM Re: crinkle-crankle
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Crinkums - little curlycue spirochaetes - Treponema pallidum

#121482 - 01/31/04 02:55 AM Re: crinkle-crankle
Capfka Offline

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 1624
Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
The definition of crinkums-crankums brings to mind a 17th century poem about the dangers of illicit conubiality in which the term was indeed used to warn young men of the problems non-licit nooky can cause.

#121483 - 01/31/04 08:16 AM Re: Kris Krinkle
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
where else are you going to find the words/phrases crinkum-crankums, illicit conubiality, and nooky - all in the same sentence?

formerly known as etaoin...

#121484 - 01/31/04 06:16 PM rinkled winkles, crooked creeks & curling cringles
maverick Offline
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Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
I see the strait-laced OED doesn't profess to exactly understand the full 'in and out' sense of the colloquial that nuncle finds in Partridge! But it does have a description perhaps worth quoting for its sheer economical poetry:

A winding in and out, a zigzag, sinuosity.

and then there's cringle:

1. Naut. A ring or eye of rope, containing a thimble, worked into the bolt-rope of a sail, for the attachment of a rope.

#121485 - 01/31/04 06:38 PM Re: rinkled winkles, crooked creeks & curling cringles
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
But the etymology of Kriss Kringle is quite straight-forward:
Kriss Kringle [ˌkrs 'krgəl]
noun (Chiefly U.S)
another name for: Santa Claus
[ETYMOLOGY: changed from German Christkindl little Christ child, from Christ+ Kindl, from Kind

#121486 - 01/31/04 07:04 PM Re: rinkled winkles, crooked creeks & curling cringles
maverick Offline
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Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
> Kriss Kringle is quite straight-forward

yeah, he's good, not nautical :)

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