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#17282 - 01/27/01 02:48 PM skanky and manky
Marianna Offline

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 427
Loc: Spain
These are two of my partner's favourite words to describe something slightly shabby or disreputable. I seem to have acquired them from him, and being a non-native speaker of English, I never doubted them as perfectly good English words. A friend of my partner's, however, insists that these words are not real English and he has made them up. Does anyone else know these words and use them?

P.S. If the answer is "no", then we'll just have to promote their usage all over the world... they are such beautiful, expressive words!

#17283 - 01/27/01 03:11 PM Re: skanky and manky
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Marianna: It seems to me that neologisms are more likely to catch on, if there is some sort of clue in their sound to suggest origin. Perhaps skanky could combine features of skunk and cranky. Manky is a bit harder. I am thinking of manicky and manque, but can't see any blending of those two.
There used to be a cliche about "Run it up the flagpole, and see if anybody salutes it." I can't quite manage a salute. wwh

#17284 - 01/27/01 03:23 PM Re: skanky and manky
nikeblack Offline

Registered: 01/19/01
Posts: 87
Loc: City of Brotherly Love, no not...
Skanky - yes, I've used it and my friends use it. I find the word rather unsavory and apply it accordingly! As to "manky," haven't heard that one! In what part of the world is it being used?

#17285 - 01/27/01 03:29 PM Re: skanky and manky
Solamente, Doug. Offline

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 130
Loc: Virginia
I've heard both the adjective skanky and the noun skank for 20+ years now. They both refer to promiscuity and uncleanliness (an unGodly combination!). As I recall they can be used in reference to 'skanks' of either sex. Manky I think is a bit newer, least 'round these parts.

#17286 - 01/27/01 03:33 PM Re: skanky and manky
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Skank is a steady-paced dance performed to reggae music or -- in American slang -- a decidedly disreputable person.
It is quite common to make a sound-alike nonsense of the original word as a way to disparage it
Skanky-manky : meaning "so you are dancing around this, it doesn't change the fact you have to face it."
Or : "So this friend is a skank, makes no difference if you like her."
Or : "This is an off-kilter proposition so what difference does that make to what has to be done." Skanky-manky!
Those on this board with better poetic talents could probably give you more examples in this interpretation ... irreneverthelessgardless it is one meaning I am familiar with.
Any other info out there?

#17287 - 01/27/01 03:34 PM Re: skanky and manky
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
skanky? manky?? good heavens... I'm going to quote "A Dictionary of Slang (slang and colloquialisms of the UK)" for you:
>>skanky Adj. Dirty, unnattractive, ugly, smelly <<
>>manky Adj. Scruffy, dirty, distasteful, disgusting. <<

in usage:
she's a skanky, manky ol' whoor...

"beautiful, expressive words" indeed.

#17288 - 01/27/01 04:15 PM Re: manky
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
I'm very fond of "manky", as in "this bread looks a bit manky, I'm going to throw it out". If you had a cut and it looked like it needed antibiotics it would be "a bit manky", accompanied by screwed up face. I was going to say that a person would not be manky, only things but now I think about it someone badly in need of a bath could be described as manky.

#17289 - 01/27/01 05:30 PM Re: skanky
musick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2661
Loc: Chicago
tsuwm and DougS - I glad you's said it first, for I have never heard the word skanky describe anything but "whores".

#17290 - 01/27/01 05:51 PM Re: skanky
Marianna Offline

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 427
Loc: Spain
Goodness. Our use of skanky and manky is extremely mild in comparison with the examples that have been proposed. In the same line as JMH, I'd say that potted plants start looking rather manky if you don't water them for ten days. And my boots might be skanky after a walk in a muddy area, for instance... A person wouldn't be manky... but yes, you could say someone is skanky if s/he looks unkempt, I guess.

The musical connection is interesting, and I do realise now that I am familiar with that Marley song "Easy Skanking"... thanks wow.

In any case, I'm glad to see more people know and use these words. And I still find them beautifully expressive, even if semantically they denote something not too pleasant!

#17291 - 01/27/01 08:42 PM Re: skanky
Solamente, Doug. Offline

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 130
Loc: Virginia
Wow's musical connection is intriguing. One of the usages I found for skank was someone who refuses to face their responsibilities. Makes sense with her skanky-manky 'dancing around the issue' premise.
I have a feeling though, that this usage started in the UK or one of the two major punk centers in the US, NYC or LA. The term skanking was appropriated from the UK based Jamaican community as early as the late 70s, possibly earlier. My punk rock buddies and I used the term skanking for dancing in Virginia, cultural backwater that it was, as early as 1979. It wouldn't surprise me if one of it's original meanings, that of smelliness or dirtiness, was used by punk rock kids to describe their nasty, sweaty selves after a night of dancing. The rest may have just evolved from there.

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