Speaking of “skint”

Skint didn’t get much love in the NOOB readers’ poll, but legendary Baltimore Sun copyeditor (aka subeditor) John McIntyre is a fan:

9 responses to “Speaking of “skint”

  1. This pronunciation was prevalent in my German grandmother’s lexicon, as well as in some of her children’s. (Western Pennsylvania)

  2. Interesting.

  3. Can we look forward to Americans adopting “brassic” I wonder.

  4. David Armstrong

    I think it’s spelt “boracic” – from the Cockney rhyming slang “boracic lint”. Borax is the base ingredient. How about “potless”?

    • “Boracic” might be the correct spelling when referring to lint &c, but I am pretty confident that most natural users of the slang term would use the spelling “brassic”. The danger of confusion with members of the genus “brassica” seems small.

      • David Armstrong

        I would expect that most natural users of the term wouldn’t be spelling it at all!

      • John Snowball

        Potless.
        Potless has a very old derivation, if I understand correctly. Urine used to be used in the tanning of leather, and in days of old, the very poor would take their chamber pot, and its contents, to the local tanner in exchange for a penny or two. Those who were so poor as to not even own a chamber pot, were said to “not have a pot to piss in”. Hence “potless”.
        The expression is still used, “he doesn’t have a pot to piss in”, or “brassic” (boracic lint, – skint).

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