What's in a Word | All Blogs


Playful tricks

By Debra Dobbins

The word “shenanigan” is an Americanism with a murky past. According to the Online Eytmology Dictonary, it was first used around 1855. “Earliest records of it are in San Francisco and Sacramento, California. Suggestions include Spanish chanada, a shortened form of charranada ‘trick, deceit;’ or, less likely, German Schenigelei, peddler's argot for ‘work, craft,’ or the related German slang verb schinäglen,” the dictionary notes. “Another guess centers on Irish sionnach ‘fox.’"

I like the Irish theory best. After all, a fox stealing into a henhouse is surely full of mischief, aka shenanigans.

The word is most often used in its plural form. In recent years the meaning of “shenanigans” has broadened simply to mean playful tricks.

Illustration special to the Sentinel
 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
More purple potato pics
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It’s a girl!
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peak Color
By Ann Driggers
Monday, October 20, 2014

Lack of water impeding late season gardening efforts
By Penny Stine
Monday, October 20, 2014

Online Consignment Shopping
By Julie Norman
Friday, October 17, 2014


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy