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
Well worth the price of the seed
By Penny Stine
Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE ICONIC BARN OWL
By Nic.Korte
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Get local gardening advice
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Homemade weedkiller from Julie
By Penny Stine
Monday, April 20, 2015

Make Your Own Take-Out and just BE YOU
By Julie Norman
Monday, April 20, 2015


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Advertiser Tearsheet
Information

© 2015 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy