SHODDY.

An interesting post over at Derryl Murphy’s blog asking about a Prince Georgian usage he’s started hearing:

When the boys, or for that matter any kid here in town, wants to lay claim to something, they quickly shout out “I shoddy the last ginger ale!” or whatever it is they want to get.
Of course, a search of definitions comes up with the usual, and nothing else. … And so I find myself wondering, is this a spontaneous creation, or has it arisen from somewhere else and are others seeing it as well?

So: anybody know anything? Derryl adds that “as best as I recall, this only came up over the past 6-12 months.”

Comments

  1. It’s a generalization from the custom of calling “Shotgun” (“Shoddy!” for short) to get the front seat in a car.

  2. What slawie said. And I’m not even American.
    Idly, I noticed (what to me was) a new verbal tick on the train yesterday.
    A gaggle of girls (just done their GCSEs, I think) were chatting (and the batteries in my CD-player were dead) and I noticed one of them using a calque of English “like”: “agtig” (roughly “in the manner of”, “-ish”). I can’t do shorthand and I have poor memory, so I can’t give any good examples of how she used it. But I found it interesting to hear it used in Danish rather than an untranslated “like”.

  3. fimus scarabaeus says:

    shoddy may be from should der have done this or done that, all done with a lilt of the street.
    ??????.

  4. Yeah, I think slawkenbergius has it. Good work!

  5. 24-year-old Prince George man here. slawkenbergius got it, almost. The general consensus on the spelling is “shotty”. The linguistic evolution was from “shotgun” to “shotty” (referring to a claim on the front passenger seat in a vehicle) and then abstracted to everyday living.
    Interesting that I come across a mention of my hometown in a completely unrelated blog…

  6. That’s not the only generalization of ‘shotgun’, either; when I was growing up (New York City private school), we would call ‘shot not’ in order to avoid some onus, in the manner of trying not to be the last to put your finger on your nose. But at the time we were not making any conscious reference to the word ‘shotgun’.

  7. I’ll buy that explanation, slawkenbergius. Thanks. The only thing, psylight (if that is indeed your real name) is that the kids are giving it that typical Canadian change and softening the t to a d, hence “shoddy.” Any of them I’ve asked about how they think it’s spelled, and they go with the d. A gradual mutation, I suppose.
    Thanks, all.
    D

  8. There are plenty of regional “dibs” words that can be used as a verb (“I ___ that!”). The Boston area has hosey/hosie, conjectured to be from either holdsie or French choisir ‘choose’. Horace Reynolds lists several variants on hosey in his 1956 article “All Mines, Fellas, All Mines!” (American Speech 31(1):35-39): hoosie, honie, whonie, honsie, hornsey, honsney. Reynolds mentions various other regionalisms that fit the paradigm: finnie, wackie, kibbie, possy, etc. So shoddy fits right in.

  9. Along with shotgun, before bucket seats and center consoles, there was “radio!” which was dibs on the center position in the front seat (assuming a carload of 5 or 6, else the 3rd and 4th people sat in the back). The center seat position also carried the privilege of controling the radio.

  10. If you didn’t know shoddy, LH, you might be surprised to learn that “not bitch!” is widely understood to mean that you don’t want the worst (usually middle back) seat in the car!

  11. Bunny Crown says:

    Sili said “…agtig”.
    Well I for one find that quite fascinating (course, I do live in Norway). You sure they weren’t saying ‘artig’? That’s what they all say here?

  12. hosey, finnie, wackie, kibbie, possy… Does “bags” fit in here?

  13. Sure, bags fits, as a UK/Aus/NZ version of long standing. OED has examples of bags I back to 1866 (“Bags I first drink”) and more recently bag(g)sy as a transitive verb like hosey et al. (“I just baggsied it!”).

  14. cure: No, I didn’t know that.
    Thanks for the great examples, everyone!

  15. For a truly exhaustive treatise on the rules of calling seat dibs, see this page: http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/archive/index.php/t-103056.htm.
    Other seat calls explained therein include Bitch (explained as the seat behind shotgun, which can’t be correct), Spanky (behind driver), Comm (center back, which also must be wrong) and SAM (which is a hatchback seat); and the aliases for Shotgun: Shogun, Catgun, Catgut and Shotty. There is also Turret, which is an alternative for On-The-Rightsies SAM.
    This document must post-date the ubiquitous center console, because Radio is not mentioned other than as the prerogative of Shotgun.
    There is a somewhat simpler set at http://shotgunrules.com/ , where you can also purcase for $6.95 The Official Shotgun Rules Pocket Reference Guide. Rear seat and other positions are not mentioned here.

  16. mollymooly says:

    What about the back row of a three-row people-carrier/minivan?

  17. Bunny,
    I doubt it. “Artig” to me only has the meaning “well behaved”, but I see it’s been used synonymously with “-agtig” as a suffix in Danish (from German) once upon a time.
    It was definitely “-agtig”: “Han var virkelig nuttet-agtig” – “He was really cute, like.”

  18. Other seat calls explained therein include Bitch (explained as the seat behind shotgun, which can’t be correct)
    Yeah, I’m confused by that as well. Riding bitch has always been center back seat where I’ve encountered it.
    The “Shoddy” – “Shotty” – “Shotgun” connectiohn leapt out at me as soon as I hit the lhat from page, but I’m far too late on that count.
    The only thing, psylight (if that is indeed your real name) is that the kids are giving it that typical Canadian change and softening the t to a d, hence “shoddy.” Any of them I’ve asked about how they think it’s spelled, and they go with the d.
    Interesting that it’s shown up in the spelling — disconnect with the “shotgun” origin? — but I’m not sure a pronunciation of “shoddy” has to be tied to that. I can’t imagine anyone I’ve ever vied for the good seat with bothering to produce a clean stop-and-unvoiced-“t” in the rush for the door, or really under any circumstances other than some exaggerated “not, it’s spelled with a t, not a d” pronunciation.

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