Stand chickie

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9 comments on this post.
  1. Thaddeus Cowan:

    The origin of “hickory, dickory, dock” from the nursery rhyme.

    An old and rustic way of counting went:
    wan, twan, tethera, methera, pimp
    sethera, lethera, bovera, dovera, dick
    wanadick, twanadick…

    From which we get “hickory, dickory, dock.”
    (See Conway, J. and Guy, R, 1996, “The Book of Numbers” p.2 for a complete explanation.

  2. Messman:

    You forgot to mention “The jig is up!”

  3. dcase:

    I work in the prison system in Texas where offenders still “run jiggers” or watch for approaching authority.

  4. Brooklyn in da House:

    In 1960’s Brooklyn, one kid would “keep chickie” while the other kids went into the lobby to share a cigarette.

    In the film version of the Blackboard Jungle, the delinquents are smoking in the bathroom. When the teacher comes in, one says “Chickie”.

    I didn’t know this was specialized slang until I said “Chickie” to co-workers and they looked at me like I was nuts.

  5. Gigi:

    Phrase “chickee the cop” predates 1930. My mother born in 1917 in Brooklyn, N.Y. recounts that at age 8 or 9 she and other little ones often helped the older boys who would be pitching pennies in the alley (considered illegal gambling at the time). My Mom and others would be the look-out for the older kids, warning “chickee the cop” whenever a policeman was near. However, unbeknownst to the older kids, my Mother or her friends would “snitch” to the cop and then feign a sincere warning. Frequently after the boys “got busted” the patrol officer would divide up the coins and give them to my Mom and her little friends.

  6. Kaleberg:

    I’ve only heard “stand chickie” once. My father used it when he needed to go and there was only a woman’s room available. He wanted me to keep any woman from entering while he was in there. I’m pretty sure it was slang from his college days, the 1930s. I assumed “chickie” referred to watching out for “chicks”, women, but it sounds like it was a more general way of saying “stand guard”.

  7. Barbara:

    I worked in a reformatory in Warwick, NY in 1968. The kids were from NYC and often talked about “keeping chickie.” It meant being on the lookout.

  8. Jimmy:

    Growing up in NYC in the late fifties early sixties “playing chickie” was to be a lookout for the cops. All of my friends used it also… so it was a common term passed down thru generations. I’ve lived in many places in the US and the only place I’ve ever heard it used was NYC.

  9. Tim:

    My Dad grew up in South Boston in the 1920s, 30s and early 40s. He used to say “Chiggy the cops” in a joking way whenever he saw a police car. He may have been saying “chickie” and I misheard. Anyway, he explained that he and his friends in Southie would say it as a warning that the cops were near.

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