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Recent reading turned up a coinage that's been around (at least) since 2016 without getting a Word Induction Ceremony, even on LLOG: stigginit, which an Urban Dictionary entry from 2016 defines as

Slang form of "sticking it." Used to describe opposition motivated purely by spite, usually not in one's best interest.

Merriam-Webster, Wiktionary, and the OED haven't caught up yet, but beyond the Urban Dictionary, web search finds an explanation in the Christian Courier, also from 2016. And of course there are tweets.

But my point today is phonetic rather than lexicographic, focused on stigginit's transformation of sticking's /k/ to /g/, which illustrates several general facts about English speech, with broader application as well: syllable- and foot-structure effects, word-frequency effects, and "quantal" effects.

First, here's another example — closed-captioning of "Pat Cipollone" as "Patsy baloney":

For some background on reduction of intervocalic consonants that are not in the onset of stressed syllables in English, see "Raising and lowering those tighty whities", 3/20/2005, Metal v. Medal", 11/27/2013, and "Consonant lenition + r-less perception = FUN", 8/16/2020

For even more extreme reduction of non-stress-initial intervocalic consonants, see "Toe-ly gumby a sound change", 9/12/2017.

And or quantal effects in consonant voicing, see "Hysteresis", 12/4/2020 (though in the case of #stigginit, I suspect the reduction is more likely to involve shortening of the closure duration and voice onset time for the /k/, rather than total loss of the voiceless interval).

For some evidence on similar consonant reductions in another language, and the role of word frequency, see Jiahong Yuan and Mark Liberman, "Investigating consonant reduction in Mandarin Chinese with improved forced alignment" , ISCA 2015.

And for a bit more on the orthographic pragmatics of sticking and owning, see "Own, pone, poon, pun, pwone, whatever", 8/31/2007.


  1. klu9 said,

    July 9, 2022 @ 3:14 pm

    I for one decry the travesty that is "Patsy Baloney".
    It should, of course, be "Patchy Baloneh".
    an Italian lover of Big Onion

  2. klu9 said,

    July 9, 2022 @ 3:19 pm

    PS but not a lover of *that* particular Big Onion, who strikes me as something of a testa di cazzo.

  3. Robert Coren said,

    July 10, 2022 @ 10:30 am

    @Klu9: When I first heard about the "Patsy Baloney" transcription, I too thought about how it would (should?) have come out if the family had retained even an approximation of the original pronunciation.

  4. J.W. Brewer said,

    July 11, 2022 @ 7:35 pm

    Is this variant spelling only, as it were, an exonym, i.e. only used pejoratively by writers being critical of the stickers/stiggers in question? That I guess might go with the alleged implicature of the stigging being spiteful and counterproductive. By contrast, the classic phrase "to stick [not stig] it to The Man" is often proudly used as, as it were, an endonym by those who think they're doing the sticking and presumably don't think it's counterproductive or self-defeating.

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