DSAE test file

tickey, noun

Forms:
ticcy, tickieShow more Also ticcy, tickie, ticky, tiekie, tikie, tikkie.
Origin:
Etymology disputed.
Note:
Pettman’s theory that the word comes from Portuguese pataca a colonial coin, or French patac ‘small coin’ (via the French Huguenots) is neither phonetically nor semantically likely. M.D.W. Jeffreys, in ‘Tickey: Origin of the Word’ (Africana Notes & News, Vol.10), points out that pataca was derived from Arabic bataka dollar, piece of eight (a coin of high value), while the French pataque referred to coins in circulation in Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, and Brazil. The Malay tiga ‘three’ is also unlikely, as by the 19th century, when the coin was introduced, the influence of Malay was no longer strong.
Note:
Boshoff and Nienaber suggest British English dialect ticky ‘small’ as a possible origin (Afrikaanse Etimologieë, 1967). Both Xhosa and Zulu use itiki for the coin, described by lexicographers as being borrowed from South African English, but it is possible that itiki was in fact a rendering in the Nguni languages of a Dutch or English word, such as Dutch stukje ‘little bit’, or English ticket (see quotation 1912), or even threepence (i-tiki-peni becoming u-no-tiki and then itiki, according to some, and recorded by Pettman). Jeffreys refers to Portuguese Angola, where the universal currency, a brass rod worth about 3d., was known as ntaku, but decides upon the Hindu taka (a stamped silver coin) as the origin of itiki in the Nguni languages of the east coast (whence it came into South African English usage). Jeffreys claims that other words for money in African languages have similar origins (Swahili pesa from Hindi pice, Zulu upeni a three-penny piece, from Hindi and Sanskrit pana), and that Zulu mali (money) is from Arabic malah (wealth, money), all resulting from early trading contact.
I. The name of a coin.
1.
a. The standard name for the small silver three-penny piece (withdrawn from circulation in 1961). Also attributive.
Note:
Often used as a symbol of insignificant worth, lack of money (cf. ‘not a penny’), a very small amount of money (cf. ‘every last cent’), or small gain: see also figurative senses below.
[1855 R.J. Mullins Diary. 13 MayThe Kafirs do not understand the value of anything except 3d. bits. It is very expensive work, for they will take nothing below ‘Tick’, as they call it, whereas some time ago they wanted 1d. for everything because it was ‘inkulu’ (large) money.]
1993 Business Day 25 June (Suppl.) 11931 Tickey.
b. With distinguishing epithet:
long tickey figurative, colloquial, a device (usually a coin on a thread) used in a public telephone box in order to make calls without paying; tickey-wire, see sense 5 a.
1975 Het Suid-Western 13 Mar.Found guilty..for telephoning with a ‘long tickey’ from a public telephone booth. He..pleaded guilty to using..a ‘long tickey’. The ‘long tickey’ exhibited in court was a ten cent coin suspended from a cotton thread which was attached with a piece of cellotape.
1975 E. Prov. Herald 17 Mar. 6Fined R45 (or 90 days) last week by a George magistrate who found him guilty of fraud for using a ‘long tickey’ to make a call from a public telephone booth.
2. In historical contexts. In full tickey beer: a beer (costing 3d. a bottle) produced in the past in Cape Town.
1888 Cape Punch 15 Feb. 88What is the most appropriate drink for an undertaker who trades on credit? — Why, Tickey Bier.
1987 W. Steenkamp Blockhouse 8I’ve had a guts-full...Nothin’ to drink but bloody awful tickey beer or a glass of dop that takes the linen off your guts.
II. Figurative senses.
3. Designating that which is inexpensive. Often attributive, passing into adjective.
1873 Standard & Mail 9 Sept. 4Men and women who are so partial to three-penny bits as the current Sunday coin..‘tickey’ religionists...The great multitude of ordinary men and women one meets in the street are of the ‘tickey’ Christian class.
1992 T. Tisani in Cue 4 July 9The audience is taken on a quick flight back to the pulsating township music of the fifties and sixties. The cast..of genuine artists..is complemented by young men who ably portray in movement and style what it must have been like to attend those tickey shows.
4. Alluding to the size of the tickey.
a. Denoting small physical size.
i. A nickname given to small people.
1911 L. Cohen Reminisc. of Kimberley 64As for ‘Tickey’ Erlich, he’d hardly been conceived, much less invented.
1971 Sunday Times 14 Nov. (Mag. Sect.) 8Their most famous clowns were Tony Francisco and (in recent years) ‘Tickey’.
ii. In the adjectival phrases two bricks and a tickey high, half a brick and a tickey high, etc.: very small, very young; short of stature.
1970 Cape Times 30 MayIn the days when he was two bricks and a tickey high..a tickey was his reward for every furry digger caught.
1990 Weekend Post 1 Dec. 7 (advt)The fact that Napoleon was only two bricks and a tickey high didn’t stop him from getting a foothold in much of the civilized world.
b. Referring to a small surface area. In the adjectival phrase or adv. phr. on a tickey, turn on a tickey [perhaps translation of Afrikaans tiekiedraai (see quotation 1980)], in a small area or circle; accurate(ly); transferred sense, in a short time, rapidly.
1971 Informant, GrahamstownI’ve learned to turn the wheelchair on a tickey.
1992 J. Van der Horst in Sunday Times 23 Aug. (Business Times) 2This market can turn on a tickey..and the cost of missing the opportunity when the market does rally is much higher.
III.
5. Special Combinations.
Note:
Many of these terms are still in use despite the disappearance of the coin, the change in currency, and the rise in prices.
a. (from sense 1)
tickeyaand /-ɑːnt/ [Afrikaans aand evening], a small-scale fund-raising venture in which entrance to an event or game, or the price of something to eat, was formerly a tickey;
tickey-box, see as a main entry;
tickey-diver, one who dives for coins to entertain tourists;
tickey-draai, see as a main entry;
tickey-drive or tickey evening, see tickeyaand;
tickey-I-do, a dice game;
tickey-wire, long tickey (see sense 1 c).
1934 Friend 9 Feb. (Swart)On Friday night a ‘tickey-aand’ was held to augment the funds of the local branch of the Voortrekkers.
1970 K.M. Brand Informant, East LondonTickey-wire. A device used to evade putting a coin in the slot of a public phone booth.
b. (from sense 3)
tickey bazaar, a general store carrying a range of cheap goods;
tickey-line noun [probably from the name given to a cheap line of sweets], especially in the townships, anything cheap, particularly an ‘easy’ woman or a cheap prostitute; any small-scale organization, as a shebeen (sense 1), stokvel (sense 1 a), etc.; as adjective, cheap, small-scale, poorly-funded;
tickey-shop, see tickey bazaar;
tickey-snatching, on the stock-market, small-time profit-taking, used especially of small investors buying few shares and selling at the first rise in price; also attributive; so tickey-snatcher, a stock-broker dealing in small numbers of shares; a small investor; a mean person, a ‘skinflint’.
c1929 S. Black in S. Gray Three Plays (1984) 109Gwen:..I suppose you’re in commercial life? Camelia: Well, I was cashier in a tickey bazaar.
1979 J. Gratus Jo’burgers 201Avoiding the main stockbrokers.., George stopped at the offices of some of the jobbers, the ‘tickey-snatchers’ who dealt in small quantities of shares.
c. (from sense 4 a)
tickey-stock, on the stock-exchange, the stock of a small company or group.
1991 Sunday Times 3 Mar. (Business Times) 2Tickey-stock Royal takes a place in the guinea seats. Unsung Royal Corporation has one of the lowest profiles yet the highest success rate of any public company...On value for money Royal group shares have the potential to grow at a faster rate than the bigger boys.
The standard name for the small silver three-penny piece (withdrawn from circulation in 1961). Also attributive.
a beer (costing 3d. a bottle) produced in the past in Cape Town.
Designating that which is inexpensive. Often attributive, passing into adjective.
Alluding to the size of the tickey.
A nickname given to small people.
very small, very young; short of stature.
Referring to a small surface area. In the adjectival phrase or adv. phr. on a tickey, turn on a tickeyperhaps translation of tiekiedraai (see quotation 1980), in a small area or circle; accurate(ly); transferred sense, in a short time, rapidly.
on the stock-exchange, the stock of a small company or group