Author Topic: Conchie  (Read 2728 times)

rogue_mother

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Conchie
« on: March 18, 2014, 11:44:19 PM »
I should have written about the word conchie the first time I missed it! Is this word really common? It is totally new to me (or at least new to my brain of a certain age). What I'd like to know is, what am I missing? Is this term for conscientious objector from another era or another country, or do I just have a blind spot? During the Vietnam War, when there were plenty of these, I always heard them referred to as COs.
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mkenuk

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Re: Conchie
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 12:21:33 AM »
I've always been very surprised when this word has appeared and been classed as common. The COD defines it as 'Brit. informal', but since there has been no military conscription in UK since the mid-1950s, I suspect that those Brits who do know the word only know it from reading or from films and TV.

MK

Alan W

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Re: Conchie
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 02:01:36 PM »
I agree that conchie should not be common, and I'll change it to rare.

But I was slightly surprised by MK's surprise, because the word has another usage, which I had assumed was from Britain originally. In Australia, to be conchie is to be overconscientious, and a conchie is an overconscientious person. It turns out this usage is restricted to Australia. The word, in these senses, is mildly derogatory. I assume the reason we have such a term is not that there are a lot of conscientious people here, but rather that we Australians are the only people in the world who feel that being conscientious is deserving of criticism!

This Australian term is not so old. The Australian National Dictionary gives conshie as the primary spelling, and lists a few other variants. Its earliest citation is from Alex Buzo in 1969: "You're a bit of a conch this morning, aren't you?" Its earliest examples for conchie are two from 1980, both putting the word in quotes. An earlier example than any in the AND is from the 1966 2nd edition of The Australian Language, by Sidney J Baker, where conchie is listed as a word in use among Australian teenagers.

This word has been discussed here before. In December 2011, in looking at a recent puzzle that was thought to be unusually difficult, I noted that conchie had been played by only about ten percent of players, making it the most elusive of "common" words that day. In the rest of the discussion, a few people suggested conchie should be rare, and no-one disagreed, but I didn't follow up on it. (Not conchie!)
Alan Walker
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rogue_mother

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Re: Conchie
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 12:38:36 AM »

I assume the reason we have such a term is not that there are a lot of conscientious people here, but rather that we Australians are the only people in the world who feel that being conscientious is deserving of criticism!

...

This word has been discussed here before. In December 2011, in looking at a recent puzzle that was thought to be unusually difficult, I noted that conchie had been played by only about ten percent of players, making it the most elusive of "common" words that day. In the rest of the discussion, a few people suggested conchie should be rare, and no-one disagreed, but I didn't follow up on it. (Not conchie!)

Thanks to our Puritan ethic, slacker is the more likely term of derision here in Yankee land. In fact, there was an article in the Washington Post within the last week about places in the U. S. where people determine their social status based on how many hours per week they work, not how few. The big exception is in unionized jobs. There is probably a term or two within union culture similar to conchie, but I am not familiar with any. RF experienced this when he had a factory job one summer during his college years. As a newbie he endeavored to be highly productive, but his older co-workers advised him to back off, lest he make them look bad.

I looked at the previous discussion that you linked to. I might have suggested that conchie be made rare except that I was too focused on chicane. I personally think this word is less common, but I didn't suggest making it rare because apparently a lot of other people think it is fairly well known.
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cmh

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Re: Conchie
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 07:48:21 PM »
Here in the UK we use the word conchie to mean conscientious objector and it was first used during World War 1 so at the moment (it being 100 years since the conflict began) the TV is full of documentaries etc on the War so conchies get a mention in many of the programmes.My grandad was wounded and captured at the Battle of The Somme and became a POW for the duration. I did not put the word into my chi game as I had assumed it would not be recognised. However I am beginning to see that it is really a case of if in doubt try the word!!

Alan W

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Re: Conchie
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2014, 08:35:48 PM »
Hi, cmh. Welcome to the forum.
Alan Walker
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pat

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Re: Conchie
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2014, 08:36:52 PM »
You just beat me to it, Alan.

TRex

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Re: Conchie
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2014, 05:09:25 AM »
The term Conchie is also used in the Florida Keys to refer to a native of the Keys. It comes from the fact that eating conchs was a major part of their diet before transportation connected them to the Florida mainland. (I'm a native Floridian, but not a Conchie.)