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July 28, 2011


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Aaaaaaargh! Breast Buttons! Niplettes!!! I think that's going to be seared into my brain forever.

So glad someone else sees things like "wyngz" and deliberately misspelled business signs and groans aloud. It really is SO ANNOYING.

Thanks for the laugh - I will forever call all vegetarian amalgams of said fowl - with the exception of the aforementioned Breast Buttons(!!!) - "chik'nish."

I am Italian and the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the chik’n nuggets picture above, knowing that it was vegetarian food, was "chickpeas" rather than "chicken". Is it a typical non-native speaker reaction, possibly influenced also by cultural factors, or would anyone else make the same type of associaton? Thanks.

@Licia: It's unlikely that a North American would derive "chickpea" from "chik'n." Chicken is extremely popular in the U.S. and chickpeas aren't. Besides, chickpeas are often called garbanzos here (that's what I grew up calling them). "Chik'n," on the other hand, is ubiquitous, not just in vegetarian-meal names but also, as I said in the post, among processed-poultry products.

When I first ran across "wyngz," I assumed it was just another cutesy trademarkable spelling. Not so. In fact, there exists a definition of "wyngz" in Federal law.

I wrote about it here:


Anyone else get the impression that "notch-ho chick'n" is meant to be read as "not yo' [your] chicken"? It reminds me of a mildly racist joke I heard as a kid, about a black man who is confused by "nacho cheese", which he processes as "not yo' cheese".

I think that most such misspellings are either trademark distinctiveness, as you note, or an attempt not to confuse customers. Laws often dictate that something called "Tom's Turnips" actually has to be made of turnips, but "Tyrnyps" would have no such regulations.

By coincidence, just ran across this by Neil at Literal-minded on the subject of "not-show" becoming "nacho::


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