Recce is a new iOS app that provides a 3D, animated, aerial view of a city (just London for now; San Francisco and New York soon). The name mystified me at first: When I read the TechCrunch headline—“A Rich, Interactive Map That’s Also a Gaming Platform”—I took in “rich,” applied it to Recce, and concluded it was an Italian word, pronounced, like “bocce,” with a /ch/ in the middle. Retchie? Hmm.
Then I read reporter Ingrid Lunden’s lede, which explains for stoopid Yanks like me that recce is “pronounced ‘wreckie’, British slang for ‘reconnaissance’ (only English people would make slang out of a word like that).”
News flash! Americans also make slang out of “a word like that”: our version is “recon,” pronounced REE-con. Both abbreviations were originally military slang, but American “recon” is older by one whole war: It was first documented in 1918; “recce” surfaced (as “reccy”) in 1941.
One other item in the story caught my attention: Lunden writes that Recce was originally called Mapply “until a French company called Mappy called to say ‘Non!’” That’s one less faux-adverbial -ly name, one more sign that the British are coming, the British are coming.