Re: RARA-AVIS: Chickenfat? Elmore Leonard

From: Patrick King (
Date: 23 Aug 2009

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    Yes, I agree. Patrick's "Petty Cowardice" is one word too many.


    Not to argue about this not very important element of childhood slang, but chickenshit, in my experience, had more to do with jumping off roofs, climbing trees, walking across bridge abutments, going into empty houses, as in: Come on! Don't be a chickenshit!

    There may have been a time when a poorly made or undersized switchblade was "a chickenshit knife," while a switchblade comb was "a bullshit" knife. But that use of the term chickenshit was quickly repackaged to Mickey Mouse, as in: What you gonna do? Cut me with that Mickey Mouse knife?

    That's how I remember it.

    Patrick King


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