January 23, 2008

As a Michigander (yeah, that's what they call us), my favorite shibboleth is knowing that the place name Mackinac (as in Mackinac Island) rhymes with jaw. I don't know of any other word that ends in C that rhymes with jaw.
For fashion design folk, the Mackinaw Coat comes from this etymology; although, they used to be plaid before the military heisted the design.
Us Michiganders, historically, have dug us some plaid. The idea of a double-breasted wool coat isn't bad either; although, that part of the design might have been borrowed.


Blogger rodney k said...

Hi David,

Found this post just after learning what "shibboleth" exactly means, reading Walter Scott's "Chronicles from the Canongate," where it's used to sort out Gaels Scots from the English. I'd thought it'd meant something like "bugbear" or "bete noir."

This idea of including or excluding based on pronunciation of trick words--not so unlike the po biz, no? Are we all Michiganders of the verbs?


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