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Post by vkladchik » Tue 09.16.2008 10:19 am

I heard an employee at Home Depot the other day tell another one to "move that bucket over just a skosh" (rhymes with brioche). I asked him if he picked that up in Japan, and he said he'd never been, but was "pretty sure" it was a Spanish word.

I googled it, and sure enough, it's in the dictionary. Has anyone else ever heard this usage? I'm guessing it's a WWII thing, along with head "honcho" (= 班長?).
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Re: sukoshi

Post by richvh » Tue 09.16.2008 10:31 am

I first heard it while stationed at Iwakuni in '81. A sergeant in my work center (who had a Japanese wife) often used it.
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Re: sukoshi

Post by JaySee » Tue 09.16.2008 11:49 am

The ODE says it's informal US English, "origin 1950s: from Japanese sukoshi".

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Re: sukoshi

Post by two_heads_talking » Tue 09.16.2008 1:00 pm

I've heard that word ever since I was a wee lad. Going back to about the mid 70's.. I can't remember a whole lot before that though. I have heard some old guys say skoch rather than skosh.. I think though I hear tidge (rhymes with bridge) or tad more often here in VA..

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Re: sukoshi

Post by clay » Tue 09.16.2008 5:42 pm

My father's best friend always said 'skosh.' "Move that over just a skosh." As a child, I just thought he made it up.

After studying Japanese for a few years, we went back to Mississippi (where my father's friend lives). He used 'skosh' then too and it just clicked. I asked him if by any chance he was saying the Japanese word 'sukoshi.' He just smiled. He told me he went to Japan several times during the Vietnam war.

I'm glad to hear other people are using 'skosh.' I have never heard any other English speaking human say 'skosh,' but what a great addition to the English language--just a skosh. Japanese language learning materials
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Re: sukoshi

Post by Sairana » Tue 09.16.2008 6:09 pm

It's very common in the northern midwest. People around my neck of the woods (Wisconsin. ^_^ ) use it frequently. I hear it more out of my Minnesotan cousins, though.

As an aside, before I had read somewhere that skosh came from Japanese, I still hadn't made the connection. In my head, one was a word I grew up with, and the other was Japanese. Go figure. :P

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Re: sukoshi

Post by chikara » Tue 09.16.2008 7:37 pm

Very interesting.

I can't recall ever hearing it used even when I lived in Minnesota but that doesn't mean it wasn't used and I didn't pick up on it. If I had heard it I would probably have assumed it was of Nordic origin. Being a native English speaker I often struggled with Minnesotan :P

In this country it would be "move that bucket over just a tad". "Honcho" on the other hand I hear quite frequently.
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Re: sukoshi

Post by Harisenbon » Tue 09.16.2008 9:32 pm

That's interesting. I had heard it a lot growing up, but it never clicked with me that it was from Japanese.

For some reason I always thought it was from yiddish. ;)
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Re: sukoshi

Post by becki_kanou » Tue 09.16.2008 10:09 pm

When I went back to the States this summer vacation I had *this very conversation* with my Dad. He said it and it just kind of dawned on me "Hey that sounds like 'sukoshi' it can't be related, can it?" but we went and looked it up and lo and behold it was.

As a kid it was connected in my mind with "scooch over" meaning "slide down a little", as in "Could you scooch over a bit so I can sit down?" Checking now apparently "scooch over" comes from "scoot over" which comes from a Scandavian language....

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Re: sukoshi

Post by Wakannai » Tue 09.16.2008 11:46 pm

becki_kanou wrote:
As a kid it was connected in my mind with "scooch over" meaning "slide down a little", as in "Could you scooch over a bit so I can sit down?"
That's pretty much what I thought too.

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