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SASHAY

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SASHAY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu May 10, 2012 10:24 pm

• sashay •

Pronunciation: sæ-shayHear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: (Slang) 1. Go, sally forth, walk in a lofty, proud gait; strut. 2. (Dance) A smooth, gliding step-together-step figure.

Notes: Today's Good Word is a lexical orphan, so its family is restricted to its inflectional forms, sashayed and sashaying. Sashaying serves as both noun and adjective.

In Play: When I think of this word the first sense that pops into my mind is simply "go" or "sally forth": "Why don't you sashay out to the ranch afore the sheriff gets here." Today's word is a bit archaic, so to give it some context, I used the equally archaic afore instead of before. It can also imply strutting: "Harvey Wallbanger sashayed up to the bar as though he owned the place."

Word History: Today's Good Word is a descendant of lexical royalty. It is a mispronunciation of chassé. It is a term of dance that changed its form as it descended from classical ballet to square dancing. It began "a sliding step-together-step" movement. It spread from there to ballroom dancing and was applied to a similar figure in American square-dancing, in which partners circle each other by taking sideway steps. The change in pronunciation is explained by folk etymology, the attempt to make foreign words sound more "English". We have another example of this in do-si-do, a dance figure by which partners circle each other back to back. This word comes from French dos à dos "back to back" from French dos "back". (We can no longer sashay around recognition of Jeanne Henry's contribution of today's Good Word.)
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri May 11, 2012 5:22 pm

I once heard that a 'sashay' was somewhere
between a "mosey" and a "saunter".
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby bamaboy56 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:39 pm

I always felt like sashay had a feminine connotation to it. Not sure why. That's why in the "In Play" portion when it said "Harvey Wallbanger sashayed up to the bar ...", the first thing I thought was Harvey Wallbanger must be effeminate. Hmmm, not sure what that says about my psyche. Living here in the Deep South, the word sashay is a fairly common term and everyone knows what you mean when you say it.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon May 14, 2012 1:18 pm

I have no idea why, but I always think of my
grandmothers cosmetics table: lipstick, rouge, etc.
And sashay seems to fit there. Nice smell, tho'.
Funny what sticks in the mind.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon May 14, 2012 1:24 pm

What sticks is indeed funny. Even in elementary school I noticed that several guys who graded poorly carried in their heads large baseball databases: batting averages, batting order, pitching records, etc. But history was lousy because you had to remember dates. Go figure.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Mon May 14, 2012 1:43 pm

Luke, could it be you correlate your grandmother's cosmetic table with the word sachet? Seems like it's pronounced the same as sashay. Sachets have nice smells, too. Just saying.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon May 14, 2012 7:42 pm

Yes, you have it. Now that I think of it - I wonder how
long I have but the two words together, hearing it and
thinking of grandmother because of the similarity of
the two words. Amazing. Thanks for the advice.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby Philip Hudson » Tue May 15, 2012 11:57 am

I also was unaware that men could sashay.

I never saw a sashaying man.
I hope I never see one.
But I can tell you this right now.
I'd rather see than be one.
(With my apologies to Gelett Burgess, the poet who wrote "The purple cow".)
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue May 15, 2012 12:11 pm

heh,heh,yuk,yuk
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GABBY HAYES Effeminate?

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue May 15, 2012 11:31 pm

I originally had a sentence in my write-up of sashay to the effect that the word conjures up memories of Gabby Hayes, Roy Rogers's old, bearded sidekick. I decided that not all of my readers are old enough to remember him and pulled that sentence. Are any of you old enough to remember him? He is the only one I could recall using the word and he never said simple go, only "Sashay out to the ranch and see if you are there." Or things similar.

I'm not sure why the association with women. In the old B-grade cowboy movies in the 40s and 50s, only men used the word. It would be to low-brown for women.
Last edited by Dr. Goodword on Wed May 16, 2012 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Wed May 16, 2012 12:34 am

I remember Gabby Hayes and he did use the word sashay. I don't know how it got its feminine association in my mind, but I do feel it is a feminine action, Gabby Hayes to the contrary notwithstanding.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed May 16, 2012 11:02 am

Oh yeah, I remember Gabby, one of my favorite characters. Some of the younger generation still watches old westerns on the. Movie channels. To me the word has noo feminine connections, just old western and perhaps hillbilly. I do ascknowledge that in the proper context I can see a woman sashaying into the room or up to the bar.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Wed May 16, 2012 11:07 am

"Belly up to the bar boys" - Debbie Reynolds song in the movie "The Unsinkable Molly Brown".
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed May 16, 2012 11:55 am

I remember Gabby. Oh, the good old days.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby bamaboy56 » Sat May 19, 2012 10:02 pm

I, too, remember ol' Gabby. And Festus, deputy to Marshall Dillon on Gunsmoke. Don't forget Tonto to the Lone Ranger and Pancho with the Cisco Kid. Thanks for the memories! I still can't shake the feminine connotation I feel with the word sashay. It became ingrained somehow.
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