Posted by R. Berg on March 29, 2002

In Reply to: Skeeziks posted by Pam on March 29, 2002

: : : : I've heard the term "Skeeziks" used by certain older people as a nickname for youngsters. Does anyone know where the term originated, and if it has any meaning?
: : : : Is it used in Great Britain?

: : : I've never heard that in the UK.

: : Nor I. Colloquially over here, we use the ubiquitous "kid", though I've heard the older generation on occasion also use "nipper" or, if the child in question were a truculent and badly-behaved male teen, they might describe him as a "yob".

: Hmm, I haven't heard "yob" used here in the States. "Nipper" I've heard in old movies featuring Brits.

: I've done a bit more research, and it appears that a character by the name of "Skeezix" was in the old American comic strip "Gasoline Alley." It was also a character in a series of books under the name of "Uncle Wiggley." It would be interesting to know if it existed as a nickname before either of these came into being.

: I get the impression from the way my Mother-in-Law uses the term that a synonymous expression might be "little scamp!(mischievous child)"

Apparently you missed my reply citing Skeezix the comic-strip character, which would have given you a head start on that research.

The Oxford Engl. Dict. lists "skeezicks" (with variant spellings -zecks, -zacks, -sicks) as a U.S. colloquial term, origin "? fanciful": "A good-for-nothing; a rascal; a rogue. (Also used playfully.)" First quotation, 1850, "Though Kister, that skeezecks, . . . Should come again thieving." So the word predated the comic strip.