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Taking the mick/michael/mickey

Posted by ESC on September 19, 2003

In Reply to: Taking the mick/michael/mickey posted by irish rebel on September 19, 2003

: Are there any other folks out there who object to the use of the phase taking the mick/mickey/ michael - its derivation goes back to how the Irish were described as drunk and gullible and therefore easily made little off or humiliated because of there trust in others abroad.
: If you have any literature going back to 19 century I would like to hear from you.

: Irish rebel.

I don't have a dog in this fight since I'm not Irish. Here's what it says in "The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang" by Tony Thorne (Pantheon Books):

"take the mick/mickey/michael -- vb. British -- to mock, deride, poke fun at. These expressions are milder versions of 'take the piss.' Unbeknownst to most users, they employ rhyming slang: Mickey is short for a mythical 'Mickey Bliss,' providing the rhyme for 'piss.' 'Michael' is a humorous variant. The phrases, like their more vulgar counterpart, have been in use since the 1940s."