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Taking the mick/michael/mickey

Posted by Shae on September 19, 2003

In Reply to: Taking the mick/michael/mickey posted by ESC 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."

'Taking the mickey' and 'taking the piss' out of someone are often used here in Ireland. They can have slightly different meanings, though.

'I knew he was only taking the mickey outa me, so I bought him pint and we had a laugh.'

'He was taking the piss outa me so I floored him!'