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taking the mick

Discussion in 'English Only' started by fenixpollo, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    Could someone explain this expression to a clueless Yank? I've seen it used as a synonym of pulling someone's leg or perhaps making a fool of somebody.

    What does taking the mick mean? Is it a variation of taking the mickey? Where is it used? By whom? Is it considered vulgar?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Gatamariposa

    Gatamariposa Senior Member

    SE London
    UK - English (native), Spanish, French
    It comes from 'taking the mickey' which is basically 'taking the piss', ie 'pulling someone's leg' or basically teasing in any form.

    You can 'take the mick' about someone, something, have fun!!!

    Gatamariposa :)
     
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    These forums are always educational.
    Taking the mick,
    Taking the mickey,
    Taking the michael,
    ... are all variants on taking the piss.

    The following extract presents two alternative etymologies:
    Source: The Electrical Distributor Magazine - yes, really:D


    Is it considered vulgar?
    Not really, because for many people there is no direct connection between taking the mickey and taking the piss.
     
  4. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    I suppose you are referring to this "I come from the North but live down south so these days I only use it if I'm drunk or emotional because I got sick of people taking the mick."

    to take the mick [out of], or take the micky [out of], or take the piss [out of]
    means to 'make someone seem foolish' or 'tease'.

    It can be similar to 'pull someone's leg'. But like leg-pulling, sometimes it can be in fun, and sometimes it can be quite nasty.

    Commonly used in UK, Ireland, Australia.

    As for being vulgar, well, let's say it's in the familiar register, but it is not a particularly coarse expression.
     
  5. Gatamariposa

    Gatamariposa Senior Member

    SE London
    UK - English (native), Spanish, French
    You have to be a bit careful when you use this expression, some people may be offended to hear it.

    If you are not sure about using it, then you can use 'teasing' instead!

    Gatamariposa :)
     
  6. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Are you sure Gatamariposa? I can't think of anyone that would be offended by "taking the mick" - and I know people who are offended by "knackered" for example.
     
  7. Gatamariposa

    Gatamariposa Senior Member

    SE London
    UK - English (native), Spanish, French
    There are some people who are older, or who are convinced they are right that don't take kindly to others 'taking the mick'.

    There are always those who are more sensitive than others, caution is always a useful thing to bear in mind, it costs nothing and can mean that noone gets offended.

    Purrs

    Gatmariposa :)
     
  8. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    France
    English UK
    In that case it is better never to say anything. I can't see how the use of 'taking the mick' as an expression can itself be offensive, perhaps not so with the doing of it, actually taking the mick, so can you give an instance, gata ?
     
  9. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    My uncle's called Michael. I wouldn't use the expression in front of him. :rolleyes:
    OK. Sorry. Not a real answer. But I can't detect any offensiveness in the word myself.
     
  10. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    You have to be careful about what you say around certain PC types.
    A chap in Washington DC lost his job for using the word "niggardly",
    because it sounded like a taboo word.

    "taking the mick" may offend Papists, as "'Mick" is a slang expression for Catholic in some places.
    "taking the piss" may offend the incontinent.
     
  11. morgana05 Junior Member

    UK
    UK ENGLISH
    OK nightowls,

    I am really enjoying reading your replies to my post about taking the Mick/piss.

    I must admit that taking the Mick is not really vulgar but I would NOT use taking the piss when talking to the local vicar.
     
  12. Gatamariposa

    Gatamariposa Senior Member

    SE London
    UK - English (native), Spanish, French
    Leave me alone, am just trying to be sensitive!!! :eek: I have managed to embarass myself by accusing someone of 'taking the mick' when they were being serious, just the kinda thing I manage to do, I must have annoyed someone in one of my other lives!


    Anyhow am going back to my fluffy world to contemplate life, the universe and everything, ( I know the answer is 42!) if anyone wants to join me, laugh or take the mick, feel free :)

    Ciao, purrs

    Gatamariposa
     
  13. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Well, you've got 7...:D
     
  14. morgana05 Junior Member

    UK
    UK ENGLISH
    Hi there,

    Well, you've got 7... (lives that is, as posted by timpeac) maybe in your part of the world they have, but I think the cats have been conned. Our lucky. lucky, lucky cats in UK have NINE. How many lives to cats have in other parts of the world........just a thought....
     
  15. Gatamariposa

    Gatamariposa Senior Member

    SE London
    UK - English (native), Spanish, French
    Had nine, not sure how many i have left though!!!! At least 6 I think, hoping so, hope noone is 'taking the mick' or my feelings will be hurt :(


    purrs,

    Gatamariposa :)
     
  16. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    I meant she says she's already had at least one, and is living one now so that leaves 7:) .

    Sorry I know it's partly my fault but can we stop the chat of cat lives? It's not on topic for this thread.:)
     
  17. morgana05 Junior Member

    UK
    UK ENGLISH
    hi Timpeac, I only started to ask about the number of lives a cat has because in Spanish they say that a cat has 7 lives, in English we say 9 lives, and I was wondering how many lives a cat has when translated to other languages. I know it not really a topic for this thread but I thought it might be interesting info for translating purposes.
     
  18. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Back on topic, sort of, almost, we find yet another AE/BE thing, or for the politikly kerrect, a BE/AE thingy: on this side of the charco, one says "to take a piss". This means to urinate, has nothing whatsoever to do with pulling anyone's leg. An alternative is 'to take a leak' o 'to take a whiz'.

    A Mick is out-of-date slang for an Irishman or one of Irish descent.

    Cats begin with 9 lives, and after knocking over the bookcase, have 42 remaining.

    We reallty need to work more on a BE/AE glossary
     
  19. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Warwick
    UK English
    take a piss means exactly the same here, on the other hand take the piss means to take the mickey.

    In London it is common to hear (probably older rather than younger) people say taking liberties as well - this is when someone is mucking about and misbehaving.
     
  20. Gatamariposa

    Gatamariposa Senior Member

    SE London
    UK - English (native), Spanish, French
    Have heard it used by a teacher when talking to a student, not the most appropriate use of the phrase, thankfully there was not insult taken!! OR fur would have flown in a nasty way.


    Gatamariposa :)
     

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