chinny chin chin

luckyjason

Member
Taiwan
Refer to "The Three Little Pigs", there is a sentence:

"Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!".

What does the chinny-chin-chin means, thank you.
 
  • luckyjason

    Member
    Taiwan
    Thank you all! If possible, I would like to hear more, because there is someone from the interenet (Taiwanese), he interprets it as: my beautiful chin Is there any possibility it can mean that?
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I'm gonna go with a big fat NO.

    Again, just being silly and rhyming... But, really, I don't think any native speaker would think this phrase means my beautiful chin.:rolleyes:
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Before reading the other posts, I was going to explain it as "my cute little chin". That is the way I have understood it since the time I was a child. "Chinny" is a diminutive, but repeating "chin" helps make sense of the made-up word.

    I can also see it as "chinny" = "like a chin", "chinny chin chin" = "chin so like a chin".

    The pig is swearing that he will never open the door and that the hair on his chin bears witness to his seriousness.

    It really sounds silly, but I think the Big Bad Wolf is a symbol for the Great Depression, and the lesson is not to, for example, build a house on a subprime mortgage. Swearing does not keep the Wolf away, but a solid investment (the brick house) and clever management (preparing the boiling pot) might protect one's way of life.
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Well, if you want to analyze it in that sort of detail, I always took it as a play on the traditional oath 'by my beard'. So, it's not actually his beard, but rather his beard as a symbol of his manhood, and by extension integrity, much as ancient Romans touched certain private areas while swearing oaths.

    But, I think you're actually familiar with this. Do you recall this post?

    As for the Big Bad Wolf representing The Great Depression, I can certainly see the comparison, but the story was first published in current form nearly a century earlier, and it is similar to an earlier tale by The Brothers Grimm.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    As for the Big Bad Wolf representing The Great Depression, I can certainly see the comparison, but the story was first published in current form nearly a century earlier, and it is similar to an earlier tale by The Brothers Grimm.
    Maybe it really is about house building, or, like many of the Grimms' stories, about principles so basic and timeless that they can only be expressed in parables. The Great Depression explanation was something I heard once about the Walt Disney Silly Symphony version of the story.
     

    luckyjason

    Member
    Taiwan
    well, so chinny chin chin can be explained as "chin" or "my cute little chin" (sound like my beautiful chin).

    Now I understand, thank you. :)
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    (The Grimm brothers collected folk tales rather than writing stories, so I'd say any resemblance between The Tale of the Three Little Pigs and conditions prevalent at the time of the Great Depression is extremely coincidental. Still, I loved your explanation, Forero:))
    Erm ... I'm another who has never understood chinny-chin-chin to be anything other than [a cute version of the word] chin.
     
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