Kinsickles (nickname; likely spelled wrong)

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by thisgirlw, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. thisgirlw New Member

    English - North American
    My father died a few years ago, before I could ask him what his nickname for me meant. It sounded like "Kinsickles" or "Kindzickles" in English (the "i"s are all short vowel sounds). Does anyone know what he meant and how it is spelled properly? I recently met a very nice Mennonite family who thought it might be "Sugar-Child" - but I don't see that anywhere online. Many thanks for your help!
  2. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    Possibly 'Kindzucker'? Perhaps the way he pronounced 'zucker' sounded like 'tzickle' to your ears?

    When he said the latter part, did it sound the way it can be heard on this page?

    (find the little speaker icon next to 'zucker' on the right hand side)
  3. Resa Reader

    Resa Reader Senior Member

    The problem is that the word "Kindzucker" doesn't make the slightest sense in German. It would be the same as if you said "child sugar" in English which doesn't have any meaning either.

    The German equivalent to "sugar-child" would be "Zuckerkind", albeit this is not very widespread form of endearment for a child.
  4. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    It definitely sounded odd to me as well. That was about the only thing I could even possibly guess though. It very well could be though that her father just had his own quirky way of saying such a thing to her. My mom used to call me a name that you will find in no searches on google, that's for sure.
  5. thisgirlw New Member

    English - North American
    Zickles does sound a bit like zucher, but not exactly. To his infinite regret Dad did not speak German, although his last name was Grimm. Perhaps it was an anglicization of something his German grandparents or great-grandparents used to call him? I have asked his six surviving younger siblings about it, but none of them recall. What is most puzzling is that I can not find zucher or Süßling mixed with the German word "kind" anywhere online - so it doesn't seem to be a common endearment. Of course, it doesn't help that I don't know German, either.

    Thank you both for your help! If you have any more ideas I would love to hear them.
  6. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    we have the context of a nickname.
    So we can investigate how German nicknames are build.

    1. I may be derived from the surname.

    In this case it is often shorted and a diminutive form, even an uncommon one is added.

    If the name is Kinsick the nickname "Kinsickel" could be derived.

    The name "Kinsick" is seldom but exists.

    2. It may be derived from a property and may be used to mock the other one. So it may be used in an offensive way, but the resulting name may be ok than.

    - a "Zickel" is a young goat. (junge Ziege)
    We have "Zimtzicke" but this is female, so the derivation "zimzickel" is not probable.

    3. It may be a local variant of the first name.
    My father had the nickname "Töffel" as child and he hated it. It is derived from "Christof" - an anchestor of my father.
    In this case he got the old family nickname. But he told us very late and spoke only two or three times about this.
    But "Töffel" sounds a little bit mad because of meaning shift.
    Nick names are often offending, however.

    4. It may be a name of a grandfather or another family member.

    My grandpa was called "Köhlersch Werner" because he grew up in the Köhler family. His name was another one.
    "Köhlersch" is genitive and it means "the Koler's Werner" in Englisch form.

    Is anybody in the family of your father with a name like "Kinsick"? Or lived he in a house of such a family?

    This is just some idea and it does not solve the problem.

    But there is no known similar word I can relate directly to Kinsickle.

    5. It may be derived from a village name or a towns name.
    I have no idea in the given case.

  7. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Do you know where they were from? Perhaps it's a dialectical expression?

    Only "Kindchen" (click to listen) comes to my mind but that's a bit far away.
  8. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    I think an origin from "Kindchen" sounds quite likely. Could it have been "Kinneken" (with stress in the 1st syllable)?
  9. thisgirlw New Member

    English - North American
    Thank you for these theories. Here are my thoughts on the ideas presented:

    1. I don't know of any Kinsicks in my family - only Grimm, Hartmann and Goslee on that side of the family, but I could research more. However, it doesn't seem likely that he would give me a nickname for a name that wasn't part of my own. It seems more likely to me that it was a nickname that described me somehow.

    2. I agree with this (see above), but I believe it was meant with great love, so it was clearly not Zimtzicke! This was my baby-name, that he would use whenever he was especially happy with me or emotionally moved. He was a gentleman, and he would never have called me something derogative. (That is not to say he did not, at times, tease me - but the point of teasing is to use a phrase the recipient understands, so he used English for that!)

    3. It is not a variant of any of my given names. My parents could not agree what to name me when I was born. My father wanted to name me for one of his sisters and my mother for her best friend. Their compromise was to name me "Regina Corinne" legally/officially after my aunt but call me "Jeannie" after the friend; I did not know my name wasn't Jeannie until I started school. Also, until I started school - my father rarely called me anything other than kinsickles (perhaps out of defiance?) Regina and Jeannie share a syllable, but kinsickles sounds completely different. He was the only person to ever call me this, and he never called anyone else this - none of my younger brothers, many cousins, etc.

    4. I never heard this word from anyone else or applied to anyone else.

    5. This has a kernel of an idea - I don't think it came from a place name, but perhaps it is an endearment specific to a particular place or group of people or even specific to a particular time, such as an archaic word from the time my ancestors emigrated that is no longer used in Europe? Maybe it is Dutch not German? I don't know where in Europe my paternal ancestors are from. I believe they came here sometime in the 1800s (although some could have been earlier, but not later since I have found census documents from the 1850s), and they settled in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

    I am thinking more and more that he was saying an Anglicization of some sort of combination of "kind" and "zucker", and that this was an endearment peculiar to those people in that time. Do you think this is possible?
  10. thisgirlw New Member

    English - North American
    Thank you. The "kind" in "kindchen" sounds just right. Unfortunately, I do not know where my ancestors were from, although they were here in 1850 (perhaps before.) Perhaps it is dialectical or perhaps it is just the poor German of the children and grandchildren of immigrants who spoke a combination of German and English at home but who only studied written English? I do know that each generation spoke less German, and that my father always wished he had learnt it from his great-grandparents.
  11. thisgirlw New Member

    English - North American
    Thank you. I cannot get "Kinneken" to play in the audible dictionary, but the stress in "Kinsickles" was definitely on the first syllable. Does Kinneken also mean little child?

    The "sickles" and "zucher" sound very alike to me. I believe that if one were saying Zucher quickly (and without great knowledge of German) it could turn into "sicles" or "sickles" - like in the English pronunciation of the word "Icicles"
  12. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    That was my thought as well. I'd still not rule it out, however, as Resa has said, "kind" + "zucker" would be a bit odd in German. People do odd little things with language though, so perhaps that is what he was saying. Most likely not, but I doubt you will find a 'true' answer, unfortunately. :(
  13. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    The problem with the "zucker" part is that it is the last part.

    You could easily use:
    Zuckermäulchen, Zuckerschnäuzchen, Zuckerbaby and others.

    I think, there is a high propability that it is derived from a location or a name.
    But I already said this.

    One problem is the last "s". It is a plural or a genitive ending, usually.
  14. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    Yes, it is just a corruption (a local dialectical version) of "Kindchen".

Share This Page