On the main 'downloads' page of PCWorld.com ('download this'), I came across: "Get the inside skinny on..", the meaning of which was not difficult to guess. But how did 'skinny' come to mean 'inside information', 'the real facts'? A quick look at the AHD at: http://www.bartleby.com/61/33/S0453300.html does not give any clue as to how. Does anybody here know how, and should the skinny be written between inverted commas (ie: 'the skinny')?

Christopher ('CJ')
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On the main 'downloads' page of PCWorld.com ('download this'), I came across: "Get the inside skinny on..", the meaning of ... as to how. Does anybody here know how, and should the skinny be written between inverted commas (ie: 'the skinny')?

If you go to the AUE materials, CJ, and search for "skinny," you'll be referred to this site, among others:

I'd say that's about as good as you're gonna get.
BTW, Americans call them "quotation marks." You're too young (if you're really as young as you say) to start playing around with British usages, particularly those the British themselves are abandoning.

Liebs
And that's the skinny
On the main 'downloads' page of PCWorld.com ('download this'), I came across: "Get the inside skinny on..", the meaning of ... Does anybody here know how, and should the skinny be written between inverted commas (ie: 'the skinny')? Christopher ('CJ')

If you're going to use it, you might as well dispense with the scare quotes. As for the origin, see what Evan Morris (The Word Detective) has to say about the word at
http://www.word-detective.com/back-s.html#skinny

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
On the main 'downloads' page of PCWorld.com ('download this'), I ... written between inverted commas (ie: 'the skinny')? Christopher ('CJ')

If you're going to use it, you might as well dispense with the scare quotes. As for the origin, see what Evan Morris (The Word Detective) has to say about the word at http://www.word-detective.com/back-s.html#skinny

Thanks, Raymond. This link was actually quite helpful. Ultimately, then, "the skinny" seems to be "one of those slang phrases without a catchy story to explain its origin. Most likely, it was a takeoff on the idea of "getting down to the skin" of a story, beneath the flourishes and frippery."

Christopher ('CJ')
On the main 'downloads' page of PCWorld.com ('download this'), I ... the skinny be written between inverted commas (ie: 'the skinny')?

If you go to the AUE materials, CJ, and search for "skinny," you'll be referred to this site, among others: I'd say that's about as good as you're gonna get.

Thanks, Bob. That was actually quite helpful.
BTW, Americans call them "quotation marks."

I dislike calling them quotation marks when I'm not quoting somebody, OK Bob?
You're too young (if you're really as young as you say)

Was that remark really necessary, Bob? My original post was on-topic and a legitimate question for AUE, in which I* made absolutely no reference to my age whatsoever. I've long since stopped caring whether people here believe me or not when it comes to the 'question' of my age. BTW, 'question' is between inverted commas, not quotation marks, since I'm not *quoting anybody!
to start playing around with British usages, particularly those the British themselves are abandoning.

I don't suppose you'd care to support that assertion (with specific reference to inverted commas, perhaps) with some kind of factual evidence or a reference, would you Bob?

Christopher ('CJ' - in inverted commas, not quotation marks)
BTW, Americans call them "quotation marks."

BTW, 'question' is between inverted commas, not quotation marks, since I'm not quoting anybody!

Christopher ('CJ' - in inverted commas, not quotation marks)

Since "inverted" is a quasi-medical term for "homosexual," are "inverted commas" queer?

Reinhold (Rey) Aman
Introverted Philologist
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
On the main 'downloads' page of PCWorld.com ('download this'), I came across: "Get the inside skinny on..", the meaning of ... as to how. Does anybody here know how, and should the skinny be written between inverted commas (ie: 'the skinny')?

At a guess I would say it means "gossip" or "the buzz", with a whiff of scandal.
That's based purely on its resemblance to the Afrikaans word "skinder" (pronounced "skinner"), meaning to slander someone, or spread rumours about something. It has migrated into South African English in that sense, as in "Don't skinner me", or "Have you heard the skinner about so-and-so?"

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk

BTW, 'question' is between inverted commas, not quotation marks, since I'm not quoting anybody!

Christopher ('CJ' - in inverted commas, not quotation marks)

Since "inverted" is a quasi-medical term for "homosexual," are "inverted commas" queer?

"Inverted commas" is the normal BrE term.

Joachim
On the main 'downloads' page of PCWorld.com ('download this'), I ... the skinny be written between inverted commas (ie: 'the skinny')?

At a guess I would say it means "gossip" or "the buzz", with a whiff of scandal. That's based purely ... from Tshwane, South Africa http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stopuk

Check this out:
http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=200926

My ex-husband used to say "skinny" about getting information about anything. Putting something together like a bookshelf or bicycle, barbeque or how to take care of plants in the garden. Or anything he was curious about. Say one of the boys dropped his books in the driveway. Dad comes home, sees them, walks up to me and says, "What's the skinny on those books?" Like, "what's the deal?" Seems like I remember my Dad using it now and again, too, but Poppy would be more inclined to ask for the "low down."
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