Here’s a puzzle for you. Just how do school playground catchphrases spread so quickly, and who invents them in the first place. Looking back it seems strange how suddenly everyone at your school would suddenly latch on to the latest fun thing to say. I’m not talking about catchphrases from TV shows either. No, I’m talking about those weird little sayings that pop up seemingly from nowhere, and for me a great example is the “Chinny Reckon” insult.
What a great insult “Chinny Reckon” was. It’s main use was to let somebody know that you frankly didn’t believe whatever it was they had just said. For example:-
Kid 1: My Dad’s just got a new Ferrari.
Kid 2: Chinny Reckon.
It was most important to get the correct pronunciation, as you had to make it sound as sarcastic as possible, and the best way to do this was to split the word “reckon” into it’s two syllables and say them with as much disdain as you could muster.
There was also an accompanying action to add further emphasis to your belief that your school chum was a dirty fat liar. Stroking your chin as though you were thinking about something was the first level of emphasisation, but by exagerating the action you could imply that your friend was a complete idiot and nothing they said could ever possibly be true. The method of exageration was simply to perfrom the same rubbing action, but pretending that your chin stretched out as far as your arm could reach.
Yet more embelishment was possible by the alternate forms of the phrase itself. You could use any one or more of the following in any order you saw fit (and I’ve now included some of the others added in the comments posted by some of you) :-
- â€¢ Itch my chin
- â€¢ Rub my chin
- â€¢ Chin rub
- â€¢ Chim chinnery (Bill Macfarlane)
- â€¢ Chinny reckoff (thanks Dave the rave)
- â€¢ Chinny beard (thanks Steve)
- â€¢ Tutankhamun (Dave the rave again)
- â€¢ Jackanory (Bill Macfarlane again)
- â€¢ Itchy beard (Bill Macfarlane and Markowe)
- â€¢ Jimmy Hill
That final one probably explains where the phrase comes from. Jimmy Hill is a UK footballing legend, having been a player, coach, manager, director and chairman of a football club. He is well known for having a particularly large chin, and for not always being the most reliable source of information when questioned – not because he was a liar though, I hasten to add, just that he made the odd predictive mistake!