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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Real Decoy

The New York Times crossword had an unusual word today. The clue was "feints" and the answer was "dekes".

"Dekes"?!  As in "he dekes me out." ??

I thought they had gone to a dialect dictionary of Yorkshire to find that, but it turns out to be a Canadianism.
Having spent many years at school in Canada, my wrath was throttled somewhat. I rarely spill vitriol all over the Great White North, but upon reading further, I let loose with a condemnation of the land of Steven Harper.

It turns out "deke" derives from "decoy". It was used in hockey for the short-of-breath to refer to a feint, or a move intended to deceive the opponent. "To deke" is "to decoy" or "to misled by a quick movement". Or, as we say in basketball, "to fake someone out".

However, since the Canadians were on to a good thing, they could not leave well enough alone.
There is another usage which means "to make a side trip"; a real side trip, not a phoney side trip intended to deceive.
For example,
"Before we get home, I'm going to deke down the Danforth  (or "down the Mortimer" or "down the Dawes" or "down the Victoria Park" or whatever definite articulate road we may be near!)  and pop into the jug milk store!"
Jug milk store.
There's Canada-speak for ya: jug milk.
Personally, I calls it the Maxie Milk Store at the sign of the Kerry dancing Cat. People in Canada think I'm really Canadian then; a bit provincial, but definitely from the right side of the Love Canal.

My favorite Canuck store is, of course, St. Hubert chicken:

Anyway, so there it is; "to deke" means both "to deceive with a phoney side step" and "to make a real side trip".  It is ever cool to have such a blanket concept to cover both the true and the false. Such things could revolutionize philosophy and belief systems.

We in the States. alas, have no wit to conjure up such things.
The only coupling of concepts that I can think of that comes close to the Canadian "Deke (fake and real)" is the well worn pair:



The Real McCoy.

Some may say I have taken liberties here, but !!!!!!.....................

I have "deked" you !   (In both senses).


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