[APG Public List] Nickname question [Jane -> Jincy -> Incy]

Ida Skarson McCormick idamc at seanet.com
Mon Nov 23 10:08:34 MST 2009

At 08:27 AM 11/23/2009, Craig Kilby wrote:
>I am having a devil of a time reconciling a problem, and I need your 
>help. The question really boils down to just this: Is *Incy* a 
>nickname for *Jane*?
>The time frame in question is 1670 to 1700 in Accomack County 
>Virginia. I can provide more details if needed but this really is 
>the gist of the problem.


The more common Southern nickname for Jane was Jincy. In New England 
it was Jenny. The -cy and -sy nicknames were more popular in the South.

Incy makes sense because at that time J and I could still be 
considered the same letter in the 24-character English alphabet. 
"Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie [movable type]...."

According to a footnoted article in Wikipedia: "The first 
English-language book to make a clear distinction between I and J was 
published in 1634." However, I have seen I used in place of J as late 
as the 1790 US census. It would not be surprising to see this usage 
linger on. As Samuel L. Brown put it, names are "the fossils of speech."

--Ida Skarson McCormick, idamc at seanet.com, Seattle  

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