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  1. #1
    thedaffodils's Avatar
    thedaffodils is offline Key Member
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    Question take the mickey/mick (out of someone)

    mickey /"mIk.i/ noun UK INFORMAL
    take the mickey/mick (out of someone) to laugh at someone and make them seem silly, by copying their behaviour or tricking them in an amusing or unkind way:
    A group of other boys were taking the mickey out of him.
    She's always taking the mick - she's got no respect for the managers at all.
    The definition is quoted from the Cambridge Dictionary. I don't understand what 'mickey' refers to. Is it related to mickey mouse?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: take the mickey/mick (out of someone)

    No, I think it refers to the pride, dignity and standing of a person, so taking the mickey out of someone is teasing them. Alternatively, it may be a pejorative term for Irishmen, in which case the origin would be something like taking the Irish out of an Irishman, with a similarly mocking or teasing meaning.

  3. #3
    thedaffodils's Avatar
    thedaffodils is offline Key Member
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    Re: take the mickey/mick (out of someone)

    Hello konungursvia,

    Thank you for your reply. I still don't completely understand. Do you also refer to the definition from the Cambridge Dictionary is not appropriate?

  4. #4
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: take the mickey/mick (out of someone)

    That definition looks quite good too. But it does mean tease, often in an unpleasant way, or to mock.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: take the mickey/mick (out of someone)

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    No, I think it refers to the pride, dignity and standing of a person, so taking the mickey out of someone is teasing them. Alternatively, it may be a pejorative term for Irishmen, in which case the origin would be something like taking the Irish out of an Irishman, with a similarly mocking or teasing meaning.
    Sounds good to me. 'Mick' is (or was) a stereotypical name/term of abuse for an Irishman. 'Taking the mickey' might easily have originated in the context of imitating an Irish accent. But the origin doesn't matter much any more - the general use is common.

    I've also heard 'take the Michael' (usually in a display of mock-formality)

    b.

  6. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: take the mickey/mick (out of someone)

    I have seen "mickey" presented as an abbreviation for "Mickey Bliss", and the latter as rhyming slang for "piss".

    Thus "taking the mickey" = "taking the piss".

    (I don't know how true it is. It has the look of post-rationalisation.)

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: take the mickey/mick (out of someone)

    I've seen 'Mickey Finn' (drug to make you sleep) as another possibility.

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