Definitions starting with C

ID #3951

chickchanny, chickcharney

 /chikchá(h)ni/; Also chincharny, chickanny [etym. uncertain; Craton suggests Arabic shitani devil (1966:18), whence also Krio setani, shaytani spirit of evil (cf. Mandinka, Susu setani, Temne sethani, Hausa saitsaami) KED; cf. also DJE chicaney (perhaps from chicanery) trick(y)] n. 1. a mythical creature: 1934 Yarns about "chin charnies" (Bell 144). 1940 Chickannies, fairies peculiar to Andros (Forbes 194). 1966 Chickchannies are large, magical birds looking like flamingoes, but rapidly changing color through all shades of the rainbow, They live in miniature "trash" (thatch) houses built in a nest, created by pulling together the branches of a large pine tree. They are extremely dangerous if "mocked" and can cause paralysis and death, but can also cure (Crowley 18). 1975 Chickcharney, a three-toed, three-fingered, human-faced elf which lives in pine trees (Albury 245). 1979 Andros Legendary Chic-Charnies (title of Junkanoo float with bird­like creature, Sept. 11 Tribune). He buck a chickcharney and he laugh at 'im... and he swell right up (Andros). cf. LITTLE RED MEN (Gen.)

2. [cf. CHICKCHARNEY 1] the giant barn owl, Tyto pollens, about three feet tall, which is now extinct but probably survived into historic times: 197811 may have been the inspiration for the chickcharney, that bird-bodied, red-eyed and three-toed mythical beast of Andros. Being the largest island in the Bahamas, Andros probably supported the giant barn owl longer than the other islands after the sea returned and reclaimed the land. The mythical duppies of Cayman and Jamaica bear a fascinating resemblance to the chickeharney (Campbell 25). cf. CHINCHARY

Tags: animal, bird, folktales, noun

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Last update: 2012-01-09 19:32
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.1

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