Slang City Mail

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June 21, 2007

Slang of the Week: fucci (adjective)
fake Gucci

Martha thinks she’s so hot with that coat, but it’s fucci—I checked the label when she wasn’t looking.

Celebrity quote:
“I am very tired of seeing the Furberry, Foach, Fucci, Fersaci, Fakefendi, Fouis Vuiotton, Fristian Dior....IF UNU CYAAN AFFORD THE REAL TING NO BUY IT.”

- An irate (and non-celebrity) poster on the forum

This very angry poster thinks people who can’t afford genuine designer goods should buy nothing at all (in case you are not familiar with Jamaican English). And for those not familiar with fashion, the goods in question are fakes of Burberry, Coach, Gucci, Versace, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, respectively.

I am old enough to remember when, except for the occasional Chanel handbag, designers kept their names on the insides of their products. Branding was such a nascent art when I was in high school that I won a “Coke” t-shirt in a contest and my friends asked how much the Coca-Cola Company had paid me to wear it.

My first exposure to a designer knock off (unlicensed copy) came around 1986 on a sidewalk in Chinatown, New York. A fast-talking man with a large supply of fancy watches on a blanket offered to sell me a genuine Rolex for $5. Out of curiosity, I looked closely enough to see that it said “Bolex” on the face.

Interestingly, fucci is a portmanteau word that is used for copies of two different designers: Gucci and less often, Pucci. These words for designer fakes commonly appear in online message boards about fashion. The best place (other than a New York sidewalk) to buy counterfeit designer goods seems to be eBay, though they are not labeled as fake. So how do you know if a purse is fucci and not Gucci? Be suspicious if it costs $200. As expensive as that might seem, real Gucci purses can sell for as much as $4000!

What’s new?

After hearing this crazy song on the radio, I just had to do a translation to let my readers know what an Icky Thump is! If you don’t know, you’ve got to check out the latest from the White Stripes and learn all about it.

Take a look in our bookstore for books and DVDs on all kinds of slang! This week’s pick: Cassell's Dictionary of Slang: A Major New Edition of the Market-Leading Dictionary of Slang (Dictionary). Really one of the most comprehensive slang dictionaries around. Cockroach killers are a fashionable item of clothing, but are foot land-rakers? Buy this dictionary and find out