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Now the snowy roads are really 'hinky': Matt's Memo

A couple nights ago our ace winter weather reporter Kelly Curtin interviewed a delivery guy who worked the Lake Effect zone towns like Sandy Creek and Adams Center in Oswego County. They talked in the midst of a typical winter night for the area east of Lake Ontario. The delivery guy said he was alright doing his job for a while until the snow started coming down at a pace of two or three inches per hour. That's when he told cold the "roads got a little hinky". He pulled over and soon after headed for the safety of home.

The word stood out. "Hinky!" I wasn't sure what it meant, but I immediately knew he had hit the mark. The language sounded like what it means. Do you know?

The relevant definition of hinky is unreliable. You could insert another expression such as "a little dicey". The fully reliable facts that instantly come up when you Google a definition of 'hinky' shows that the word likely hit its usage peak sometime around VE Day at the closing of World War II. So the fact that it stood out during our television news story makes sense. We haven't heard the word used in a couple of generations.

When the story aired earlier this week, the blast of winter was largely isolated to the Lake Effect zone. Tonight we have a different weather picture. Wide spread school closings and blowing snow has hit most of us tonight.

I couldn't help, but think as I drove down James Street. The roads are more than a "little hinky" tonight.


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