Today’s Twanglish Lesson just might be verging on archaic. These days, kids wear running shoes, trail shoes, skate shoes, cross-trainers and those weird monkey-toe glove thingies that look like an error in evolution … assuming you believe in such scientific, Yankee hoo-ha.
But back when we were kids (in the long-forgotten age of the ’70s), we only wore one kind of shoe …
Tennie Shoes -noun 1.Any athletic shoe by any manufacturer, typically with canvas or leather uppers and a flat rubber sole. Most often stark white.
Hey, Deddy, these new tennie shoes is how come I can run so faist!
We’ll delve a little deeper into this in a later post, but there was nothing worse for a boy of the ’70s than to show up at school with a brand new pair of shiny white tennie shoes. He would be a constant target of dusty-shoed compatriots, eager to bring him down a peg or two by scuffing up his new kicks.
And it should be noted that “tennie” never applied to anything other than shoes. People were on the tennis team, not the “tennie team.” They wore tennis shorts, and used tennis racquets and tennis balls. Maybe that’s because the people most likely to use the word “tennie” never played such uppity sports, anyhow. They would, however, watch “The Wimbleton” from time to time.