What does it mean?

“I am not tacky, I am not macky.”
Although I am not sure about the spelling. Thanks.

That is a difficult question Victor. Where did you hear it? In what context?
“Tacky” can mean “low quality”, that’s all I could say without more context.

Mucky could mean messy (in the UK we tend to say to children: well, aren’t you a mucky pup?) Tacky could also mean cheap. Is it from a pronunciation exercise? Tacky and mucky are pronounced slightly differently. As vankrot says, without context it’s difficult to say more.

The context was this. I heard it several times recently in podcasts that flow to me through iTunes. In the last case it was a Chinese language professor from UCLA. He explained his method of teaching Chinese and spoke about software his team developed. The meaning of the phrase has something to do with criticism of Mac OS. At least so I understood him. I would had ignored the phrase but it is repeated much too often now.

“Tacky and mucky” could perhaps mean here “not very well developed” or perhaps “cheap and nasty”.

Could you post a link to this particular podcast?

Is it one of these?


If it is, which one in particular? And what’s the (approximate) time stamp of when he says this phrase?


It is called “How Do I Use the Internet in Teaching Chinese?” It is long, 55 minutes.
Sorry if I have messed something up.

I’ve got it at last! The time is 15:25. Why they are giggling by the way?


I started listening to the podcast, but it is long, looooong and slow. What are his main points?

Can’t stay awake anymore.

He says, “Is there a way to move this around? I’m not really familiar with the Macintosh. So, I’m not [a] techie; I’m not [a] Mackie."

Apparently, he’s trying to show something that he’s brought over on a thumbnail drive on the local computer, which is a Mac. He’s having some troubles operating the Mac, because he’s not a Mac user. His “is there a way to move around?” probably refers to moving around some windows or other UI objects. He’s trying to save face my saying that he’s not familiar with the Macintosh. Then he’s trying to make a joke, saying that he’s “not a techie” (meaning, he’s not a tech-savvy person) and “not a Mackie” (a term he makes up on the spot, meaning a “Mac user”). He’s also omitting the indefinite article in both cases.

The audience is laughing at him and with him at the same time, because he’s having some technical difficulties and he’s not afraid to admit it.

@ Astamoore (any relation to Sherlock?): Wow, so he is not a mucky pup, after all! You have a remarkable nose for finding things out (or the patience of a saint).

To Sanne:

It’s both, actually: a remarkable nose (see my avatar) and the patience of a saint. Oh, and modesty, too.

But frankly, after I read Victor’s post about the guy mentioning Mac OS, I was almost sure that the first word was “techie” and the second something akin to “a Mac user.” Russians often mix up the vowels in “bat” and “bet,” so that solved the mystery right away. Then I just listened to the podcast to provide a more or less accurate transcript. Not much deduction work there, I’m afraid, my dear Watson.

P.S. xoxoxo

Yes, if I’d seen “techie” typed I would have understood the situation (maybe). Astamoore, if you have a little patience left, give me a hint how to extract URL of a podcast from iTunes. I see you can do everything.

Just Control-click a podcast and choose Copy Link from the shortcut menu. Or you can Control-click the “Center for Chinese Studies” header itself and choose Copy Link.

Mister Holmes, you saved me a lot of time.