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I read some source code and came across this sentence:

Hopefully it works, and we don't need no steenking BIOS anyway [...]

You see the word "steenking" in there. I traced its origin down to the phrase "We don't need no stinking badges" but still don't know why anyone would write "stinking" as "steenking."

Could anyone explain this weird spelling?

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For further reading (be warned- TV Tropes link): Funetik Aksent – cobaltduck Mar 30 at 13:50
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@cobaltduck The official term is "eye dialect". – R.M. Mar 30 at 15:42
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It's an intentional mispronunciation (a la a Mexican dialect) of "stinking". – Hot Licks Mar 30 at 17:37
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I wonder what it says about me, that before I had clicked through to read your question I already had that source code comment in mind, and remembered which software it can be found in and what the context is... Maybe it is because I haven't seen the spelling "steenking" used anywhere else. – kasperd Mar 30 at 22:21
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I wonder if we actually have a member called Downvoter who's very confused right now. Aww, just checked and we don't. – John Clifford Mar 31 at 9:01
up vote 40 down vote accepted

It's supposed to be a Mexican accent.

From the wikipedia article you linked:

In one scene, a Mexican bandit leader named "Gold Hat" (portrayed by Alfonso Bedoya) tries to convince Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) that he and his company are Federales:

Dobbs: "If you're the police, then where are your badges?"

Gold Hat: "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"

Both a 1967 episode of The Monkees and Mel Brooks' 1974 Western Blazing Saddles misquoted the line as "Badges? We don't need no stinking badges.", and it is this version of the phrase that went on to be quoted, paraphrased, and parodied in a variety of subsequent media.

It's more obvious if you watch the clips in question.

Here is the original clip on YouTube:

And here is the Blazing Saddles version:

The "steenking" you found is just the phonetic spelling of the accent used by these actors.

Note: Whether this accent is accurate or politically correct or insensitive or funny I leave up to you to decide. But for better or worse, this is what whoever wrote that comment was referencing.

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@Kevin, +1 for the comprehensive answer with excellent real-time edits. :-) Good job! – Mark Hubbard Mar 30 at 13:56
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That and the "stinking badgers" line from UHF. – Damian Yerrick Mar 30 at 15:35
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@ArtB What makes you suspect that? Ren (along with many other tv and movie characters) does have a fake Mexican accent, but "we don't need no stinking..." is a pretty popular quote that predates Ren and Stimpy. Obviously we can't be sure without asking the original developer, but I highly doubt it's a reference to Ren and Stimpy. If you disagree, please post your own answer and allow people to debate its merits. – Kevin Workman Mar 30 at 18:48
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The CQ Congressional Quarterly from 1956 includes the line "We don't need no stinking spending cuts." And, of course, there are many others. "Don't need no stinking" (with whatever accent you felt appropriate) was a fixture of American jargon well before Ren & Stimpy or BIOS or modern computers. – Hot Licks Mar 30 at 20:12
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@ArtB kasperd pointed out that this comment is in setup.S from the linux kernel originally written in 1992. People tend to forget that not every developer is a kid with a startup when guesstimating the average developer's age. :p – Kevin Workman Mar 30 at 22:31

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