But despite my wife’s insistence, everyone knows it is more properly skinny merrink. I don’t care what Oxford English says!
Oxford Dictionaries Online offers the following for skinnymalinky (and nothing for merrink)
Scottish A very thin person: that young skinnymalinks above the shop
It goes on to note
Origin: Late 19th century: origin uncertain; a Scottish children's song related the adventures of a thin man known as ‘Skinamalinky Long Leg’.
A version of the lyrics is found at the Online Dictionary of Playground Slang
Skinny Malinky lang legs, umbrella feet
Went to the pictures (cinema) and couldnae find a seat
When the picture (film) started
Skinny Malinky farted
When the picture ended
Skinny Malinky fented (fainted)
However there is no indication of the derivation of the term malinky or malink.
Numerous references are found at wordwizard.com dating back to 1892, but again, no indication of the origin of the term malink.
There are a variety of spellings, including melink, balink and most importantly, marink or merink (with single or double rs) the form from my childhood.
Can anyone help with the source of malink (or even better, merrink)?