My voice teacher in college was a truly unique man. A New Yorker, painter, self-styled urban cowboy, French song interpreter, and gifted singer. He was particular–perhaps an acquired taste. He had a gaggle of devoted fans, mostly older women, who attended all of his recitals. He projected an air of sophistication, confidence, and elegance, unlike anyone I had met. I too was a big fan. I admired him greatly.
He taught me a word quite uncommon in Oklahoma. I had to ask what it meant. I don’t remember the exact context, but I will fill in the blank. During a lesson one day, he was describing something–a house, a hotel, a restaurant, an art gallery, someone’s fashion…can’t remember. In describing it he said, “Yes. Very chi-chi.” (also shi-shi)