Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Thu Jul 29 01:14:38 UTC 1999

James E. Clapp wrote:

Sorry, I wasn't paying close attention to this thread, so maybe this has
been touched on, but it just struck me when I saw the foregoing:

Am I the only one who assumed the etymology was from "jay" = bird?  I see
that the OED says this is from jay = simpleton, but it just seems so much
more logical to me that a jaywalker is one who walks out into the street
with the obliviousness of a jaybird.  I know this is how folk etymologies
arise, but I just wonder:  How firm is the "simpleton" etymology?

*Are* jaybirds (= blue jays?) notoriously oblivious? Brash and unmusical, but

-- Mark

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