1941 Quartermaster Corps lingo

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Fri May 14 13:45:26 UTC 1999

My father (born 1907 southwestern IN, grew up southern IL, no military
experience) used Johnson Bar (long before WWII) to refer to any
"unspecified" ailment a car might have ("The Johnson Bar's broke"), usually
to make fun of people without mechanical abilities (which he had, although
as time passed and obscenities like automatic transmissions and overhead
valve engines appeared, he often mocked his own lack of knowledge about
these new-fangled gadgets with the same phrase).


>At 04:26 AM 5/14/99 EDT, you wrote:
>>EMERJENSON--Emergency brake.
>>JOHNSON BAR--Gear shift lever.
>The items on the list that Barry P. posted all made sense to me, except for
>these two. Why "jenson"? And why "Johnson"?
>Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing at nyu.edu or gd2 at is2.nyu.edu

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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