dave at WILTON.NET
Tue Jul 30 16:29:34 UTC 2002
> It was the "devil" (printer's, and maybe other too), but
> ** IT WASN'T JINKS. **
> The name "Jinks" never appears again after the line with "nameless
> evermore"; as for the "devil" at the door, "IT WASN'T JINKS".
> *** JINKS WAS NOT GIVEN AS THE NAME OF THE "DEVIL" IN THE
> POEM! JINKS WAS
> SOMEBODY ELSE ENTIRELY! ***
Or the protaganist is hallucinating. He talks of how "memory quickly bore
us/Back again to days of yore'" and of the printer's devil asking for copy.
His use of "devil" is not a reference to Satan appearing, but rather in his
mind Jinks has been transformed into an imp who "still is flitting" about
and continually asking for more copy. He picks up a cudgel and chases
Jinks/devil back to "his office."
Still this all a bit tangential to the origin of the modern sense of "jinx."
No one has antedated that sense earlier than the 1910-11 baseball usages.
What we have here is a character named "Jinks" who is associated with vexing
behavior and persistant bad luck (at not finding a story). What the poet was
literally describing is not important to the original question, the
association is sufficient to indicate that the modern usage of "jinx" may
be/is likely (take your pick) from the proper name, used in this poem and
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