more on "gen up" and "gin up"

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Thu Nov 7 15:29:24 UTC 2002

On Wed, 6 Nov 2002, Jonathon Green wrote:

#'Gen' as meaning information is not computerspeak but an RAF coinage -
#Partridge suggests as early as 1929 - which was widely popularized during
#WW2. It is, supposedly, an abbreviation of 'general information of all
#ranks.' He also has 'genned up': = well supplied with infomation, listed in
#the Dict. Forces Slang 1939-45 (1948), although 'gen up, is defined only as
#'to swot for a test or examination; to read up a subject'. In addition he
#lists 'gen king' or 'gen wallah': 'one who can be tapped for trustworthy


With similar Raj connotations I have seen "pukka gen", which I
understood to mean 'genuine (i.e., reliable) information'.  (Cf. "pukka
sahib". From _The New Fowler's Modern English Usage_ s.v.  "sahib", via "(In colonial India) [...] A pukka
sahib was a true gentleman"].

-- Mark A. Mandel

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