pizzazz (was: Ink-Stained Wretches (1921); Pizazz (1937)

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Oct 8 10:53:19 UTC 2002

>At 3:26 AM +0000 10/8/02, bapopik at wrote:
>    There are "pizazz" hits in the classified ads of 22 May 1913 and
>19 May 1935, but I'm goin blind finding those.  This one hints at
>the origin.
>    26 February 1937, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. 3 ad:
>Pizazz, to quote the Harvard Lampoon and Harpers Bazaar, is an
>indefinable dynamic quality.  Certain clothes have it.

    A few years ago I wrote a working paper on this term:
"Towards the origin of _pizzazz_," _Comments on Etymology_, vol. 29,
no. 1, Oct. 1999, pp.14-17.

     I'm pressed for time today. Tomorrow I can reproduce parts of the
article for ads-l, although for now I would just mention the
wordsmithing creativity of the newspaper _San Francisco Bulletin_ of
ca. 1913, the futuristic-sounding words in -azz- (not the least
important being "jazz"), and specifically "lallapazzazza" (based
obviously on "lallapaloosa"); drop the "lalla-" part of
"lallapazzazza" and the result is pretty close to "pazzazz," one of
the attested spellings of "pizzazz."

    For "lallapazzazza," here is an item from my _Dictionary of 1913
Baseball and Other Lingo_ (just published); the entry is from _San
Francisco Bulletin_:

LALLAPAZZAZZA 'lallapaloosa' -- March 28, 1913, p.19/1-2; 'New
Oakland Park One Fine Place, Is Opinion of Fans'; subtitle:
'Recreation Park [in S.F.] Must Now Take Second Place to Grounds
Across the Bay.' by 'Scoop Gleeson'; col. 1:  'A futurist would
likely set down his impression of the new baseball grounds as "a

     More tomorrow.

Gerald Cohen
(editor, _Comments on Etymology_)

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