blimp 1916 -- (David Shulman has 1915)

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Jan 17 18:51:00 UTC 2003

Another Web site, URL, has this to say

<begin quote>
A number of theories have been advanced concerning the etymology of "blimp,"
but in fact it is an onomatopoeic word whose coinage can be traced
specifically to 5-Dec-1915 when Royal Naval Air Service Lieutenant A. D.
Cunningham playfully flicked a finger against the envelope of SS. 12 at the
Capel air station and then mimicked aloud the sound It had made.

"Blimp," then, is essentially a slang term, although it was given one
official cachet in Jul-1943 when the U.S. Navy, the only service in the world
to operate airships during World War II, inexplicably changed the designation
"airship patrol squadron:" to "blimp squadron."
<end quote>

What is useful about this site's cite is that an exact date (5 December 1915)
is given.  I would like to see the 1915 citation David Shulman has.  If it is
earlier than December 1915, or from December 1915 but not plausibly from Lt.
Cunningham, then the theory in the above quote would be, uh, "shot down in

        - James A. Landau
          systems engineer
          FAA Technical Center (ACB-510/BCI)
          Atlantic City Int'l Airport NJ 08405 USA

PS. Does anyone know if the cartoon character "Colonel Blimp" (dating from
the 1930's) was named after the airship?

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