"Jinx" etymology

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Jan 20 00:56:38 UTC 2004

>>Jinks was The Curse of the Army.

This may be superfluous, but I did a search of the convenient on-line
newspapers from 1860 to 1910 for "curse of the army". The following things
were called "the curse of the army":

(1) gambling
(2) whiskey
(3) multiplication of red tape and division of responsibility
(4) canteens serving beer

... "Captain Jinks" did not appear, and I would not expect him to. Note
that "curse of the army" does not refer to a curse in its magical sense,
and that it typically does not refer to a person.

I hope someone will either support or attack my "Jinks Hoodoo" etymology: I
spent a lot of time on it. (^_^) I believe it is very likely correct. I
would like to have more than the one supporting transitional citation ...
although AFAIK that's one more than any competing theory has so far.

-- Doug Wilson

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