Earlier "jinks" = "jinx" (1904-7)

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Mon Apr 4 01:32:06 UTC 2005

On Apr 3, 2005, at 8:31 PM, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
> Subject:      Earlier "jinks" = "jinx" (1904-7)
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Earlier on this list I posted a 1907 example of "jinx".
> Here are (I think) early examples of the same word "jinks" (the same
> word,
> alternative spelling).
> ----------
> _Los Angeles Times_, 11 Aug. 1904: p. A3:
> <<The Cincinnati team has done with Mike Donlin for good, and it is not
> likely that this ex-Californian will cut much ice from now on. That
> term in
> jail put the jinks on Donlin.>>

And as Little Richard sings in his 1956 song, Heebie-Jeebies, "My
bad-luck baby _put the jinks on_ me." Some BE speakers refer to the
deuce of spades - bad luck for the pair that *doesn't* hold it - in the
game, bid whist, as "the jink." Playing the deuce is referred to as
"putting the jink on" the opposing pair. Unfortunately, I have no idea
whether there's a relationship other than accidental between "jink" and
"jinks." On his record, Mr. Richard clearly pronounces "heebie-jeebies"
as "heebie-jeebie," but, unforttunately, he just as clearly pronounces
"jinks" as "jinks."

FWIW, although trumps are referred to as "trumps," playing a trump is
called "cutting" and not "trumping."

-Wilson Gray

> ----------
> _Washington Post_, 9 July 1905: p. B3:
> <<
> [title] Long Time Between Orders.
>  From the San Francisco Chronicle.
> They both represented big Eastern establishments and were talking shop
> in
> front of the counter in the Palace Hotel office.
> "How's business? Getting many orders?" asked the stout man.
> "More than I can handle," said the short man. "How's it with you? Had
> any
> orders lately?"
> "Well, business is pretty good. I haven't had an order for a year and a
> half, but I expect to get one next fall," said the stout man.
> At which point Chief Clerk Brownell came out of his trance and became
> possessed of an irrepressible curiosity. Calling the short man aside,
> he said:
> "Who's your stout friend?"
> "Traveling man," said the short citizen.
> "Well, he certainly has put the jinks on me. What's his line?"
> "Suspension bridges."
> ----------
> _Los Angeles Times_, 17 Oct. 1907: p. I7:
> <<While Commencer Quigg was trying to get the Smithy Kanes away from
> the
> barrier in the pennant race at Chutes Park, yesterday, he recited a
> lot of
> Hiawatha blank verse that put the jinks on the bunch. Bill Devereaux
> stopped and listened, and then the visitors looked at one another. They
> seemed to be dazed after that .... / The hoodoo that Quigg put on the
> Smithys was the declaration to them in the first of the second inning,
> to
> use a little "harmonious activity." .... Burns was probably as much of
> a
> Jonah as Quigg's words, for the enemy had no chance. ....>>
> ----------
> BTW, all of these are from the West, as are other instances from
> 1907-9 (A.
> Mutt in HDAS, and my earlier post
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0401D&L=ads-
> l&P=R1673).
> -- Doug Wilson

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