Earlier "jinks" = "jinx" (1904-7)
Cohen, Gerald Leonard
gcohen at UMR.EDU
Mon Apr 4 02:18:22 UTC 2005
Douglas Wilson's early attestations are (as usual) very helpful. Interestingly, the the 1905 example below doesn't seem to contain the usual meaning of "hoodoo," "bad luck": "Well, he certainly has put the jinks on me". The meaning here seems to be "He certainly has me stumped."--not quite the same thing as being jinxed in its usual sense.
> From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Douglas G. Wilson
> Subject: Earlier "jinks" = "jinx" (1904-7)
> _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." >>
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