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

Page Stephens hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Mon Apr 4 15:42:18 UTC 2005

I first heard this song sung by Alan Mills some fifty years ago. I do not
know the original date of the song but Mills version was recorded in 1953.

Page Stephens

>From http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/01/twojinks.htm
Two jinkers in our harbour dwell, adventuresome and plucky;
The plans they make all promise well, but always turn unlucky;
Men were hard to get that year, else sailed we would have sooner,
So to our sorrow and despair, they shipped aboard our schooner.

Misfortune followed on their trail whenever they did venture,
And when bad luck did us assail these two we'd always censure;
To the offer ground you see them bound, look out for squalls that even',
"Make for the land," cries every man, "here's Jimmy Walsh and Stephen!"

When we landed on the Funks we had two Cat's Cove ruffians,
They went battin' Carey's Chicks and said that they were puffins;
When we came to share our eggs we thought all hands had even,
Then found that two had none at all - poor Jimmy Walsh and Stephen!

In crossing Belle Isle Straits next night, the orders from the skipper,
Were: "Keep your canvas all drawn tight, and on your lee the dipper;"
Before the dawn there came a crash, from stem to stern a shiver,
Then from our bunks we made a dash, and heard a running river.

We found that Stephen was at the wheel, and Jimmy was the scunner,
That we still lived 'twas good to feel when two such craytures run 'er;
Our water line a growler rives, and through the seam comes seivin',
The ocean roaring for the lives of Jimmy Walsh and Stephen!

Our guardian Angels never knew of such an active season,
We kept our senses all alert, and knew we had good reason;
Such constant strain might crack the brain; the fishery game I'm leaving,
And if I raise, give all the praise to Jimmy Walsh and Stephen!

####.... Patrick Kevin Devine ....####
>From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:

Jinker - Jinx; Person (on a vessel) bringing bad luck; Jonah.
Funk - Foul smelling; Sea-bird nesting colony; Funk-bird.
Carey's Chick - Northern Leach's petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa).
Offer - Offshore, away from the land; the further
seaward of two (or more) objects or features; outer.
Scunner - Look-out on a vessel; Barrel-man.
Growler - Floating ice especially hazardous to vessels
because of its instability or indeterminate size.
Raise - To begin singing a hymn.

PS. I just used my OED to look up a variety of terms including jinker, jink,
jinkit, etc. and discovered that the origin of the term goes back at least
to the early 18th century and that the changes in meaning are pretty
predictable so while jinx itself may be early 20th century its predecessors
are much older.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wilson Gray" <wilson.gray at RCN.COM>
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 9:32 PM
Subject: Re: Earlier "jinks" = "jinx" (1904-7)

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <wilson.gray at RCN.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Earlier "jinks" = "jinx" (1904-7)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list