gigung(o)us, gigund(o)us, gigunda, gigundo

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Apr 28 06:08:40 UTC 2005

Recently noted:

2005 _New York Times_ 27 Feb. 11-1 (Nexis) Eric Deutsch, president and
chief executive of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, said
his children, Adam, 8, and Emily, 6, who beg to visit his workplace, call
the Navy Yard "gigungus," probably as dead-on accurate as one descriptive
could be.

A blend of "gigantic" and "humungous", and a companion to "hugungous" and
its variants (see my post of Mar. 26).  Earliest cite on N-archive:

1974 _Lima News_ (Ohio) 31 Jul. B13/8 (classified advt.) Gigungus garage

I don't see newspaper examples of the spelling "gigungous", though it
appears in Curtis Gruenler's "Dictionary of New Terms, Compiled by the
History of the English Language classes at Hope College, 1997-2002":

HDAS doesn't have "gigung(o)us", but it does list "gigunda", "gigundo",
and "gigundus", as reported to Jon Lighter by NYU students, 1972-74.
"Gigunda" appears to be the earliest form attested, from 1971 in the cites
below.  By 1973 or so, "gigunda" and its variants had clearly caught on
big-time in the Syracuse area, as most of the N-archive cites come from
there (the _Syracuse Herald Journal_ also mentions a "Gigunda's Sub Shop"
in Oct. '73).

"Gigundo" is by far the most popular form these days, according to Google,
Technorati, et al.  Perhaps there's some influence from the faux-Spanish
suffix "-amundo" (dating back to Arthur Fonzarelli's "correctamundo").

* gigunda

1971 _Daily Times_ (Salisbury, Md.) 15 Aug. A6/5 The America of Nixon's
proposed gigunda bicentennial is hardly the America proposed and conceived
by Jefferson and Madison.

1973 _Syracuse Herald Journal_ 24 Jun. 51/3 (classified advt.) Gigunda!
That's the best word we can think of to describe this huge 4-bdrm., 70-ft.
home with 29-ft. fam. rm., brick fireplace, plus brick wet bar!

1973 _Van Nuys News_ (Calif.) 7 Sep. 22/3 (classified advt.) Gigunda sale.

1973 _Syracuse Herald Journal_ 19 Oct. 44/5 (classified advt.) Formal
dining rm., 4 gigunda bedrms., hardwood floors.

1974 _Lincoln Evening Journal_ (Neb.) 23 Jun. 2C/4 (classified advt.)
Gigunda garage sale.

* gigundous

1975 _Chronicle Telegram_ (Elyria, Ohio) 18 Sep. F1/5 (classified advt.)
Gigundous garage sale.

1982 _Syracuse Post Standard_ 1 Mar. C2/5 We want to get back to those
times when we'd look over the counter at E.W. Edwards & Co. at that
gigundous layout and those shiny new trains.

* gigundus

1979 _Syracuse Herald Journal_ 6 May 56/7 (classified advt.) Come home to
this 2 yr. old, gigundus 4 bedrm. colonial, surrounded by trees.

1979 _Syracuse Herald Journal_ 30 Sep. 54/2 (classified advt.) Skylite,
family rm., quarry tile gourmet kitchen, gigundus living rm., and dining

* gigundo

1985 _Cuisinarts revisited_ in _net.cooks_ 2 Nov., I have been drooling
over the latest Cuisinart model, the gigundo one, DL-X I think is the

1988 _New York Times_  9 Oct. R16 (advt.) From the Grand Chelsea
Condominiums. A kitchen you can cook in. A bedroom you can live in.
Architectural features. Gigundo windows!

--Ben Zimmer

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