razapazaz (1910)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Aug 30 08:53:51 UTC 2005

A 1910 Boston Globe article on soda-fountain slang has a number of
interesting terms, most notably "razapazaz" (spelled "razapazas" in a

Boston Globe, Nov 6, 1910, p. 64/6
"Razapaz" is just as present the soda fountain artist's highest
accomplishment with mere vowels and consonants. Even at this early day its
origin is lost in the dim recesses of somebody's brain, but it was
probably invented in derence to superior taste as doing justice to a
combination of lime and lemon juice in a strawberry soda. Anyhow, both the
buzz saw name and the drink itself seem to be popular.

Has Barry or anyone else come across this term or any variants? Could this
be an intermediary form between "raz(z)mataz(z)" (OED 1899) and "pizzazz"
(dated by Doug Wilson to 1912)?

--Ben Zimmer

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