The Sanas Jazz, Jazz and Teas--(sexual origin of "jazz"?)

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sat Jan 29 20:42:12 UTC 2005

[Original message from Jonathan Lighter, Jan. 29]:
[...]However, if the sexual verb had been sufficiently regional, they mightn't have known of it.

Ordinarily one could dismiss allegations of an earlier sexual meaning, but these seem to me to be so credible as to require consideration. [...]

I'd suggest caution in describing as "credible" any of the allegations about an earlier (say, pre-1913) sexual meaning of "jazz." I haven't yet seen even one account which fits that bill.

Gerald Cohen
P.S. Btw, note Dick Holbrook's  comment (Our Word Jazz. in: Storyville, 1973-1974, 46-58; p. 52): "Gleeson has also repeatedly and flatly insisted that he never heard the word jazz used in a sex sense at that time [1914]--though he was no stranger to gutter slang."

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