"jazz mags" euphemism?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 11 12:32:09 UTC 2005

To me,"jazz mag" sounds very old-fashioned. From 1954 to 1956 in St.
Louis, I worked with a European-American man then in his sixties. In
his normal speech, he always used the term "jazz" as a euphemism for
"fuck" in its literal meaning. E.g., he told me about an
African-American student at Washington University who had gotten into
trouble when it was discovered that he was "jazzing" European-American
coeds. OTOH, he said "Fuck it!" as would anyone else and not "Jazz

By this time, I was already quite familiar with the claim that "jazz"
originally meant "engage in sexual intercourse" and I considered my
elderly colleague's use of it in that meaning to support that claim.

-Wilson Gray

On 10/10/05, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> 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:      Re: "jazz mags" euphemism?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >For Kevin, "a sticky heap of jazz mags" was "clearly", as he said, a
> >euphemism for pornographic magazines. I am aware that the writer, Lucy
> >Mangan, is apparently British, so this might be off-topic on ADS-L. On
> >the other hand, there's just such a wealth of expertise on "jazz" here.
> >
> >Do you agree with Kevin Marks' assessment? Is this a common euphemism?
> I see this ("jazz mag" = "porno magazine") in Green's Cassell slang
> dictionary. It's found on the Web, on Usenet since (at a glance) 1992, with
> some indication that it's mostly a UK-ism.
> I don't recall ever encountering this term myself.
> -- Doug Wilson

-Wilson Gray

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