spaz and Tiger Woods

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Apr 12 19:37:09 UTC 2006

On Wed, 12 Apr 2006, FRITZ JUENGLING wrote:

> Secondly, I've heard this term all my life and I have never heard it in
> the way that I think Tiger may have meant it. The writer of the article
> writes " Spaz has become synonymous with useless incompetence..." For
> me, it means nothing of the sort, but rather has to do with uncontrolled
> action, almost always excitement.  When I read the signs the pep squad
> makes for an upcoming game 'Let's spaz out!!', I don't det any idea of
> incomepetence, but excitement.

Growing up on Long Island in the 1960s, this was very common in the
meaning of useless incompetence.  Clearly it was an abbreviation for

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
   Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

The American Dialect Society -

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