non-chuck (1972), nunchuck (1974)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Jul 16 18:54:18 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 2:43 PM, Victor<aardvark66 at> wrote:
> OK, how about this one, allegedly from 1971?
>  >>>Although the groups have considerable latitude of choice with regard
> to operations, their use of weapons is subject to obvious restrictions.
> Almost no groups admit to carrying guns, although police said that two
> of the groups did.  Boston's Jewish Defense League carries (in addition
> to Mace, nightsticks, and Alsatians) a weapon they call a
> _nunchuck---two sixteen-inch-long oak sticks connected by a short length
> of nylon cord_.
> The page comes from Gary Marx's personal bibliography at MIT and
> identifies the source as
> Citizen Involvement in the Law Enforcement Process:  The Case of
> Community Police Patrols
> American Behavioral Scientist, 1971. vol. 15, no. 1, pp.52-72. Special
> issue on decentralization and citizen participation.
> By Gary T. Marx and Dane Archer
> If the reference is correct, it predates the NJ court records by a year.

Yep, that looks legit. I checked the page images for the article on
Sage Journals Online, and the passage is on page 65. The spelling as
published, however, is "nun chuck" with a space, not "nunchuck".


--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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