more on early "jeeps"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 4 21:18:28 UTC 2011


1941 _N. Y. Times_ (Apr. 11) 20 [ProQuest]: From the pages of an
esteemed contemporary we learn that the young soldiers in the training
camps call themselves and are called Jeeps. ...One feels for a Jeep an
affection which cannot be won by a trainee or a draftee. It is the
same feeling that a person has for a puppy, to which Jeep has a strong
phonetic resemblance [sic]. ...Is there something in the spirit of the
times that turns the slang-maker's mind to the J sound? [Etc., etc.]

1941 _N.Y. Times Sunday Magazine_ (May 25)   11: Jeeps turned loose on
one-night passes or on long week-ends have no place to go. ...He may
even read, but jeeps keep telling you that camp life, somnehow, takes
the edge off your taste for books.

The "esteemed contemporary" was undoubtedly H. I. Philips, whose
humorous _The Private Papers of Private Purkey_ [sic: he's perky!]
(N.Y.: Harper, 1941),  employs the word. I haven't seen a copy of this
book, but it was popular enough to spawn two sequels.

Acc. to the L. of C. _Catalog of Copyright Entries, Philips's tales
were originally serialized in the _N.Y. Sun_, Feb. 3 - May 30, 1941.
Whether _jeep_ appeared there before the 4x4 car was publicized as a
"jeep" later in February, I don't know.


On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 9:50 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      more on early "jeeps"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 'Social misfit; "drip," "jerk," etc.' One of the early obsolete
> senses, probably inspired by the odd appearance of Segar's "Jeep."
> Cf. the contemporaneous application to military recruits:
> 1941 C. G. Sampas in _Lowell [Mass.] Sun_ (Jan. 30) 12 [NewspArch]:
> It'd make a man out of him, not a sartorialistic automaton, a jeep, a
> wise-guy.
> As a nonce nickname, alluding to Eugene the Jeep:
> 1938 _Uniontown [Pa.] Morning Herald_ (May 13) 15: Lee (Jeep) Handley
> is a pepper box at the hot corner. [Handley came to the National
> League in 1936, the year of the Jeep's appearance in Thimble Theatre.
> -JL]
> 1941 _Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune_ (Feb. 8) 5: FRANK McHUGH
> christened Ann Sheridan "The Jeep" during production on "City for
> Conquest." Reason, explained Frank, is because she brings good luck to
> every picture she works in.
> 1941 _San Antonio Light_ (Feb. 9) VI 3: By E. C. "Jeep" Oates.
> 1941 _Clovis [N.M.] News-Journal_ (Feb. 13) 4: Little "Jeep" Daniels,
> Institute forward and captain, turned in an outstanding game.
> Vehicles:
> 1941 _Emporia Gazette_ (Feb. 17) 3: Camp Robinson, Ark...Company B
> [137th Inf.] will have two trucks. One will be a 1-1/2 ton truck and a
> lighter truck called "jeeps" [sic] by the drivers. The trucks [sic]
> will be used for the movement of the kitchen and other field equipment
> on maneuvers. The "jeep" will transport the mortars for the company.
> 1941 _Helena Independent_ (Feb. 17) 3: NEW PLANE FOR ARMY IS ABLE TO
> LAND AT VERY LOW SPEED RATE  Ft. Benning, Ga., Feb. 16. - AP - Army
> pilots are testing a Ryan observation plane, nicknamed the "jeep"
> because of its peculiar wing construction, which is designed to land
> at 25 miles an per hour and take off from small fields.
> 1941 _Chester [Pa.] Times_ (Feb. 18)  10: Camp Shelby, Miss. - Feb. 17
> . . . Also ready for delivery is the famous "Jeep," a five-passenger
> car with a removable top, for use of the officers.  ["Famous" is
> presumably a facetious ref. to the cartoon character.]
> 1941 _Santa Fe New Mexican_  (Feb. 19) 3: "Jeep" Driver Pvt. Oliver
> Slade has been selected as the driver of one of our "Jeep" (command
> reconnaissance car [sic]) for the executive officer, Capt.
> McFarland....Pvt. Philip Salazar has also been made driver of a Jeep.
> On Feb. 20 and succeeding days, a number of papers published the now
> famous photo captioned "'Jeep' Tackles Capitol Steps."
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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