[Ads-l] G.I.

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Dec 7 18:51:33 UTC 2015


Green's Dictionary thinks that G. I is Standard American English, and gives
no citations.

It has 1935 (Our Army, October, 46) and then 1946 for G. I. Joe.

GAT

On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 2:38 AM, Peter Morris <
peter_morris_1 at blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

> The Online Etymology Dictionary says
>
>
> http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=G.I.&searchmode=none
>
> G.I. also GI, 1936 as an adjective meaning "U.S. Army equipment," American
> English, apparently an abbreviation of Government Issue, and applied to
> anything associated with servicemen. Transferred noun sense of "U.S. Army
> soldier" arose during World War II (first recorded 1943) ...
> ... GI Joe "any U.S. soldier" attested from 1942 (date in OED is a typo).
>
> I've found a few possible antedatings. Usual disclaimers about Google
> dating apply.
>
> Interesting point - two early sources say that G is for General, rather
> than Govt.
>
> -------------------------------------------
>
> I was fitted out in a G.I. (General Issue) uniform - old leftover war
> stock.
>
> Been Places And Seen Things
> Kenneth MacKenzie, 1935
>
> Googling appears to confirm date of publication.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/pn7fkud
>
> --------------------------------------------
>
> You can, after a few visits to the Quartermaster, understand that "G. I.''
> cans are made of galvanized iron and that "G. I.'" soap is general issue
> soap; but it is pure idiom to call a large artillery shell a "G. I. can.
>
> This appears to be from article Notes On Soldier Speech dated July-August
> 1932
>
> http://tinyurl.com/ns9t9le
>
> http://tinyurl.com/pyvlf53
>
>
> -----------------------------------------------
>
> "I was pretty nearly strangled
> by the G.I. Uniform"
>
> possibly 1926.  I found a joke about a car dealer, the punchline is that
> he can deliver in 1927.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/qjqdnvr
>
> http://tinyurl.com/nqgwwbp
>
> ---------------------------------------------
>
>
> Example of G.I. Joe in a volume of collected issues dated 1938-41. And it
> looks as though it's early in that period.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/o2fn8ef
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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