[Ads-l] Jazz Girls, 1915?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 26 12:48:34 UTC 2015


I think that if "energy" was intended, the word would more likely have been
"zip" or, even more likely, "pep."

Much as I hate to undermine the view of HDAS (which has already been
subverted in recent years by Jerry and Barry), my guess is that "1915" is a
little too early.

JL

On Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 7:06 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Jazz Girls, 1915?
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Couldn't "Jazz Girls" be employing "jazz" in the sense of "Energy,
> exciteme=
> nt, =91pep=92; restlessness; animation, excitability"?=0A=
> =0A=
> Fred Shapiro=0A=
> =0A=
> =0A=
> =0A=
> ________________________________________=0A=
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Ben
> Zi=
> mmer [bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM]=0A=
> Sent: Monday, October 26, 2015 4:05 AM=0A=
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=0A=
> Subject: Jazz Girls, 1915?=0A=
> =0A=
> A short film called "A Free Ride" is considered to be the earliest=0A=
> extant American stag movie. It's generally believed to be a 1915=0A=
> production, though some scholars argue it's actually from a later=0A=
> date. Wikipedia has a thorough entry (and embeds the film itself):=0A=
> =0A=
>
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttps-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wik=
>
> i_A-5FFree-5FRide&d=3DAwIBaQ&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DsRkhHMQo6W5Ird1=
>
> lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=3D9pqpke8w2nINqrUUOzBsZ6RxwE36p7uVRPKpVC_-ol=
> E&s=3DvSY3fesDvGdGMmXEBo_S83rQQPJMpuJ2I1zUO3TEsaI&e=3D=0A=
> =0A=
> The opening credits read:=0A=
> =0A=
> GAY PAREE PICTURE CO.=0A=
> presents=0A=
> "A FREE RIDE"=0A=
> Staring [sic] the=0A=
> JAZZ GIRLS=0A=
> =0A=
> Given what the two "jazz girls" get up to when they take their ride,=0A=
> it seems likely that "jazz" was construed in a sexual sense. If the=0A=
> date of 1915 is accurate, then it might be seen as an antedating of=0A=
> "jazz" =3D 'sex' (here used attributively), which OED and HDAS have
> from=0A=
> 1918.=0A=
> =0A=
> On the other hand, if the "jazz girls" were understood to be 'lively=0A=
> and unconventional in the manner of jazz music and its fans,' then=0A=
> that would support the argument that the dating of the film is=0A=
> incorrect, since 1915 would have been too early for anyone outside of=0A=
> the South Side of Chicago to appreciate the musical connotations of=0A=
> the term.=0A=
> =0A=
> --bgz=0A=
> =0A=
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> =3DsRkhHMQo6W5Ird1lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=3D9pqpke8w2nINqrUUOzBsZ6Rx=
>
> wE36p7uVRPKpVC_-olE&s=3DJrck-O6qaeLzO5cwI1FvSWmnMvSA1vfjFZ0A48PyuEo&e=3D=0A=
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