[Ads-l] antedating Geronimo

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 18 13:21:15 EST 2017


One more item - The Baltimore Sun, May 8, 1941, page 8 (from Colliers):


"Shortly before forty-seven members of the Five Hundred and First Parachute Battalion at Fort Benning, Georgia, were selected to begin training in mass jumping, a movie called "Geronimo" was exhibited at the post exchange.  For some reason which nobody seems able to explain the jumpers made Geronimo their rallying cry.  Now, each man shouts the word lustily as he dives out into space."


No date given for the Colliers item, but it is possible, I suppose, that it may antedate the April 29 AP article.

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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Peter Reitan <pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:50 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: antedating Geronimo

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
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Subject:      Re: antedating Geronimo
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Bill Mullins recently antedated "Geronimo" with the anecdote about an army =
paratrooper shouting the word in 1941 to demonstrate to the ground crew did=
 not lose his nerve in a jump.  In the story, "Geronimo" appears as an appa=
rently random word with no particular prior connection to jumping.


In John Ford's film, "Stagecoach" (1939), in which John Wayne and others tr=
averse Apache territory during Geronimo's War, Geronimo is described as hav=
ing "jumped the reservation" - perhaps suggesting the the word choice of "G=
eronimo" was not entirely random.


"To jump the reservation", meaning the same as to go "off the reservation",=
 dates to at least 1878 (Arizona Silver Belt, June 13, 1878, page 2), when =
it was used in relation to Indians at the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona=
, where Geronimo would eventually live.   It was used with respect to Geron=
imo, specifically, as early as 1886 (referring to his having left San Carlo=
s the year previous). St. Joseph Weekly Gazette (Missouri), July 22, 1886, =
page 3.


The expression was used idiomatically and regularly during the decade leadi=
ng up to 1941.  Initial search on Newspapers.com suggests that it appeared =
in about one fifth the frequency of "off the reservation" (a couple hundred=
 hits as opposed to a thousand hits).


A different sense of the expression "jumped the reservation" - related to c=
laim-jumping - was used in 1883 to describe a General Logan's having stolen=
 part of a Zuni reservation in New Mexico for his own use. Chicago Inter-Oc=
ean, May 2, 1883, page 9.

________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Bill M=
ullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2016 1:06:22 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: antedating Geronimo

---------------------- Information from the mail header -------------------=
----
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Bill Mullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject:      antedating Geronimo
---------------------------------------------------------------------------=
----

OED has 30 Nov 1942

HDAS has July 1941


Bridgewater NJ _Courier-News_ 29 Apr 1941 p 12 col 5
[AP article]
"The battlecry of the Army's new 501st Parachute Battalion is "Geronimo," a=
=3D
 word that puzzled many until it was explained.

On the day of the first jump, Aubrey Eberhardt, a jumper, and Leo Brown, of=
=3D
 the ground crew, arranged to test Eberhardt's nerve.

He was to shout a certain word if unafraid.  It was assumed he'd forget it =
=3D
if he were scared.

That's right, his yell of "Geronimo" made it the battalion's battlecry."

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
www.americandialect.org
The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other ...



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