[Ads-l] antedating Geronimo

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 18 14:41:54 EST 2017


History of the 501st Parachute Battalion dates the first use to the third week of August 1940.

http://www.b-westerns.com/geronimo.htm


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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 10:21:15 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: antedating Geronimo

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Subject:      Re: antedating Geronimo
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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 mas=
s jumping, a movie called "Geronimo" was exhibited at the post exchange.  F=
or 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.

________________________________
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>
Poster:       Peter Reitan <pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: antedating Geronimo
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Bill Mullins recently antedated "Geronimo" with the anecdote about an army =
=3D
paratrooper shouting the word in 1941 to demonstrate to the ground crew did=
=3D
 not lose his nerve in a jump.  In the story, "Geronimo" appears as an appa=
=3D
rently random word with no particular prior connection to jumping.


In John Ford's film, "Stagecoach" (1939), in which John Wayne and others tr=
=3D
averse Apache territory during Geronimo's War, Geronimo is described as hav=
=3D
ing "jumped the reservation" - perhaps suggesting the the word choice of "G=
=3D
eronimo" was not entirely random.


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


The expression was used idiomatically and regularly during the decade leadi=
=3D
ng up to 1941.  Initial search on Newspapers.com suggests that it appeared =
=3D
in about one fifth the frequency of "off the reservation" (a couple hundred=
=3D
 hits as opposed to a thousand hits).


A different sense of the expression "jumped the reservation" - related to c=
=3D
laim-jumping - was used in 1883 to describe a General Logan's having stolen=
=3D
 part of a Zuni reservation in New Mexico for his own use. Chicago Inter-Oc=
=3D
ean, May 2, 1883, page 9.

________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Bill M=
=3D
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 -------------------=
=3D
----
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Bill Mullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject:      antedating Geronimo
---------------------------------------------------------------------------=
=3D
----

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
=3D3D
 word that puzzled many until it was explained.

On the day of the first jump, Aubrey Eberhardt, a jumper, and Leo Brown, of=
=3D
=3D3D
 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
=3D3D
if he were scared.

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

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American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
www.americandialect.org<http://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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