[Ads-l] QOTY 1958

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jul 11 15:06:45 EDT 2018


Antedated in OED under “gismo” but with a couple of cites brandishing the standard U.S. spelling:

U.S. slang.

A gadget, gimmick, ‘thingumajig’ (see quots.).

1943   Time 19 July 69/1   Gizmo—a term of universal significance, capable of meaning ‘gadget’, ‘stuff’, ‘thing’, ‘whozis’ or almost anything else the speaker wants it to.
1949   R. A. Heinlein Red Planet iii. 26   Now what is this gismo? When you brought it aboard I thought it was a volley ball.
1954   C. Williams Touch of Death (1955) i. 7   She was working the strap of the halter gizmo up between her arm and her side.
1967   Observer 21 May 21/2   To help him ‘shoot’ [photographs], he used..a ‘gismo’—a small cardboard tube which he presses against the camera lens.
1970   New Yorker 1 Aug. 26/3   Every gismo that made use of a clothes hanger will be demonstrated by its inventor.

Not to be confused with gitmo.

LH

> On Jul 11, 2018, at 2:47 PM, Mark Mandel <mark.a.mandel at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> (Hand to forehead) Gro-o-oan! But, yeah, back then. Yuch.
> 
> Mark, who remembers, though barely
> 
> On Wed, Jul 11, 2018, 12:54 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> 1958 Charles Beaumont & Ben Hecht _Queen of Outer Space_ (film):
>> 
>> "The ray that destroyed the space station and knocked us off our course may
>> have originated right here." "Oh, come off it! How could a bunch of women
>> invent a gizmo like that?"
>> 
>> 
>> JL
>> 
>> --
>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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