[Ads-l] "Gizmo" 1938

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 19 17:06:42 EST 2020


Finally an etymology that makes some sense (from Reddit):

Maltese *x'jismu*  'what's his name?'

As Stephen's 1938 ex. shows (and HDAS confirms) the word in early
(recorded) naval use also referred to an unknown or odd person.

Valetta, Malta, seems to have been a frequent port of call for U.S. naval
as well as merchant ships since the 19th century - though there's no reason
to believe the English word is that old.

JL

On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 7:17 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> Leatherneck, October 1938 p.28 col.2 (via ProQuest)
>
> "DOG" COMPANY DOPE
>
> by "Gizmo"
>
>
>
> Stephen Goranson
>
> http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
>
>
>
>
> Previously reported on ads-l (May 4, 2015), from 1939:
>
> Leatherneck, May, 1939, page 35 col. 2, Motor Transport, by Looey
> [[brackets added]], from image via ProQuest:
>
>
> "Butch Nyden has returned to us [[to Quantico, Va.]] from Shanghai, where
> he found out that Gin Rickey's aint those two wheel gismos you ride in out
> there."
>
>
> Stephen Goranson
>
> http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/<http://people.duke.edu/%7Egoranson/>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
"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


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