Reflections on 1831 "Jazz"

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Tue Nov 6 15:59:03 UTC 2001

Granted the knee is an intimate spot, a spot for
intimate contact.  But to go from there to a reference
to the knee in some obscure usages as justification
for considering the word 'jaser'  as a generally
understood equivalent to sexual union (by whatever
name) is taking great liberty, IMO.  If this is a
commomnly understood meaning for 'jaser', it seems it
would have been used without shame by Mirabeau, de
Sade, and writers of similar ilk.

The quote regarding Tallyrand that started this thread
makes perfect sense using the conventional meaning of
'jaser' and must be wrought and worked to fit it to an
offensive, bawdy, or base meaning.  Likewise the way
jazz is used and has been used in English since the
beginning of the 20th century.  Don't you hear
anything 'jasant' in the jeering, mocking, and razzing
of a baseball game or in the (previously)
unconventional harmonies and rhythms of jazz music?  I
certainly do!

--- Jonathon Green <slang at BLUEYONDER.CO.UK> wrote:
> One use of _genou_ that seems to have been
> overlooked is 'faire du genou',
> best translated as to 'play footsie' under the
> table. This is unashamedly
> sexual and might well be seen as an overture to
> intercourse and thus one who
> practises it will more than likely 'want to fuck'.
> Whether the phr. extends back to 1616 I cannot say;
> it is in Barrere's
> L'Argot (1902) and in subsequent slang dicts.
> Jonathon Green

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
SLC, UT                        |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

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