James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Apr 25 16:37:02 UTC 2003

In a message dated 4/25/2003 11:48:19 AM Eastern Standard Time,
TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG writes:

> we are left with an obvious slang
> source in "joy" + "stick", with a first recorded appearance in 1910

According to Jane's Encylocpedia of Aviation (1993 edition, New York:
Crescent Books, 1993, ISBN 0-517-10316-8) page 161 column 1,  there was the
Bleriot VIII, built in 1908, "featuring a single lever control joystick".
What Bleriot, a Frenchman, called the thing was not reported.  This brings up
the possibility that the joystick was invented and named in France,
suggesting that "joystick" has nothing to do with "joy" but rather might be
an Anglicization of a French word, perhaps "joie" meaning "game".

CIrca 1910 the French were establishing much of the technical jargon of
aviation.  MWCD10 says "aileron", "empennage", and "fuselage" are all from
the French and gives all three a date of 1909.

            James A. Landau
            systems engineer
            FAA Technical Center (ACB-510/BCI)
            Atlantic City Int'l Airport   NJ   08405   USA

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