Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Fri Apr 25 17:41:10 UTC 2003

> 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.

That's true. "Hangar" also, I believe. OED2's first citation for
"joystick" (1910) also gives what seems to be the equivalent French
term of the period: "cloche", though why it should have been compared
with a bell is unclear (was it French slang, perhaps?). However, I am
told that the modern French term is "manche". Because of these, I am
assuming that "joystick" can't actually be French (unless somebody
fluent in that language can tell me of an equivalent slang term).

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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