Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Apr 25 18:24:07 UTC 2003

>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?).

OED gives the answer under "cloche", I think (I guess some were like bells).

>However, I am told that the modern French term is "manche".

Fully "manche a` balai" = "broomstick" apparently. I don't know whether
this refers ONLY to the shape or whether the current Halloween-cartoon
concept of a witch's aircraft extends to French back when.

Apparently recent "joystick" in computer/video-game use translated as
"ba^ton de joie" has raised a French eyebrow or two, or has been imagined to.

"Joyce stick" surely smells bogus.

It is my poorly supported tentative suspicion that "joy stick" is NOT
derived from a sexual metaphor: compare "joy ride" and also less common
non-sexual expressions such as "joy cart", "joy wagon", "joy buzzer", "joy

-- Doug Wilson

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