Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Fri Apr 25 19:27:35 UTC 2003

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

Thanks for pointing that out. I plead guilty to inadequate research.

> 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 juice".

Under the circumstances, it would seem that all we can have are
tentative suggestions. It is interesting to see that several of these
expressions starting with "joy" date from roughly the same period as
does "joystick". Perhaps, like the joystick, joy was in the air at
the time.

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

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