"Jinx" etymology: "Jinks Hoodoo" (1890)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Apr 4 05:16:20 UTC 2004

Here is "Jinks Hoodoo" again, the apparent ancestor of "jinx". Misspelled a
little bit this time.


_Decatur Morning Review_ [Decatur IL], 1 May 1890: p. 2, col. 2:

<<Calico Charley says that Murat Halstead was sent to Brooklyn in order
that the republicans might carry the next election in Ohio. Have the
republicans got in a hole where they are anxious to save Ohio, even at the
expense of New York? If Halstead was the Jinks Hoodo, [sic] and if he was
at the disposal of the republicans, we cant [sic] see why they should send
him to the most important political ground in the Union.>>


Murat Halstead was a famous journalist. "Calico Charley" most likely refers
to Charles W. Foster, former governor of Ohio, who received this nickname
because of his earlier career as a storekeeper in Fostoria OH.

The play "Little Puck" (with character Jinks Hoodoo) played in Decatur
earlier in 1890 (as well as in 1889) according to the Decatur papers (at

-- Doug Wilson

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