Magicians' words

Page Stephens hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Thu Apr 29 11:22:15 UTC 2004

I do not know if this usage of the word "jingo" has any relationship to
magic whatsoever but it might very peripherally.


words by Lew Brown, music by Albert Von Tilzer
as sung by Nora Bayes, Frank Crumit, Billy Murray, Esther Walker, and

In the land of San Domingo
Lived a girl called Oh By Jingo
(Ta da, ya da da da da da, um-pa, umpa um-pa um-pa)
>From the fields and from the marshes
Came the young and old by goshes.
(Ta da, &c.)
They all spoke with a different lingo
But they all loved Oh By Jingo
And every night
They sang by the pale moon light

Oh By Gee, By Gosh, By Gum, by Jove,
Oh By Jingo, won't you hear our love!
We will build for you a hut
You will be our favorite nut.
We'll have a lot of little Oh By Gollies
Then we'll put them in the Follies.
By Jingo said, By Gosh By Gee-ee,
By Jimminy, please don't bother me.
So they all went away singing
Oh By Gee, by gosh, By Gum, By Jove, By Jingo,
Oh, By Gee, you're the only girl for me.

Oh By Jingo had a lover
He was always under cover.
(Ta da, &c.)
Every night she used to meet him.
Oh how nice she used to treat him.
(Ta da, &c.)
They eloped, but they both were collared,
And the gang stood there and hollered:
"Don't raise a fuss,
You've got to take one of us!"

Oh by Gee, by Gosh, by Gum, by Jove
Oh! By Jingo, won't you take our love?
We will live out in a tent
Cheat the landlord of his rent
We'll have lots of little Jimminy Crickets
We can use them for meal tickets!
By Jingo said, Oh boys, won't you behave
You know I've put five husbands in the grave.
So they all went away singing
Oh by Gee, by Gosh, by Gum, by Jingo,
Oh by Gee! You're the only girl for me.

Oh by Gee by Gosh by Gum by Jove
Oh By Jingo won't you hear our love?
We will build for you a still
We'll make whiskey on the hill
We'll have a lot of little liquor beggars
They'll grow up to be bootleggers!
By Jingo said now boys, don't rave
You know I've put six husbands in the grave.
So they all went away singing
Oh by Gee, by Gosh, by Gum, by Jove, by Jingo;
Oh by Gee, you're not the girl for me.

Page "Ain't it nice to have someone on this list who has wasted his time
listening to thousands of songs nobody in their right mind would listen to"

----- Original Message -----
From: "Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 4:54 PM
Subject: Re: Magicians' words

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Magicians' words
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         I took a look at the pre-1945 cases that use "presto."  None of
them used "presto chango" (or its variations), but there were a number that
used plain "presto" or "presto change" metaphorically.  Then there was this
1855 variation from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, which was also the
earliest case that I found:
>         <<The record before this court admits the election of Coles
Bashford, but sets up that the state canvassers canvassed the defendant into
office--and here I would invoke a new use of the word "canvass," in the
English language hereafter. When feats of legerdemain are to be performed,
let it not be said "presto, pass, change," but "canvass, pass, change!" to
express ready, accomplished sleight-of-hand.>>  Attorney General ex rel.
Bashford v. Barstow, 4 Wis. 567 (1855).
>         "Presto chango" did not show up until 1951, almost a century
later.  "Alakazam" is rare and recent, and "jingo" does not show up in the
magic sense at all.  "Abracadabra" and "hocus pocus," of course, are
frequent and old.  While these cases are not direct evidence of magicians'
usage, they do indicate the extent to which magicians' words had passed over
into formal writing.
> John Baker
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