Jints = Giants (Cuban 1889, NY 1908)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Nov 4 11:11:02 UTC 2005

One for Barry (surprised it's not already on his site)...

Someone on alt.usage.english asked about the nickname "Jints", now
occasionally used for the New York football Giants (or the Jersey Giants,
as we say across the Hudson), but previously applied to the New York
baseball Giants. Turns out that it was used for the Cuban Giants, the
first professional black baseball team, back in 1889.

1889 _Washington Post_ 28 Apr. 16/3 The recent trip of the Cuban Giants
furnished them an excellent opportunity to lay in a stock of rabbits'
feet... When the "Jints" were here they were besieged by the colored
population of this city and fabulous prices were offered for their
good-luck emblems, but they steadfastly refused to part with them.
1908 _N.Y. Times_ 7 Oct. 7/2 "The swellest gent that ever visited the home
of the Jints [sc. the Polo Grounds]," said Mr. Humphreys, in a final
flight of enthusiasm... All the players, including the Jints, said Amen to
this sentiment.
1912 _N.Y. Times_ 6 Oct. S2/3 (letter to the editor) The evening papers,
with their so-called baseball experts who never give credit to any team in
the National League except the Giants, are sickening. ... The post mortems
of these baseball writers after last year's slaughter of the "Jints" by
the Athletics were absolutely pitiful.

More on the Cuban Giants here (they weren't really Cuban, of course):


I bet Barry could find earlier references to the New York "Jints" in the

--Ben Zimmer

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