Jints = Giants (Cuban 1889, NY 1908)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Nov 4 14:18:40 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),

and sometimes we, or they, say it with a spelling pronunciations, to
rhyme with "hints" rather than (as intended) "pints".  It took me a
while to figure out who the [jInts] were the first time I heard that
on the radio--sounds like a Kiwi referring to the little boys' room.


>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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