Jints = Giants (Cuban 1889, NY 1908)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 4 21:35:51 UTC 2005

FWIW, in St. Louis, a "giant," i.e a "jint-rhymes-with-pint," is or
was, among black kids, a kind of super-strong playground swing, with a
2X8 wooden plank as the seat and with a suspension consisting of
six-inch linked steel rods, instead of the usual one-inch plank seat
and chain-link suspension.


On 11/4/05, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at rci.rutgers.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU>
> Subject:      Jints = Giants (Cuban 1889, NY 1908)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.
> http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?RQT=309&VName=HNP&did=283303972
> -----
> 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.
> http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?RQT=309&VName=HNP&did=104759832
> -----
> 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.
> http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?RQT=309&VName=HNP&did=100378590
> -----
> More on the Cuban Giants here (they weren't really Cuban, of course):
> http://www.nlbpa.com/1887_cuban_giants.html
> I bet Barry could find earlier references to the New York "Jints" in the
> _World_.
> --Ben Zimmer

-Wilson Gray

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