"Jeet jet?" / "No, jew?" (1925)

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Wed Nov 16 18:11:09 UTC 2005

It's from the jazz age, it turns out. Not Woody Allen or J. D. Salinger in  
--Barry Popik
"World renowned NYC administrative law judge"--WONKSTER, 11-16-05
Jeet jet?" / "No, jew?"  
“Jeet jet?” is New Yorkese for “Did you eat yet?” An appropriate response  
might be “No, jew?” (No, did you?) 
Rhode Island and other places claim “Jeet jet?” as a local pronunciation.  
Woody Allen included “Jew?” (D’you?) in one of his 1970s  movies.
26 April 1925, Washington Post,  “Hard on the Ears” by Doris Blake, pg. SM2:
Do you say any of the following,  which are typical of the errors commonly 
heard and reported by the two teachers  of the New York university clinic? 
Chanct for chance.
Wisht for wish.
Henery for Henry.
Detecative for  detective.
Hisn for his.
Municipal for municipal (accent on the third  syllable instead of the second).
Cuz for because.
Breds for  breadths.
Deps for depths.
Wid for width.
Hoozis for who is  this.
Smatter for what’s the matter.
Jeet for did you eat.
Partikly for  particularly.
20 December 1925, Washington Post, pg.  SM1:
So many couples courting nowadays instead of taking a pleasant,  
companionable walk into the countryside hunt the nearest jazz dance. Big boy  takes his “
booful baby” out “hoofing.” They dance every number without speaking  once to 
each other. After the hoofing he asks her, “Jeet?” meaning “Did you  eat?” 
and she replies, “Jew?” meaning “Did you?” He says, “No,” and she suggests  
an “itty bitty supper,” meaning a “little bit of supper.”
5  June 1948, The New Yorker, pg. 38:
[Reprinted in Nine Stories  by J.D. Salinger (Boston: Little, Brown and 
Company, April 1953, paperback  edition January 2001), “Just Before the War with 
the Eskimos,” pg. 67] 
“Jeat jet?” he asked.
“Jeat lunch yet?”
Ginnie shook her  head. “I’ll eat when I get home,” she said.
15 September  1948, Los Angeles Times, “Pet Speech Peeve” by Frank Colby, 
pg.  A5:
Overheard in an office building lobby:
“Jeet, jet?”
“No,  jew?”
“No. Seat.”
“Did you eat yet?”
“No. Did  you?”
“No. Let’s eat.”
(WorldCat record)
Title:  “Jug” sessions
Author(s): Ammons, Gene. prf; Ammons, Albert,; 1907-1949. ;  prf; Mance, 
Junior,; 1928- ; prf; Wright, Eugene,; 1923- ; prf
Publication:  Chicago :; Mercury,
Year: 1976, 1947
Description: 2 sound discs (79 min.)  :; analog, 33 1/3 rpm ;; 12 in.
Language: N/A
Series: EmArcy jazz  series
Music Type: Jazz
Standard No: Publisher: EMS 20400;  Mercury
Contents: Concentration—Red Top—Idaho—St. Louis blues—Shufflin’ the  boogie—
S.P. blues—Hiroshima—McDougal’s sprout—Hold that money—Shermanski—Harold  
the Fox—Jeet jet—Odd-en-dow—Going for the okey doak—E.A.A.K. blues—Blowing 
the  family jewels—Sugar coated—Dues in blues—Jay, Jay—Daddy Sauce’s airline—
Little  Irv—Abdullah’s fiesta—Brother Jug’s sermon—Everything depends on you
—Hot  springs—When you’re gone—Little slam.
Descriptor: Jazz—1941-1950.
Note(s): All  selections previously released on Mercury albums./ Notes by Dan 
Morgenstern on  container./ Participants: Jazz; Gene Ammons, saxophone ; 
Albert Ammons, Junior  Mance, pianos ; Gene Wright, bass; with others./ Recorded 
in Chicago between  June 17, 1947 and October 4, 1949.
Other Titles: Concentration.; Red Top.;  Idaho.; St. Louis blues.; Shufflin’ 
the boogie.; S.P. blues.; Hiroshima.;  McDougal’s sprout.; Hold that money.; 
Shermanski.; Harold the Fox.; Jeet jet.;  Odd-en-dow.; Going for the okey 
doak.; E.A.A.K. blues.; Blowing the family  jewels.; Sugar coated.; Dues in blues.; 
Jay, Jay.; Daddy Sauce’s airline.;  Little Irv.; Abdullah’s fiesta.; Brother 
Jug’s sermon.; Everything depends on  you.; Hot springs.; When you’re gone.; 
Little slam.
Responsibility: Gene  Ammons.
Material Type: Music (msr); LP (lps)
Document Type: Sound  Recording
Entry: 19840919
Update: 20010122
Accession No: OCLC:  11172118
Database: WorldCat
14 May 1991, Providence  (RI) Journal, pg. E-01
To a youngsta in Utah, a pitcha of Rhode  Island
And speaking of language, we use it  in other novel ways, too. If you come 
here and someone barks at you: “Jee-jet?”  This simply means, “Did you eat yet?”
 Once they get to know you, they will be  more familiar and simply say, “Jeet?
The Rhode  Island Dictionary
by Mark Patinkin
illustrated by Don Bousquet
not  paginated
N. Attleboro, MA: Covered Bridge Press
JEET: A question among co-workers at lunchtime. Roughly: Have you eaten yet?  
Long form is “Jeejet?” “Jeet?
(Cartoon has one person say “JEET?” and the  other person answer “NO, JOOZ?”
 – ed.)

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