Origin of the word "Gizmo" (speculative/woolgathering)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Dec 8 02:36:58 UTC 2006

Besides "fanciful coinage" and "adopted from language X", one might
consider "military acronym".

The only candidate which I find right now is GSMO = "gun sight man
operated": a type of camera, apparently adapted from an aircraft gun camera.

Surely this must be read "gizmo", at least sometimes.

I suppose that the original term was "camera, [...,] gunsight,
man-operated" or so, in military fashion. Various more-or-less plausible
scenarios can lead from a camera-type gadget named "camera GSMO" to "gizmo"
meaning "gadget". (Of course that don't make it true.)

However I don't know for sure whether this terminology was used early enough.

Possibly there are other acronym candidates.

-- Doug Wilson

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