gizmo, 1944 origin speculations

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Dec 16 06:11:35 UTC 2006

>1944 gizmo [pronunciation marked: first syllable accent, long o] A word
>gadget, used in the Navy air force; perhaps derived from the Arabic gism [...]
>meaning body, stature, strength.
>p. 147 in World Words: Recommended Pronunciations, W. Cabell Greet (NY:
>UP, published for CBS)
>Though I doubt the suggested Arabic derivation, perhaps the Navy air force use
>claim deserves some attention, even though other early lately-mentioned
>references associate it with the Marines.

There was a very substantial US Marine Corps aviation presence in WW II.
There was distinct US Navy aviation; both were under the Department of the
Navy. I don't know what the writer would have included as "Navy air force".
I would suppose plenty of lingo would pass freely from Navy aviators to
Marine aviators and vice versa anyway.

The Arabic derivation is IMHO absurdly implausible (in absence of strong

-- Doug Wilson

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