Antedating of Bazooka(the instrument) 1918

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Mon Mar 26 04:39:20 UTC 2007

I'm going to suggest another body part for the "bazooka" based purely
on the formula in some medieval lit of describing someone in battle
being split "from head to saddle": I think "bazooka" might be
groin/penis. I really like the pattern of cleave-bazooka-falchion and
the accent. "Cleave" and "falchion" I think really stick out in terms
of the diction of the passage.

---Amy West

>P. G. Wodehouse, _The Swoop_ (1909) [Project Gutenberg] (Ch. 6):
><<"'Ow about not waiting, chaps?" he suggested. "I shouldn't 'arf wonder,
>from the look of him, if he wasn't the 'aughty kind of a feller who'd
>cleave you to the bazooka for tuppence with his bloomin' falchion. I'm
>goin' to 'urry through with my dressing and wait till to-morrow night to
>see how he looks. No risks for Willie!">>
>By analogy with the usual "cleave [someone] to the
>brisket/waist/teeth/etc." I suppose "bazooka" here refers to a body part.
>My casual guess would be that it's an alteration of "bosom" (cf. "bazooka"
>= "bazoomba" = "bazoom" = "breast"). Any relation to the musical
>instrument's name?
>-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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