Ofaginzy redux

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Mar 30 22:29:41 UTC 2007

>I'm away from HDAS today, but surely the cited remark about "literary
>distribution" should refer to the baroque "ofaginzy" rather than the once
>common "ofay."

I'm pretty sure it's meant to refer to "foe", essentially quoting Cassidy
(1975 _AS_) in [maybe too] condensed form.

>   My impression is that "ofaginzy," like so many exotic-looking slang
> terms, was never much used by anybody. In this case, IIRC, NY and Chicago
> jazz musicians of the '40s were the primary culprits.

That's how it looks.

>   I wonder of the word was partially based on "guinzo, ginzo," an Italian.

That would be my speculation, more or less, if the word had /g/. If it had
/dZ/, I'd produce a different speculation. So far I have only a very
doubtful indication ... that it had /dZ/. So I'll withhold my speculation
for a while.

-- Doug Wilson

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