Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Tue Sep 25 13:48:16 UTC 2007

Robert Wachal asked:
> Was the phrase "take a whiz" in use in the early 1920's?

Not a direct answer, but possibly relevant: in 1941, Timely Comics
introduced a superhero known as the Whizzer - basically a knockoff of
the Flash (the original - Jay Garrick). His uniform was mostly yellow.

a) "whiz" = "urinate" was not in use in 1941; or
b) the editors of Timely Comics were not aware of this meaning; or
c) the editors were aware of the meaning, and chose his uniform with
malice aforethought.

I leave it to you to assign probabilities.

Jim Parish

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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