Jinks Hoodoo again (1893)

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Fri Nov 4 15:30:28 UTC 2011

 "I don't know who Herrmann was -- likely a stage spiritualist of the time."

There was a very famous family of magicians working in the 19th C,
grandfather through grandsons.  This one was no doubt Alexander, aka
Herrmann the Great, who died in 1896.  He made the U. S. his base, while
his brother, father and grandfather worked out of Europe.

>From Milbourne Christopher's Panorama of Magic, pp. 127-131.  (N. Y.:
Dover, 1962).

(the guy who still looks stuff up in books)

On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 11:12 PM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:

> Here is Jinks Hoodoo (Esq.), the fictional character in the musical
> comedy "Little Puck", whose name is apparently the ancestor of the word
> "jinx". In this piece from 1893, the name is apparently used to denote a
> notional carrier of bad luck -- very much as either "jinx" or "hoodoo"
> would be used 20 years later. Note that "hoodoo" in this sense was
> already in use in 1893 but the later-synonymous "jinx" was not (AFAIK,
> and I've looked some).
> From GenealogyBank:
> ----------
> _Omaha [NE] Morning World Herald_, 2 March 1893: p. 2:
> <<AMUSEMENTS. / Jinks Hoodoo, esq., turned up at Boyd's last night and
> for a time ran things to suit himself. First of all Mr. Emil Fischer
> failed to materialize. "A severe cold," now "diplomatic colds," are
> proverbial, and I confess I have my suspicions of these "concert colds,"
> which are cyclonic in the rapidity of their approach. Then the lights
> went out. / Not a glimmer was there and it seemed as though Herrmann had
> come back to sandwich his dark seance between Mr. Luckstone's fine piano
> solo and Miss Engel's song. / A row of gas jets stretched along the
> stage gave the place the appearance of a circus tent, and great was the
> joy when Mr. Luckstone, who is well named, for all through he was the
> corrective of the Hoodoo, announced that in a few minutes our position
> would be no longer that of Moses under similar circumstances. / ....>>
> ----------
> "Little Puck" was current and popular in 1893, but this piece is about
> an apparently unrelated mixed musical concert. I don't know who Herrmann
> was -- likely a stage spiritualist of the time.
> The "Little Puck" cast list often showed "Jinks Hoodoo, esq." (why
> "Esq." I don't know [the character was not to my knowledge a lawyer]),
> sometimes followed by ", a curse to everybody[, including himself]".
> -- Doug Wilson
> ------------------------------**------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

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

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