ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 24 14:26:49 UTC 2013

I do not know if this is relevant to "pizzazz", but I found a short
discussion of the word "pizzazza" in conjunction with "pizzazz" in a
book about word origins. Further below is a cite for "pizzazza" in the
baseball and culinary domains.

Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1988) by William and Mary Morris

[Begin excerpt]
Not so, reported William D. Kahl of Monongahela, Pennsylvania, who
remembered the word from an early comic strip. "Pizzazza was a magic
ointment invented by a comic-strip character which would make any
mechanical device, whether broken down or not, get up and go. It may
also be that the product could be taken internally with similar
results, though I'm not sure. I recall also that in the late 1920s the
expression 'put some pizzazza on it' was used by my father and his
cronies in much the same sense that we younger people said 'put a
nickel in it.' When I asked my father the meaning of pizzazza, he gave
us the comic-strip explanation."
[End excerpt]

In the cite below "pizzazza" is a sandwich and also, in effect, a
magic ingredient placed on a baseball.

[ref] 1931 February 14, New York Evening Post, The Hot Stove League by
Fred Lieb,
Quote Page 9, Column 3, New York. (Old Fulton)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Invented the "Pizzazza" Sandwich

"Ossie" Schreckenghost,
called Schreck for short, was
almost as colorful as the Rube. He
was a fitting battery partner for Wad-
dell; Schreck was just one degree less
nutty than the great left-hander. Dryden
liked to describe what he termed
Ossie's "pizzazza" sandwich. For those
unacquainted with the delights of a
"pizzazza," it was a thick smear of
limburger between two slices of pump-
ernickel, liberally sprinkled with

Dryden used to tell how Schreck
would anoint his glove with what was
left of the "pizzazza." When such an
improved baseball was pitched with all
of Waddell's speed and power behind
it, what could it do but strike out rival
batsmen? Opposing batters couldn't
see it in the first place and the scent
drove them away from the plate.
[End excerpt]


The American Dialect Society -

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