[Ads-l] Antedating ZIP, OED 2. fig. Energy, force, impetus

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 26 01:05:44 UTC 2016

While reading about gazip, gazipe, gazump and gazabo, I ran across an early use of "gazip," apparently in the sense of energy, similar to ZIP.

The Aesthetic Romeo. 

Oscar Wilde is really coming
back here.  Marie Prescott the actress,
is to produce her play next season, and Oscar must come over to rehears
it.  . . .  As a playwright Mr. Wilde may be a great
success, but as an actor he lacks the go that is necessary on the American
stage. A Romeo who is not able to shin up Juliet’s balcony, take her under his
arm and defy all the Capulets, will not meet with success west of New
York.  Mr. Wilde has too much repose, and
not enough of what the Denver people call stage gazip.

Bismarck Tribune,
June 15, 1883.

Is this a suggestion that "zip" came from "gazip"? Or a coincidence?  I found only one other example of "gazip" in this sense - from 1915.  "Gazip" was used regulary after about 1901 as what seems to be a clear variant of "gazabo," with the same meaning and similar word combinations (Wise Gazip and Great Gazip mimicking the more common, "Wise Gazabo" and "Great Gazabo").

The OED dates "ZIP" in the sense of energy, force, or impetus, to 1900.

I found an example of "zip," in this sense, from 1895:

The members of the University
club nine are gentlemen, who play the game solely and purely for the sport
there is in it.  They put a “zip” into
the game that is a delight to the spectator and is not often seen in

Omaha Daily Bee,
May 19, 1895, page 19.

I included several other examples of "gazip" (in various senses) on my blog post: Gazip, Gazipe Gazump - Variants of Gazabo?
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list